Steak's Up: Your Mouthwatering Guide to Steaks

Steaks

Steak--- when we hear this word, one of the main things we usually think of is the taste. Who doesn’t love steak, anyway? It is so mouthwatering, delicious, succulent, tender, juicy… all the possible things you can love in a food are in this single slab of meat!

Wouldn’t it be nice to know more about steaks? Don’t you wish you know which specific cut of steak to order in a restaurant? Would you care to dig deeper and discover more flavorful facts about steaks?

Fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy steak ride.

A Meat Named Steak

Steak Defined

Generally speaking, the term “steak”--- which came from the words “steik” (mid-15th century Scandinavian), “stickna” (Middle English), and “steikja” (Old Norse)--- may refer to various kinds of steaks, such as fish steak, pork steak, or even vegetarian steak. However, when not specifically stated, this term automatically means beef steak.

A steak, most especially beef, is a tender, lean cut of meat which is perpendicularly sliced to the muscle fibers, which sometimes includes a bone. A great steak is usually cooked by grilling, though it can also be broiled, pan-fried, or cooked in an open fire. Once ordered, steaks can be enjoyed in various ways--- rare, well done… any way you wish!

Furthermore, a boomerang is usually constructed as a flat aero foil. Nowadays, boomerangs are made from plastic or thin aircraft plywood, but back then, they were crafted from wood or bones.

Steak Cuts

A cow, the glorious animal from which beef steaks are made of, can be cut in different areas--- each part is designated with its own flavor and tenderness. However, there are only four steak cuts which are most preferred by steak lovers:

Tenderloin

Tenderloin

Also known as filet mignon, the tenderloin is the most expensive cut of steak. It is a boneless slab of meat which comes directly from sirloin and short loin. Because of its lean quality and small shape, it is usually cut thicker than other types of steaks. In addition, tenderloin cuts, however pricey they may be, are not the most flavorful of all the cuts. This is why they are usually cooked with bacon strips wrapped around them.

T-Bone

T-Bone

A T-bone cut usually has a .5” tenderloin portion, and, as the name suggests, a T-shaped bone in it. Also called Porterhouse, this type of steak cut has a hefty amount of fat marbling (rich in flavor) and comes directly from the cross section of a short loin that is not filleted. Because of its generous marbling, a T-bone cut is usually swarming with great flavors, in addition to its tenderness and juiciness.

New York Strip

new-york-strip

A New York Strip cut--- also called Kansas City strip, Manhattan, top sirloin, or just strip--- comes from the short loin behind the ribs, and is usually boneless. This type of steak cut is not gifted with many fat marbling like the T-bone, but it has a fat on one edge, which is guaranteed to give tasters the flavor they deserve. New York strips are juicy and tender too, but not as much as the previously mentioned cuts.

Ribeye

Ribeye

Also called Entrecôte or Scotch fillet, ribeye cuts come from the upper ribcage of the cow, and are sold either boneless or bone in. Like the T-bone, it also has a generous amount of fat marbling, as well as large pockets of fat throughout the meat, which guarantees a very beefy and flavorful steak experience.

Other Steak Cuts

Aside from the main four cuts mentioned above, the following can also be ordered if you want a different take on your steak:

How Do You Like Your Steak?

Isn’t this a common question when you’re ordering steak? Instead of just ordering medium rare all the time, know the meaning of all doneness levels and discover what’s right for you:

Blue

Blue Steak

If you want your steak blue, you should expect a warm, dark-colored steak (almost purple). A blue steak will feel spongy with no resistance at all. For a 3.5-centimeter thick fillet steak, cooking time should be at least 1 ½ minutes on each side. For a 2-centimeter thick sirloin steak, cook each side for 1 minute each.

Rare

Rare

A rare steak order must be dark red in color, spongy, and with little resistance. It should also have some juice flowing from it (the juicy goodness). For a 3.5-centimeter thick fillet steak, cook each side for about 2 ¼ minutes, while 1 ½ minutes for a 2-centimeter thick sirloin steak.

Medium-rare

Medium-rare

Medium-rare steaks tend to have a pinker complexion. They are also soft and a bit springy. To cook a medium-rare 3.5-centimeter thick fillet steak, spend 3 ¼ minutes on each side, while for a 2-centimeter thick sirloin steak, cook each side for about 2 minutes.

Medium

Medium

Medium steaks have a middle part that’s pale pink and almost no juice flowing. Because it’s almost cooked, it will feel firm yet still springy. Cook a medium 3.5-centimeter thick fillet steak by spending about 4 ½ minutes on each side, while for a 2-centimeter thick sirloin steak, it’s best to cook each side for 2 ¼ minutes.

Well-done

Well Done Steak

Well-done steaks are cooked thoroughly--- only traces of pink color can be seen. It is still soft and springy, but not as raw as the others. To cook a well-done steak (regardless of the cut and thickness), cook each side for about 4-5 minutes.

Other Kinds Of Steak

Beef cuts aren’t the only kinds of meat that you can turn into a tender and mouthwatering steak. Here are your other options:

Chicken

chicken steak

Chicken steak? Yes! For a crispy yet tender meal, you can opt for a chicken fried steak, which is a breaded cutlet with a piece of tenderized cube steak that is seasoned, coated, and pan-fried to perfection.

Hamburger

Hamburger Steak

Minced beef can also be transformed into something new: a hamburg steak. The Salisbury steak, which is similar to the hamburger, also belongs in this category.

Fish

Fish Steak

For fish lovers, a soft serving of fish steak is the perfect substitute for the usual beef steak. Some of the fishes that can be cooked into steak are halibut, tuna, swordfish, and salmon.

Pork

Pork Steak

Pork steak is also a popular choice for people who fancy going out for a juicy steak. Pork cuts that are used for steaks are usually from the shoulder, loin, or leg of the pig. Some of the examples of great pork steaks are gammon steaks and ham steaks.

Vegetables

Vegetable Steak

Vegetables for steak? Yes, vegetarians are in for a treat: sliced vegetables such as Portobello mushrooms, cauliflower, eggplant, and watermelon can be cooked into steaks and enjoyed like a real meaty one. Same as the others, they are also grilled or pan-fried.

Photo sources:
http://www.gussteakandpizza.com/our-team/
http://blog.wineguppy.com/food-wine-pairings/pairing-wine-with-steak/
http://www.janssushibar.com/random-tuesday-beef-geekery/
http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/bacteria-meat-causing-risk
http://www.marxfoods.com/Grassfed-Beef-Strip-Steaks
http://www.topratedsteakhouses.com/what-is-a-ribeye-steak/
http://www.petersmeats.com.au/primary.asp?id=12
http://www.colinmcnulty.com/blog/2007/06/05/how-to-cook-a-blue-steak/
http://reluctanthousedad.com/2013/02/24/rare-breeds-steak-challenge-2-belted-galloway/
http://www.mygrillfriend.com/when-it-comes-to-steak-timing-is-everything/
http://kennedyskarne.com/blog/rare-medium-well-or-well-done-/
http://www.sodahead.com/living/how-do-you-like-your-steak-cooked/question-3457117/?link=ibaf&q=&imgurl=http://chefandserve.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Pan_Broiled_Steak-616x340.jpg
http://www.omahasteaks.com/recipe/chicken-fried-steak
http://ths.gardenweb.com/discussions/2500614/ann-ts-salisbury-steak-recipe
http://food-hacks.wonderhowto.com/how-to/cook-frozen-steak-fish-without-defrosting-them-first-0156822/
http://realfood.tesco.com/recipes/orange-and-mustard-pork-with-squash-parsnips-and-shallots.html
http://www.lehighvalleystyle.com/Food/Recipes/index.php/name/Marinated-Watermelon-Steak-with-Pink-Peppercorn-Rub/record/2849/