If you’re looking to impress a crowd or the head chef running the show, you need to know how to order a steak like a pro.
Many would assume that it’s all about ordering the most expensive option on the menu and going with the medium rare cut. Little do they know that there is a lot more behind the scenes of landing yourself a juicy, mouthwatering steak than going with the flow.
Here’s how to impress everyone with your skills on ordering the perfect steak at the pub. Oh, and the skills go beyond just ordering the steak. Delve into the realms of learning about the source so you can get an understanding of how it's produced.
Many people will tell you to go for the popular parts such as the fillets. Fact is, the secret behind having a juicy, salivating steak is in the connective tissue cuts. These are the pieces where the fat and sinew holds the meat together, giving it ample of delicious juices that will flow right into your meat as it cooks.
The more juices that get absorbed into your meat, the more flavourful it becomes. Cuts such as rib eye have great connective tissue and are muscled very nicely, thus giving it excellent flavour.
The right level of cooking
If you’ve ever heard the saying of how the only way to have a steak is medium rare, you’re pretty much on the right track of nailing an impressive steak order.
Once you have the right cut of meat that has more connective tissue - such as a sirloin or rib eye - getting your steak done medium rare is ideal to let the collagen breakdown. Once broken down, the collagen turns into a jelly which enhances edibility and flavour of your meat.
Having your steak medium rare provides the best and truest flavour of the beef, allowing it to char on the outside and cool on the inside. Cook your steak for too long, and you’re taking away the texture and flavour of the beef. Anything above medium rare will end up with a chewy, tough chunk of meat that will lack in tenderness, juiciness, and flavour.
The closest you get to the true flavour of beef, the more you will be able to enjoy your steak.
For those who prefer a more rare take on steak, know that rare does also fall into the ideal range of how you should have your steak cooked.
Steak, is somewhat like eggs in that everyone has their personal preference on how they like it cooked. However, despite this personal preference, the range should be between rare and medium rare given the appealing end result of cooking your steak the right way.
How your steak should be cooked
Great, so you’ve ordered a rare or medium rare steak, bringing you one step closer to becoming a professional steak connoisseur. Next, it’s time to specify to the chef how you’d like your steak cooked.
The best way to add dimension to the flavour and add in complexity is to have it cooked over natural fuel such as charcoal or wood fire.
Where is the meat sourced?
You may know your lingo when ordering a steak, but that’s only half the battle on getting your taste buds tantalised.
A lot of weight goes into the quality of the establishment you are dining in. The more pride the chef takes in the quality of the meat, the higher quality your steak will taste. A picky chef is a great chef when it comes to where the beef is sourced from.
Grain fed beef should ideally be sourced from an ethical and humane farm, given how the conditions aren’t always the best. As for grass fed beef, high quality sources such as beef from Cape Grim Beef will meet the mark. For wagyu beef, you will want your standards to be set against Japan, so a source like David Blackmore will do well given its standards and quality control. Wagyu beef isn't only about marbling and fat content, but rather the interspersing of the meat, marbling, and ensuring that all of it is extremely even.
Grass fed over grain fed beef
The saying “you are what you eat” is very true and also applies to beef. What a cow eats has a massive impact on the flavour and texture of their meat - think Kobe beef where the cows are fed beer to be in a constantly chilled demeanour.
Grass fed beef results in the meat flavour being very clean and delicious, with long lasting flavours that will lavish your taste buds. In contrast, grain fed beef tends to have a creamy texture due to mass grain consumption after 18 months of grass intake.
Sources such as beef from Cape Grim offers you a breakdown of how long the cows have been grass fed for, such as their dry aged vintage 60 month grass fed rib eye option. What this means is cattle no younger than 60 months, where the beef has been hung to dry for several weeks, giving it a full and rich flavour that is smooth in texture. Aged vintage means that it has undergone an aging process, which in this case is 43 days to add to the complexity in flavour.
Those who wish to spoil themselves should opt for a full-blood wagyu rump cap, which is often considered to be the most delicious part of a cow. The flavours have been compared to caramel popcorn due to its ration being not solely grain fed.
Steak lovers in Emerald
Finding the best steak isn’t always about how you order it. It also depends heavily on the place making the steak, and whether they’re experienced in getting a high quality supply and cooking it just right.
If you ever happen to be in the town of Emerald, the place to be for a high quality steak is none other than the Maraboon Tavern. A local favourite that boasts trained chefs in the kitchen of the local pub, you’ll be hard pressed to find something just as good anywhere else in town.
With juicy, scrumptious, mouthwatering steaks that will have you salivating for more, patrons have boasted their steaks to be some of the best ever tried in Australia.
And to really grab the best value for money, head in on a Sunday night when it’s dedicated steak night!
Image credit: Esquire.com