Nowadays, preparing a high-quality steak is not only a science, but also an art. In Hungary, there are many people who like eating this dish, which you can even prepare at home, but it is not certain that it will be as successful as in a quality steak house restaurant, so it is advisable to entrust this task to a professional chef.
Steaks are available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. Each type has special characteristics, such as the softness of the meat, marbling and price category.
Each steak has its own unique character. Some of them are excellent on the grill, while others reach their best in a pan on the stove. If you pay attention and prepare them properly, each steak will have its own flavor.
How to choose excellent steak meat?
The secret of a tasty steak lies in high-quality ingredients. But how can we recognize really good quality meat? Let’s look at some examples of this:
What kind of beef?
There are many excellent beef breeds available on the domestic market, which guarantee the great taste of steaks. These include Hereford, Angus, Wagyu, Galloway, Charolais, Limousin, Aubrac, Salers, Blonde d’Aquitaine and White and Blue Belgian. Unfortunately, the price of these can be more expensive, but it is still worth avoiding poor quality meat.
The marbling of the steak is an excellent indicator of the quality of the meat.
By marbling we mean when the connective adipose tissue permeates the muscle fibers. The thinner these fatty tissues are, the more beautiful the pattern of the steak will be. The degree of marbling largely depends on the animal’s feeding, keeping conditions and lifestyle.
Aging the steak
Beef is aged in two ways
- wet aging
- dry aging
In this process, the meat is vacuumed and the muscle tissue is loosened with enzymes during a 21-day aging period. This aging results in less color and weight loss.
During dry aging, the meat is hung in a cold room with a temperature of 1-3 degrees Celsius and a humidity of 70%. In this process, in addition to enzymes, mold and bacteria carry out the longer maturation.
This results in a tastier meat that loses a lot of its moisture content. Dry-aged steaks are of much better quality, but you can only find them in larger steakhouse restaurants or specialized butchers.
Bundles and muscle fibers
Meat essentially means the animal’s muscles, which are made up of muscle bundles and muscle fibers. These muscle fibers are held together by collagen, thus forming bundles.
The key to making a tender, crumbly steak is to “break down” the collagen in the meat. If the animal is exposed to continuous physical stress, the animal’s meat has a strong collagen structure, and such meat is not ideal for rapid heat treatment. Meats with thinner muscle fibers can usually make a more crumbly steak.
The softest steak, due to its low fat content, the intense beef flavor is less noticeable. Ideal for cooking in thick slices, especially for those who prefer their steak “rare” or medium. In the United States, it is common to fry slices of this type of meat up to 5 centimeters thick.
This classic crumbed steak is prepared in different ways around the world. Whether bone-in or boneless, thin or thick slices, each version has its own unique appeal. Its taste is significantly more intense and more characteristic than that of tenderloin, thus offering a rich and complex taste experience.
One of the great favorites of Americans is the T-Bone steak, which is actually a combination of tenderloin and sirloin, with the characteristic T-shaped spine bone between them. When the sirloin portion is larger than a golf ball, it is called a Porterhouse Steak.
T-Bone is the perfect choice for those who have a hard time deciding between crunchiness and intense flavor. Due to the structure of the bone, the steak slice is usually 3 centimeters thick.
The most marbled part of the beef, so it is especially juicy and soft. Some people think it’s better than tenderloin. We recommend it to those who are just getting to know steaks. It is a perfect choice and can be enjoyed well done. It can be baked with or without bones.