August 25, 2021

Questions for your butcher

Q. How Do I Prep A Steak?
A. For most steaks, allow to come to room temperature for 30 minutes or longer. If you cook a steak straight from the fridge, it will lower the temperature of the oil and you will get a miserable, grey steak and there will be no Maillard reaction.
Q. What Is The Maillard Reaction?
A. The Maillard reaction is when fresh meat is cooked in a pan in very hot cooking oil (140 to 165 C) and the reducing sugars and amino acids react and brown the meat and give it its desirable flavour.
Q. What Is The Best Way To Cook A Steak?
A. There is no best way, there are just personal preferences. Most chefs advocate searing on a hot pan followed by a spell in the oven to finish. Some say season before cooking, others say season afterwards.
Three things every chef agrees with:
  1. Bring the steak up to room temperature first
  2. Make sure the pan is hot before you put the steak on. Use a high-quality cooking oil for steak like tallow.
  3. Allow 5 to 10 minutes resting after the steak finishes cooking.
Q. What Is The Best Type Of Steak?
A. Every steak has its attractions and of course, there is the price to be considered. Again this comes down to personal preference.

Q. What Cut Would You Recommend For Making A Stew Or Casserole?
A. Shin or shoulder are ideal for stews and casseroles. The connective tissue in these cuts breaks down during the cooking and gives the dish a flavour that you won’t get from fillet steak.

Q. Do All Cheap Beef Cuts Need To Be Slow-Cooked?
A. Generally yes, cheap cuts of meat need to be slow-cooked. The premium cuts, the ones you fry or grill, make up a much smaller percentage of the whole carcass than the cheaper cuts. The economics of butchering dictate that you will pay a lot more for those cuts. But cheaper doesn’t mean any low quality, it just means better value for cuts you need to cook longer.

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