Thanks to Home Herb and Garden CEO Patrick OBrien
Steaks are another often ruined object. They get sliced really thin, chucked on the plate, and often burnt to a crisp. Thin steak is okay, I suppose, if you are making steak burgers, but it’s really no way to treat good beef. My idea of a good BBQ steak is a slice of middle cut yearling rump, cut about one inch thick. Get the plate hot enough to sear without charring. Give the steak two or three minutes on each side to sear the juices in, and then lower the heat a little to cook to the desired level. I prefer steaks to be cooked to pinkness in the center, others like to see the blood run!
T-Bone is the next steak that lends itself well to BBQ’s. Again it should be cut an inch thick for optimum tenderness and flavor. Rib fillet, or scotch fillet as it is sometimes called, is very nice too, but not usually as tender as T-bone. Oyster blade is another popular steak, not so much because it is tender, but because it is very tasty, and has a vein of jelly which runs through it, which gives it a nice flavor. Sirloin streak (sometimes called New York steak) is one side of the t-bone, without the bone, and provided it is cut thick and carefully cooked it can be superb.
Eye fillet is the most tender steak, the least tasty, and the most expensive. It should be cooked with great care, it is far too expensive to make mistakes with. This is the steak that sometimes has a slice of bacon wrapped around it, and served as fillet mignon.
When buying steak it’s a good idea to flirt with the butcher. Whatever it takes, hey, and it may help you get a nicer piece of steak! Many authorities recommend that you only buy steak that is heavily marbled, that is, it has veins of fat running through the meat. This is true up to point, however younger beef such as yearling doesn’t have much marbling, and is often far more tender than a two and a half year old bullock with heavy fat marbling. And fat is not good for you, in fact it is bad, bad, bad!
Try to buy grass fed beef rather than grain fed. Grass fed is more natural, usually younger, and has a lot more flavor. Grain fed beef is usually fatty, has heavy marbling, and production is not very environmentally friendly. It also doesn’t keep as well.
It’s also worth making the point that good quality steak doesn’t need to be marinated. It has enough flavor in it’s own right, and all it needs is a good BBQ sauce perhaps, or a herb and spice rub to enhance the natural flavor. Marinating good quality steak will only mask the flavor of the beef, and good quality beef doesn’t need to be tenderised!
Having said all that, lower quality steaks such as blade, round, or topside do benefit from marinating, as far as tenderising goes. Just remember that the more economical cuts are often more tasty than the more expensive steaks, so don’t hit them so hard with flavorings that you destroy the taste. You can tenderise these steaks with a mallet, or marinate them, or both.
You can also buy round, topside or blade steak that has been put through a machine to tenderise it. Of these, topside can be very dry, round is usually more tender, and blade usually more tasty. These tenderised cuts are best marinated before cooking. For a marinade, I like just wine, pepper, hot sauce, and garlic. There are many combinations of marinade flavors, experiment until you find one you and your family like.
Round steak is sometimes called top rump, and as with topside it makes very good beef olives. Slice it really thin, then roll up with some nice seasoning, breadcrumbs with sage and some nuts, perhaps. Pin together with a couple of toothpicks, and cook slowly on the grill plate, or bake with the lid down.
Another popular steak is called y-bone. It comes from the blade, and is cut with the bone in. It really is just the oyster blade with the bone in, but cooking it on the bone improves the flavor.
About Patrick OBrien: Patrick is a retired Master Butcher and businessman who also has broad horticultural experience. He has owned a restaurant, commercially grown organic vegetables, and he operated a herb nursery for many years.
To learn more about home herbs, garden, health, and homebiz, please visit: http://www.home-herb-garden.com