Did you know that steaks are good for your health? Aside from being rich in protein, steaks also have high iron content that can aid in overcoming and preventing iron-deficiency anemia. It is also an excellent source of essential micronutrients, like selenium, zinc, and B-vitamins.
Grass-fed beef has also been found to contain higher omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins E and A, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a nutrient that aids in weight loss and can help fight chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes.
Health benefits aside, people eat steak for the sheer pleasure it offers. So, whether you’re planning to dine at a steakhouse in Abu Dhabi or prepare the steak yourself, here are five rules you must know first to enjoy great steak:
When Eating Out
Because of their elegant setup and etiquette, many people find it intimidating to eat at steakhouses. But this shouldn’t be the case. After all, these establishments are all about enjoying the pleasures of life.
To make sure you get the most out of the experience, below are some things you must remember when eating steak at a steakhouse:
1. Choose the right wine to pair it with
Picking the right pair of steak and wine can mean a world of a difference in your steakhouse dining experience.
When matching meat with wine, the rule of thumb is to pair red with red and lean with light. Since steaks are prepared using red meat, the focus of this article will be on matching the leanness of meat to the red wine.
Following the “lean with light” premise, you should opt for light or medium-bodied red wines when you order lean cuts of beef, such as:
- Sirloin tip side steak
- Eye of round steak
- Bottom round roast
- Top round roast
- Top sirloin
Alternatively, fatty cuts of meat go well with bold red wines that are rich in tannin, which serves as a palate cleanser that “scrapes” fattiness from the inside of your mouth.
Some of the steak cuts that work great with bold wines are:
- Hanger steak
- Filet mignon
- Porterhouse steak
- Skirt steak
- New York strip
- T-bone steak
- Ribeye steak
2. Medium rare is the best way to go
While everyone has their own preferences when it comes to the doneness of a steak, most chefs and steak aficionados would tell you to opt for medium-rare.
You see, the longer a steak is cooked, the drier and tougher it becomes. This means that steak that is cooked past medium (i.e., well-done and medium-well) are less tender and moist, and would feel much like eating a piece of leather.
However, rare steaks may not be quite pleasing for a steak novice’s palate as well. Aside from being generally cold inside, rare steaks also haven’t reached its full potential for flavor since the fat in the meat hasn’t melted yet. The marbling — or the little specks of fat contained within the meat — is what makes steak flavorful and, ultimately, determines the overall quality of the steak.
So, what level of doneness should you pick if well-done, medium-well, and rare are removed from the equation? Easy. Go for what’s left in between: medium-rare.
When cooked medium-rare, the meat is able to reach its optimal level of tenderness and flavor while retaining its juiciness. Medium-rare steaks are also warm, which removes that awful feeling of putting cold meat into your mouth.
When Cooking Steak
Steaks are considered a treat for the taste buds of foodies all over the world. No matter where you are, enjoying a great steak should not be so hard.
Of course, you don’t have to go out just to taste a slice of that juicy and meaty goodness — you can cook it in the comforts of your own home. When doing so, there are a couple of general rules you must keep in mind to ensure that you prepare a decent — if not, steakhouse-quality — steak on your own, as follows:
3. Buy top-quality meat
Unless you have plenty of money to spend, you probably won’t have steak for all three meals every day. Because of the price of top-quality meat, steaks are often considered an indulgence and, thus, only consumed on rare occasions.
Since it’s already an indulgence, you must make sure that you buy good quality meat when cooking steak at home. If you truly want to enjoy great-tasting steak, you have to find ways to get meat that is on par with the reputation this type of food has.
One way to do this is to buy lesser-known cuts from the local butcher. Aside from being inexpensive, these meats are more likely fresher than frozen ones from the supermarket since you’re getting it direct from the source.
If you have no access to a butcher, you won’t have any choice but to purchase meat from a supermarket. If this is the case, you should at least look for cuts that are roughly one inch thick and has a good level of fat content to make into a decent steak.
4. Pat down the meat before cooking
Once you get your hands on good meat, the next thing you have to do after bringing it home is to pat it down with a kitchen towel. This will get rid of the extra moisture that causes the steak to steam rather than sear when cooked. This is also the best practice after thawing meat that’s been sitting in the fridge for some time.
5. Don’t trim off the fat
Before cooking, you must also remember not to trim off the fat from the meat. The level of fat in the meat is a crucial factor in ensuring that the steak is juicy and flavorful.
The fat from the meat helps prevent it from sticking to the pan or grill and from drying out during cooking.
If you’re not fond of eating fat, you can simply leave it on your plate after the steak has been served. Never remove it prior to cooking.
A Final Word
Steaks are arguably one of the best-tasting food you can ever get a bite of in your entire life. While they may be easy to come by, making your steakhouse experience worthwhile is another thing altogether. Before you head out to weekend brunch in Anantara, Abu Dhabi or prepare a steak in your home, consider these rules first for optimal satisfaction.