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What's the secret to cooking steak?
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SuperSleeper Offline

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Post: #1
Question What's the secret to cooking steak?
Has nothing to do with Sleep Apnea, but I'm wondering if I can get some help in how to cook steaks in a pan?

I picked up some "mock steak" (whatever that is) and marinated it 4 hours in Italian salad dressing per a recipe, seared each side in a small amount of hot vegetable oil in a hot thick steel pan, then cooked for 6 minutes on each side.

It was tough as nails.... what did I do wrong? Sad

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02-27-2014 12:02 AM
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zonk Offline

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Post: #2
RE: What's the secret to cooking steak?
Mock steak known as chuck steak around here, not suitable for pan frying. Better suited for slow cooking/stewing with some vegetable and stock, become so flavorsome and much tastier than more expensive cuts of meat

From Jamie Oliver ... Jools’s (his wife) favourite beef stew
Ingredients
olive oil
1 knob butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 handful fresh sage leaves
800 g quality stewing steak or beef skirt, cut into 5cm pieces
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
flour, to dust
2 parsnips, peeled and quartered
4 carrots, peeled and halved
½ butternut squash, halved, deseeded and roughly diced
1 handful Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and halved, optional
500 g small potatoes
2 tablespoons tomato purée
½ bottle red wine
285 ml organic beef or vegetable stock
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 handful rosemary, leaves picked
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped

Method
Jools goes mad for this stew in the colder months of the year, and the kids love it too. It's a straightforward beef stew to which all sorts of root veg can be added. I really like making it with squash and Jerusalem artichokes, which partly cook into the sauce, making it really sumptuous with an unusual and wonderful flavour. The great thing about this stew is that it gets put together very quickly, and this is partly to do with the fact that no time is spent browning the meat. Even though this goes against all my training, I experimented with two batches of meat – I browned one and put the other straight into the pot. The latter turned out to be the sweeter and cleaner-tasting, so I've stopped browning the meat for most of my stews these days.

Preheat the oven to 160ºC/300ºF/gas 2. Put a little oil and your knob of butter into an appropriately sized pot or casserole pan. Add your onion and all the sage leaves and fry for 3 or 4 minutes. Toss the meat in a little seasoned flour, then add it to the pan with all the vegetables, the tomato purée, wine and stock, and gently stir together.

Season generously with freshly ground black pepper and just a little salt. Bring to the boil, place a lid on top, then cook in the preheated oven until the meat is tender. Sometimes this takes 3 hours, sometimes 4 – it depends on what cut of meat you're using and how fresh it is. The only way to test is to mash up a piece of meat and if it falls apart easily it's ready. Once it's cooked, you can turn the oven down to about 110°C/225°F/gas ¼ and just hold it there until you're ready to eat.

The best way to serve this is by ladling big spoonfuls into bowls, accompanied by a glass of French red wine and some really fresh, warmed bread. Mix the lemon zest, chopped rosemary and garlic together and sprinkle over the stew before eating. Just the smallest amount will make a world of difference – as soon as it hits the hot stew it will release an amazing fragrance.
02-27-2014 01:31 AM
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SuperSleeper Offline

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Post: #3
RE: What's the secret to cooking steak?
Ah, okay... so it was the same as chuck steak. That was probably what went wrong.

Okay. So what if I want to pan fry a good quality steak... what kind of steak is best for that and how would you do it?

I'm a steak ignoramus. Cool

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02-27-2014 08:38 AM
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Don in Austin Offline

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Post: #4
RE: What's the secret to cooking steak?
(02-27-2014 08:38 AM)SuperSleeper Wrote:  Ah, okay... so it was the same as chuck steak. That was probably what went wrong.

Okay. So what if I want to pan fry a good quality steak... what kind of steak is best for that and how would you do it?

I'm a steak ignoramus. Cool
Cast iron pan with ribs to produce pseudo grill marks. No salad dressing or marinade needed. Sprinkle a little salt on the pan and get smoking hot. Then let it get even hotter. If steaks are real thick or you like yours relatively well down back off heat and cover.

You need a good vent hood over your stove or you will probably set off the smoke alarm.

I do Costco tri-tip steaks for $6.99/lb this way and they are very tender and flavorful with nice char lines.

Don in Austin
02-27-2014 09:12 AM
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JohnNJ Offline

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Post: #5
RE: What's the secret to cooking steak?
The biggest mistake people make when cooking / grilling any beef, chicken, pork, etc. is to over cook it. Don't poke holes in anything because you will lose the juices. Searing isn't necessary but always start hot and reduce heat after a minute or two. Always remove the meat from the heat BEFORE it is cooked to your liking. Meat continues to cook after removed from the heat source so a steak that looks like it's cooked medium on the grill will become well done on the plate.
02-27-2014 09:47 AM
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herbm Offline

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Post: #6
RE: What's the secret to cooking steak?
> What did I do wrong?

You picked up "Mock Stick" instead of "Prime Ribeye".

Also you might use a George Foreman grill as that silly thing works GREAT.

Sweet Dreams,

HerbM
Sleep study AHI: 49 RDI: 60 -- APAP 10-11 w/AHI: 1.5 avg for 7-days (up due likely to hip replacement recovery)

"We can all breathe together or we will all suffocate alone."
02-27-2014 03:59 PM
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grumpycat Offline

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Post: #7
RE: What's the secret to cooking steak?
Start with a steak one to one and one-half inches thick and bring it to room temperature. Turn your oven to 500 degrees and put a rack on the lowest position. Once oven hits 500, place a cast iron skillet on a burner (or electric burner coil) turned to its highest position and allow to get REALLY hot (4-5 minutes). Sprinkle kosher salt on the surface of the skillet and put the steak in. Immediately put the skillet onto the oven bottom rack. Turn the steak over after 3 minutes or so, adding any seasoning and cook for another 3 minutes (a little longer if the steak is on the thick side). Remove from oven and enjoy! (Make sure your exhaust fan is turned on as this process produces smoke.)
02-27-2014 10:29 PM
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SuperSleeper Offline

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Post: #8
RE: What's the secret to cooking steak?
Thanks everyone... will put all this advice to good use this weekend!

Licklips

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02-27-2014 10:35 PM
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Don in Austin Offline

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Post: #9
RE: What's the secret to cooking steak?
(02-27-2014 10:29 PM)grumpycat Wrote:  Start with a steak one to one and one-half inches thick and bring it to room temperature. Turn your oven to 500 degrees and put a rack on the lowest position. Once oven hits 500, place a cast iron skillet on a burner (or electric burner coil) turned to its highest position and allow to get REALLY hot (4-5 minutes). Sprinkle kosher salt on the surface of the skillet and put the steak in. Immediately put the skillet onto the oven bottom rack. Turn the steak over after 3 minutes or so, adding any seasoning and cook for another 3 minutes (a little longer if the steak is on the thick side). Remove from oven and enjoy! (Make sure your exhaust fan is turned on as this process produces smoke.)

That sounds good. I think my wife has done just that with good results. I would add that a skillet with a ribbed surface is good and keeps the steak out of the rendered grease while producing faux grill marks.

Paradoxically, if using less than ideal cuts like chuck there are two ways to minimize toughness. Long, slow cooking such as brazing or stewing works, but next best is a short blast of really high heat. In between is the worst.

Don in Austin
02-27-2014 11:15 PM
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PollCat Offline
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Post: #10
RE: What's the secret to cooking steak?
The only way to cook steak is on a (outside) grill! I can't imagine trying to cook one in the house; I've been known to grill steaks in the middle of winter while the snow was falling! :grin:
02-28-2014 09:02 AM
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