Steaks are a classic main course that utilises the most tender parts of the beef. They can be grilled, seared or baked to perfection. There are a lot of factors that go into a good steak dinner. From the cut to the beef’s origins – to the wine pairing that goes with it – it can be quite confusing to a new foodie. This guide breaks down what you need to know about steaks when you dine at the best steakhouse in Bangkok.
Cuts of Beef
Steak, as with any type of food, gets its flavour from fat. You’ll often find that leaner cuts of beef are less flavourful and are cooked with added fat to improve the taste. Filet mignons, for example, are one of the leanest and most tender cuts of beef. Since itdoesn’t have much fat, it’s traditionally wrapped in bacon and seared to give added flavour.
Rib-eye steaks are a perfect cut for people who love a fair bit of marbling on their steak. It’s one of the juiciest parts of the beef and is boneless. The fat allows for easy caramelisation, even if you don’t add a lot of oil to it. These are perfect for grilling and broiling.
Tenderness is another factor when it comes to cut. Muscles that are often used in physical activities will be tougher and will need more cooking time in a slow, temperature controlled environment. As a result, rounds, shanks and briskets are more often seen in stews and soups.
Cuts that come from the lower back of the cow are best for steaks. These include:
- Strip Fillet or Striploin – This comes from the short loin section of the back. It’s entirely boneless. It has a robust flavour and can be grilled, broiled or pan-fried.
- Rump – Also known as the sirloin, its leaner than the striploin.
- Tenderloin – Tenderloin is technically made out of the short loin and sirloin.
Others prefer to have their steaks bone-in. Bones add flavour to the meat and helps keep it moist. Porterhouse is one of the most popular cuts, as it combines the ribeye and tenderloin in one slab. This is a thicker cut and is perfect for a hearty meal. T-bones are also popular and is essentially a tenderloin with the bone in.
Level of doneness is a controversial topic amongst steak-lovers everywhere. There are five varieties:
- Rare/Bleu – The outside of the meat is just seared on the outside, with an internal temperature of 115-130 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Medium Rare – The inside is pink with a red centre and an internal temperature of 130 – 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Medium – The inside is mostly pink – no redness. The internal temperature is 140- 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Medium Well – The inside is mostly brown with a pink centre. The internal temperature is 150 – 155 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Well Done – The inside is mostly done, with an internal temperature of 160 – 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a chef who doesn’t recommend a medium rare steak. This is the perfect temperature for maximum tenderness, moisture andflavour. Contrary to popular belief, pinkness on the meat does not mean its raw. The searing process cooks the meat just enough to heat through the meat without evaporating the juices.
All these temperatures are safe to eat, as long as the beef comes from a reliable source. Well-done steak is not recommended. It dries out the meat in such a way that you won’t be able to tell if it’s a good cut or not.