The easiest way to ruin a good steak is to cook it poorly. Many backyard BBQ chefs struggle with steak, whether it’s cooking it for too long or squishing it with a flipper to ooze out all the flavourful, fatty juices.
If you’re spending a lot of money and time selecting the centrepiece for your summer meal, why not pick up some pro tips on how to make a perfect steak every time? We asked Bala Kumanan, Corporate Chef at Hy’s Steakhouse, to walk us through the whole process step by step.
If you’ve been to a Hy’s location, then you know they take steak seriously. Serving Canadian Prime beef from cattle raised on a mixture of barley-based feed and prairie grass, each steak is cut in house and aged for a minimum of 28 days. Hy’s is also working with the Black Apron Beef Company as the exclusive restaurant to offer hand-selected, bone-in rib steaks from certified Angus cattle raised without antibiotics, steroids or added hormones.
The perfect steak begins with the beef you select from your local butcher. Look for a cut that shows abundant and evenly distributed marbling. These white lines are animal fat, and their presence means you’ve got a lot of potential for a delicious steak.
Chef Kumanan also suggests that you check your meat to make sure it’s soft and even. This is a sign of tenderness you can carry through the cooking process – that is, if you follow these next steps carefully.
You’ve returned home from the butcher with your meat. You’re proud of your selection – let’s say it’s a 10-ounce filet or a 12-ounce New York strip steak. Just throw it in a hot pan with some butter and it’s done, right? Not quite.
Don’t rush right into cooking, says Chef Kumanan. Find a clean surface at room temperature and lay out the meat to rest for three to five minutes. Why? This allows it to soften and settle, just in case it’s had a rough journey to get to your kitchen or backyard patio.
While this is happening, check that your barbecue is at 500 degrees or that your stove/indoor grill is set at the highest heat safely possible. Whether you’re cooking inside or outdoors, your cooking surface should be clean and not sticky. Wipe it with a bit of oil, but not so much that you make it wet.
Heavy seasoning can often overwhelm the natural flavours of great beef. When you’re making a high-quality steak at home, all you need is some kosher salt and cracked black pepper. It’s important that you use salt with large grains, as your raw meat will just absorb fine table salt. Also, kosher salt will give your steak a nice crust and enhance the eating experience.
Brush each side of the meat with a bit of canola oil (not butter, as this will burn or blacken the steak) and take it over to your cooking surface. Now you’re ready to cook!
Before your meat hits the grill or pan, consider how you well you want your meat done. This is a personal preference and there’s no wrong answer. Somehow, we’ve got the idea that true beef connoisseurs will only deign to eat a rare steak. Cook it how you like it – and enjoy!
- Rare: Sear each side for three minutes on the highest heat. That’s it.
- Medium-rare: Turn the heat to medium and add two minutes per side. That means a total of five minutes per side.
- Medium: Add another two minutes per side for a total of seven minutes per side.
- Well done: Turn heat to low and cook for seven minutes per side, for a total of 10 minutes per side.
Now that you’ve got the perfect steak, you’ll need a side dish to go with it. Hy’s Steakhouse makes a killer Caesar salad that’s easy to make at home too. All you need is some quality ingredients and a little time.
- 2 handfuls of Romaine lettuce
- 1/2 cup of croutons
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1/2 tsp minced anchovies
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp Tabasco
- 1/2 tsp Hy’s seasoning salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh crushed black pepper
- 1/4 Dijon mustard
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 tbsp Canola oil
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large mixing bowl, combine garlic, anchovies, seasoning salt and black pepper. Mix thoroughly with back of salad spoon until a paste forms.
- Add Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, egg yolk and Tabasco to bowl. Mix well.
- Add red wine vinegar.
- Slowly add Canola oil, stirring mixture continuously until it thickens slightly.
- Add lemon juice and mix well.
- Add lettuce and toss until all leaves are coated with dressing.
- Add half of the Parmesan cheese, then toss again until cheese sticks to dressing on leaves.
- Add croutons and lightly toss.
- Divide salad onto plates and finish with sprinkling the rest of cheese on top.
- Add more black pepper to taste, if desired.
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