How To Cook The Per­fect Steak

GQ (Australia) - - TASTE & TRAVEL -

MEDIUM RARE, OF COURSE, IS THE SHORT AN­SWER. BUT TO PER­FECT THAT, READ ON.

1. Start with a good piece of meat. Sounds ob­vi­ous, though Puharich can’t em­pha­sise enough how easy this is if you get to know a lo­cal butcher. “In­vest in this and it will pay big div­i­dends,” he says. “Be­cause you can’t turn an av­er­age piece of meat into a great steak.”

2. Bring meat to room tem­per­a­ture be­fore cook­ing. That means sit­ting it out, on a board, for 30-40 min­utes be­fore­hand. “It’s im­por­tant to al­low con­sis­tency when cook­ing – when the meat is re­laxed and the

en­tire steak is the same tem­per­a­ture, it cooks evenly and al­lows you to bet­ter recog­nise when it’s cooked upon touch.”

3. Sea­son the steak with qual­ity salt flakes. “I’m not a fan of pep­per as it can be over­pow­er­ing and turn meat acrid. I’m also not big on mari­nades – I want to taste the steak.”

4. Make sure the pan is scream­ing hot. “You want high heat to get the siz­zle. Start out on a medium heat and the meat will stew and boil. A high heat starts the Mail­lard re­ac­tion when amino acids and sug­ars re­act form­ing a carameli­sa­tion on the out­side. The goal is a nice, brown crust.”

5. Don’t keep prod­ding or turn­ing it. Let it siz­zle in the heat and do its thing. By mov­ing it too much you re­lease all the im­por­tant juices. “They leach out. A gen­eral rule is cook it for 2/3 of the time on one side and one third on the other. So, for an av­er­age 300g steak, that’s around six min­utes on one side, three on the other.”

6. Rest the meat. The hard work’s done, rest it and be pa­tient. “Meat tenses dur­ing cook­ing. So rest it for roughly half the cook­ing time. If it’s taken nine min­utes, then rest it for 4-5 min­utes. The juices then get sucked back in, rather than cre­at­ing a pud­dle on the plate as you eat.”

Ac­cord­ing to Meat and Live­stock Aus­tralia (MLA), grass-fed meat comes from an­i­mals that have only grazed on grass. It’s leaner, pro­vides a big­ger, cleaner beef flavour that’s more char­ac­ter­is­tic of the re­gion and grass they’ve fed on, and also con­tains more Omega-3s (which is good). The MLA folks, who say grain­fed meat comes from an­i­mals fed grass for the ma­jor­ity of their lives, then tran­si­tion to grain-based di­ets. Usu­ally it’s 150 days for sir­loin or 200 days for rib-eye. And grain­fed will give the meat more mar­bling (fat) and a milder and softer beef flavour. Now you know.

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