Welcome Visitor: Login to the siteJoin the site

Choosing the Cut of Steak to Suit your Tastes

Article By: Infobarrel
Editorial and opinion



A juicy steak can be a mouthwatering way to supply your body with healthy protein, and your senses with the memories of a fantastic meal. But how do you choose the cut of steak to enable this "wow factor" to happen? Several factors come into play when shopping for your ideal steak.


Submitted:Feb 1, 2011    Reads: 29    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


A juicy steak can be a mouthwatering way to supply your body with healthy protein, and your senses with the memories of a fantastic meal. But how do you choose the cut of steak to enable this "wow factor" to happen? Several factors come into play when shopping for your ideal steak. First of all, know that all beef in the United States is given a grade by the United States Department of Agriculture, with "prime" being the best grade assigned, followed by "choice," and then "select." A grade is determined by the animal's age and the marbling present in the meat. Most prime grade beef ends up served in restaurants or sold in specialty meat markets, so you'll generally find "choice" and "select" grade steaks at your local supermarket. When thinking about marbling, which comes into play when deciding which cut of steak to buy, look at the steak itself. If you see no fat, then this cut has virtually no marbling. Although this steak will be less flavorful, it will be leaner, and frequently be more tender. If you notice thin streaks of fat throughout the steak, you can bet the meat will be more flavorful. Thick lines of fat imply that the steak has a lot of connective tissue, which will produce toughness. Color is also important. Now, imagine a half of beef. Cuts of beef begin at the neck and proceed down to the backbone; thus, the chuck is followed by the rib, which in turn is followed by the short loin, the sirloin, and then ends with the rump. The flank steak comes from the side section of the beef. The rib section provides such cuts as the rib-eye, or rib steak. The short loin section supplies such steaks as the T-bone, the top loin, tenderloin and the Porterhouse. Strip steaks, such as the New York Steak, come from the T-bone steak. The sirloin and top sirloin steaks come from the sirloin section. You'll find that other steaks, such as the chuck, round and flank steaks, come from those respective sections and are tougher cuts of meat. The tenderloin is the tenderest cut of beef, which provides such cuts as chateaubriand, tournedos, and filet mignon. Tenderness is superior in these cuts, but they aren't as flavorful as other cuts. In contrast, a rib-eye or sirloin steak is less tender but boasts more flavor. The type of steak you have helps to determine the optimal cooking method for any given steak. Dry-heat cooking includes such methods as grilling or broiling, and moist-heat cooking includes such methods as braising or stewing. A tenderloin steak, or any of its variations, lends itself very well to grilling. Start by searing the meat at a high heat, about one minute for each side, and then lower the heat and grill it until done. When cooking is complete, allow the steaks to rest for about five minutes before serving them. This allows the steak juices to distribute themselves evenly. Flavoring options might include just a smear of flavored olive oil, or black pepper, or perhaps a bit of garlic. Skirt steak, also known as inside skirt, outside skirt, or Philadelphia steak, lends itself beautifully to grilling. Think of fajitas. The trick, though, is to make sure the beef is marinated first, and then is grilled over high heat. Even a chuck shoulder steak, which normally is cooked with braising, can be delicious when grilled if marinated first, and is only cooked to a medium. Steaks which do well when braised--that is, cooked in a liquid over low heat for a longer period of time--include the 7-bone steak, the arm (or Swiss) steak, the round steak, the under blade steak, and the chuck eye steak. If the boneless top loin steak, also known as the New York Strip steak, is the Rolls Royce of steaks--tender, flavorful--the flank steak would be its opposite. Technically speaking, the flank steak is the muscle which comes from the belly of the cow. This "steak" is high on flavor, but will be tough regardless of the method which you use to cook it. Match your budget to a steak, and your steak to a cooking method, and bliss awaits you.




0

| Email this story Email this Article | Add to reading list



Reviews

About | News | Contact | Your Account | TheNextBigWriter | Self Publishing | Advertise

© 2013 TheNextBigWriter, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Terms under which this service is provided to you. Privacy Policy.