October 2, 2020

A Definitive Guide To All Your Steak Questions


Answers to Questions You’ve Always Wanted to Ask About Steak


What are the best cuts of steak to get? How do I eat a steak in fine dining restaurants? Do I absolutely have to eat steak that’s cooked medium-rare?


If the mention of steak leads you to furrow your brows, then put your worries to rest. We have compiled some commonly asked questions about steak and provided a cheat sheet just so you can enjoy the best steak that you can ever have.


Meaty Matters


There are people who would just love to savour a nice, juicy steak. However, there are others who just couldn’t seem to sink their teeth into the basics of procuring, preparing, and pleasing their palates with this popular cut of beef.


For instance, some wouldn’t know the difference between a filet mignon and a New York Strip. There are also situations where people panic at the thought of ordering or eating steak in a fine dining restaurant.


To help those who want to know more about steak, we have put together a guide that will make steak and steak-related concerns more palatable.


From choosing the best cuts to the basics of eating steaks in luxury dining situations, read on and find out simple answers to your “meaty” questions.



1. What is steak?


When the word “steak” is mentioned, people usually think of it as the meat that comes from the fleshy parts of a cow. While there are pork cuts that can be cooked as steaks, fish that can be prepared like steaks (e.g. tuna and salmon steaks), and even vegan “steak” options, we will focus on the steak that comes from a beefy carcass.


Beef steaks may or may not come with a bone. It usually comes from three prime sections cut across the muscle from the general upper region of a steer. As such, meat cuts from these areas are usually tender since the muscles there aren’t exercised as much.



2. What are the best cuts of steak?


It really depends on what you most prefer. Others like more marbling (or the streaks of fat found within lean sections of meat), while others look for ones that are leaner or with the bone-in.


Steak connoisseurs would likely recommend these cuts of beef:



The ribeye is said to be the finest among all steak cuts because of its sumptuous tenderness, and its rich beefy flavour. It is also called entrecôte, Delmonico, or Spencer steak and may come with a bone or without. One of the most favoured rib-eye meats is the Japanese Wagyu steak that features a lot of even marbling and can fetch a hefty price in some of the world’s top dining establishments.



The tenderloin is usually considered the most expensive cut because of its tenderness. This pencil-shaped muscle found within the beef short loin has lower fat content compared to ribeye steaks, so it is prone to dryness when overcooked. Also called Châteaubriand or filet mignon, it has a very fine-grained texture with a buttery and mild flavour.


→Strip Steak

Also called top loin, strip loin, Kansas City strip, or New York strip, the strip steak cut is also as impressive as the ribeye. While fine-grained in texture and also containing a good amount of marbling, it is not as tender as the tenderloin or ribeye. However, it more than makes up for it with its superb beefy flavour.



3. What’s the best beverage to pair with steak?


Red wine is the usual go-to drink for steaks. This is because the molecules called tannins in red wine melt the fat in the steak, thus bringing out the flavour of the meat.


However, for those who are not fans of the scarlet drink, other options may be beer, martini, white wine, or whiskey. Non-alcoholic drinks like club soda, cranberry, or pomegranate juice also go well with steak.



4. How do I order steak in a restaurant?


While some steak enthusiasts and chefs say that steak is best-served medium-rare, this “rule” is not really cast in stone. Feel free to order your steak any way you want as long as you feel happy and content savouring each bite.


Medium rare steaks are well-browned on the sides, the top and bottom are caramelized and dark brown in colour, while the middle is still pink with a hint of red. Those who are squeamish about seeing hints of blood on their cut off meat can order the steak to medium well or well done.



5. How do I eat steak in a restaurant?


When dining out, it is recommended that you observe proper dining etiquette. When cutting steak, hold the knife with your index finger right above the spine of the utensil. Hold down the meat with your fork and cut a bite-sized piece in a zigzag motion.  Don’t cut your steak all at once. Cut and eat it one bite at a time.


There are other etiquette rules that you should keep in mind. One faux pas that you should avoid is slathering sauce all over the steak. Most chefs would take offence while other restaurants will serve the best sauce pairing on the side. Err on the side of caution if you really want sauce on your steak. Spoon a little bit of sauce on the side of your plate and dip a piece of steak before eating it.


Stellar Steaks


While you can surely prepare steaks at home, you can skip the hassle of prepping and cooking and go straight to enjoying these savoury cuts of meat.


All you need to do is drop by the best steakhouse on your side of the globe and order the juiciest cut that you want.

With this handy guide, you have already familiarized yourself with the basics on steak and can now focus on savouring the succulent goodness of your favourite cut of beef.


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