Preparing a perfect steak is a real art, which requires several things – good quality meat, aromatic spices, proper pan, temperature, and of course skill.
Steak frying is undoubtedly one of the most difficult culinary tasks. Beef is a meat that is easy to overcook, and the wrong pan can completely ruin any attempt. Many people also overdo the marinade and spices, which ultimately kill the delicate flavor of the meat. Another problem is overcooking, while the temperature should depend on the effect we want to achieve.
First, the steak should be taken out of the refrigerator, washed and allowed to warm up slightly at room temperature (usually 30 minutes is enough). This is necessary so that during frying the heat is distributed inside the piece of meat in the right way. It also doesn’t hurt to remove excess moisture with paper towels. Do not beat the meat under any circumstances. It is also a good idea to equip yourself with a kitchen thermometer to monitor the temperature inside the meat.
Meat, spices, pan
The meat should be at least 2.5-3 cm thick. The thinner it is, the more difficult it is to cook it so that it is juicy and at the right degree of doneness. The best beef for steak has a marbled texture with numerous fat-collagen veins. Choose an entrecote, sirloin or roast beef.
When it comes to seasoning, salt, pepper, rosemary and grapeseed oil will best bring out the true flavor of the beef. Butter, garlic and thyme are also common and good choices.
The classic, but also the most skilled way to fry a steak is to use a regular frying pan. Plain, but proper. It is advisable to use a heavy pan that holds heat well (such as cast iron). It is a myth that steak is better on a special ribbed pan. In fact, the ribbed surface has only aesthetic functions. Moreover, the presence of “ribs” can lead to less even heat distribution in the meat.
Degree of doneness
This is purely a matter of taste, but you should know that the key to achieving a particular degree of frying is the temperature inside the meat:
- blue (45℃) – steak almost raw but well browned on all sides;
- rare (52℃) – steak browned on all sides, bright red inside;
- medium rare (57℃) – sides of the steak are well browned, top and bottom are dark brown, inside is dark pink;
- medium (62℃) – optimal for most people, evenly browned to an intense brown on all sides, pink in the center;
- medium well (65℃) – dark brown on the outside, pale pink inside closer to the edges, a little darker in the middle;
- well done (70℃) – completely fried, pale pink inside with a darker stripe in the middle.
Remember to stop frying when the temperature inside the meat is 3-5℃ lower than desired for a particular degree of doneness.
Steak frying – step by step
1. Heat oil in a frying pan. Remove excess moisture from the meat, sprinkle it with salt. Pepper is better added at the end.
2. Place the steak on the pan and press lightly. Fry it until the characteristic brown color appears on the bottom (about 3 minutes). Turn the steak over and continue.
3. 10 degrees before desired temperature, reduce heat to medium-low. Add butter to the pan. You can add other seasonings as well.
4. Collect the melted butter with a spoon while tilting the pan and water the steak for about 1 minute.
5. 3-5 degrees before reaching the desired temperature, finish frying.
Give the steak time to rest. Leave it for 5 min on a warm pan or on a board under foil. Then the meat will definitely be juicy.
Main photo: José Ignacio Pompé/unsplash.com