True protagonist of the grilled, protein dish par excellence, the beef steak it is a large slice of meat attached to a bone, cut from the fine parts of an animal's back. It is generally preferred to cook beef steaks, but also pork, horse and even tuna they can offer pieces of meat up to this cut. The most famous remains Florentine steak, but there are many other secrets to discover on this preparation. Here are the best ways to cook the steak.
Because it is called steak and what is meant by Florentine steak
Second Pellegrino Artusi the word beef steak owes its name to the evolution of the English expression beef steak what does it mean beef rib. The steak is nothing but one chop to which his bone is left. It must be roughly a finger. It can be of beef, veal, but also of horse, pig, tuna and salmon (in this case, without bone).
In his Science in the kitchen and the art of eating well, Artusi explains that still in the first decades of the twentieth century the steak was prevalently prevalent in Tuscany, known as Florentine, why "in many provinces, almost exclusively old and working animals are slaughtered", writes the gastronomist, in those cases he used only the fillet steak as a serving cut, while they called steak "a wheel of the same cooked in wire rack", that is to the embers.
Beefsteak with or without bone
There beef steak can have thebone, but also be deprived of it. This term refers to meat that is minced from the loin and is sold with or without bone. In the second case it can still be called steak for the cut of origin, but it would be more correct to call it chop.
Which cut of meat to choose
If you want to cook a good steak, we begin by distinguishing between the various cuts among which we can choose. Let's start by saying that one rib and a Florentine are not the same thing. Although both are obtained from the loin (muscle mass that covers the back of the animal, where the meat is interspersed with ribs), what is cut from this part of the body gives rise to different steaks.
from front of the loin are obtained steaks without fillet: these will be called ribs with bone. from rear we will get the steaks with fillet and sirloin, that is the Florentine classics. So what makes the difference is the presence of the fillet, but not only.
There Florentine steak it also has a T-shaped bone, which in the Anglo-Saxon countries gave rise to the name of T-bone steak: it is about half vertebra left attached to the meat. If the fillet part is reduced, the T-Bone becomes Porterhouse steak. The bone of the rib is larger, but does not have the same shape as that of the Florentine.
Pay attention to the fat: buy a steak that has a thick white vein, deta also moire. Only the best meats are covered by this lattice, which will give you an exceptional result in cooking, enriching the meat with a unique taste.
From the sirloinby removing the bone, you get the right meat for one cut: it should be cooked whole on the grill and then cut into strips before being served. Another good piece to eat is the chump steak: it is obtained from the homonymous piece, between the loin and the leg. Savory roast beef, braised and stewed are also obtained from the chump.
How to cook it best in the pan
Not everyone has a barbecue at home, so – in the absence of plate or soapstone – touch fold up Pans. But be careful: do not use non-stick, but only those made of cast iron or metal. In fact these are the perfect materials to trigger the Maillard reaction and create the perfect crust around the meat. Make sure the pan is hot and keep the heat high at the beginning and medium during cooking, to prevent the meat from burning quickly.
How to cook it best on the grill or on the plate
For cook the grilled Florentine steak first of all meat must be flavored. You will need two sprigs of rosemary and two peeled garlic cloves: add everything to some crushed pepper grain. Sprinkle the meat with these aromas and spray it with oil: let it rest for at least half an hour.
At the time of cooking, the temperature of the steak must be around 30 ° C: to raise the temperature, use a cake dome to protect the meat. Now heat the cast iron or soapstone plate well – the grill must be glowing – and cook the Florentine for 3-4 minutes on each side over high heat.
In the absence of the barbecue, iron and cast iron they are the best materials to rely on for cooking with fire. This way you will get the famous one Maillard reaction, which causes the meat to brown on the surface, remaining tender inside and taking its typical flavor. For this to happen, the temperature of the pan must reach at least 140 degrees. The reaction in fact occurs only at high temperatures, and put the ribs on the fire prematurely can mean compromising the cooking.
Can it be baked?
Cook the steak in the oven it is a fashion that has been affirming itself in recent times. Thanks to the pitmaster Gianfranco Lo Cascio, even in Italy we start talking about reverse searing and gives the meat a strong external crunchiness and an excellent internal juiciness.
Take the Florentine steak and put it in the oven at 45 ° C for about 60-90 minutes: to know if you have completed this step, measure the internal temperature of the piece. It must have reached 45 ° C. Eye to the color of the meat: it must not become gray. The purpose of this passage in the oven is to make the meat is softened inside.
After passing in the oven, take out the meat and dry it with some blotting paper, brush with extra-virgin olive oil and place it on a hot grill for a few minutes per side. To get a blood steak, remove the meat from the grill when the inside temperature is 55 ° C.
As you understand the degree of cooking
THE cooking times they are essential when talking about steaks: just one minute escaped count can overturn the final result. For a medium cost, about 4 cm high, if cooked on the grill, will be enough for 3 to 5 minutes per side. According to the famous butcher Dario Cecchini it starts by putting the steak standing, so that the meat inside is warm and not cold. The heat penetrates through the bone, propagating on the sides, and the juices are distributed. Then it goes to cooking the sides.
The classic question that is asked to the restaurant when ordering a steak is that of the desired degree of cooking: rare, medium or well cooked? The criterion for determining the exact execution of the cooking is the measurement of the temperature. For a blood cooking, the temperature measured should be around 50 degrees, around 60 if you love medium cooking, 70 degrees for the "well cooked" option.
When it is better to salt the steak
Another long-standing question about the cooking of the steak, concerns its main seasoning: the salt. When is it better to salt the steak? Before, after or during cooking? Here the opinions are discordant. According to the "king of the grid" Luca Bini the salt should be added in small quantities only after cooking in order to make beef meat tasty. In this way the juiciness of the steak is kept intact. If you add too much salt, you risk making the meat dry and not very soft at the time of tasting.
But salt can also be added before, only in small doses. It is not true that it completely dehydrates meat – it would take a mountain! – furthermore, the small crystals automatically eliminate any bacteria present on the raw material. If you exaggerate, you could get a hard, dry and stringy meat.
Because it becomes hard
It can happen that one happens in the pot tough steak, the classic "shoe sole", even if tall and with a bone attached. What happened? The cut purchased may not be the best. Maybe he does not have the moire, that internal fat that softens the meat, or the animal may be older than permitted by the rules of good cooking.
Also breeding he plays his part. In fact, the more the animal moves, the greater the hardness of the meat. For this the fillet steak it is the softer cut, because it is a muscle that works very little. Also there frollatura can change the consistency of the meat: for this served by a butcher who follows the most appropriate criteria for this operation.
During cooking, the proteins of the steak coagulate and lose water: if you cook your piece of meat for a long time, it could then become hard and dry. The low temperature cooking help: when we act on meat over 100 °, the raw material loses water too quickly, while with lower heat, the meat is softened gradually, retaining its softness.
Because it makes water during cooking
Pay attention to before cooking the steak dry the meat cut well: water and humidity are the enemies of perfect cooking and do not allow to reach the Maillard reaction. Dab the steak with some absorbent paper. But it is much worse if the water manifests itself during cooking: these liquids could damage the taste of the meat, especially if you are cooking it in a pan (strictly of cast iron) or on the plate.
The best regional recipes
Between meat seconds, the steak is one of the most popular dishes in the menus of all regions, each with its variants. If we are sure that the Florentine steak is only to be grilled and that this is the most common recipe in the whole boot, we discover which regional variations are applied to this cut of meat.
TO Modena for example, the steak does not even go on the grill, but is used as a basic meat cut for the steak steak tartare. In Piedmont few know the secret of steak in carpione, a marinade obtained by mincing sage or mint, and garlic, then seasoning the meat with vinegar and white wine. This marinade is known in the South as scapece or saor in Veneto. In Umbria we cook the cured steak, without bone and dressed with a very aromatic sauce.