5 practical tips from our artisan butcher for preparing meat

An artisan butcher is a master in all things meat. He has the experience and the know-how to bring your meat prep to the next level. If you’re looking to impress some guests or treat your family to something extra special without complicating things too much, try these 5 practical tips for preparing meat.

1. Choosing a Choice Cut

Most people would agree, the single most important factor when choosing a cut of beef is the flavour. If you want a steak that will really blow your guests away with its rich flavour, the thing to look for in a cut is ‘marbling.’ Marbling is that streaky appearance which means the cut has some fat running through it, giving it that delicious flavour you won’t be able to get enough of.

 

Generally, rib eye is the type of cut to choose if flavour is what you want – and who wouldn’t? Well, there is another factor to keep in mind, and that is tenderness. Rib eye is not tough, but a cut from the tenderloin, like filet mignon, definitely boasts a tenderness that will not be beat. Luckily, there is a compromise that just might work for you! Try choosing a meat with a good amount of marbling to get your boost of flavour, and then check out tip #2 for some tenderizing techniques.

2. Tender & Delicious

If you’re looking at some cheaper options than filet mignon, you can definitely get away with a tougher cut by using another technique to soften your steak. Marinating is a great way to add flavour and tenderness to any cut. Simply soak the meat for at least two hours, completely covered, in an easy-to-make marinade that will add whatever flavour you want. Typically, a beef marinade should include an acidic ingredient (like wine), an oil and seasonings of your choice.

3. Heating Things Up

So what is the key to cooking an out-of-this-world juicy, mouth-watering steak? We say browning. This is the technique of searing the meat on all sides to produce a noticeably thick crust. Browning creates an incredible amount of flavour and is often the missing ingredient in homemade steaks. To brown your meat the right way, pat it dry with paper towels before letting it touch the pan, and make sure that pan is hot when they meet. The fat added to the pan should be shimmering and almost smoking before the meat is added. Finally, to avoid steaming the steak, keep it at least a quarter inch away from other pieces of meat – don’t overcrowd!

4. Are We Done Yet?

One of the biggest problems most have with preparing a steak is how to know when it’s done. The line between undercooking and overcooking can seem very fine, which is why you need the right tool to help you out. The only way to know for sure that your beef is at the perfect stage of doneness is by using an instant-read thermometer. The inside of a steak should reach 145° F/ 62.7° C  before it’s served to be considered safe.

5. Give It a Rest

Believe it or not, your steak will taste significantly better if you let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes, or 15 to 20 minutes if it’s a thicker roast. That time will give the juices a chance to redistribute throughout the meat, as the cooking process drives this flavour-filled liquid to the centre. When the juice is more evenly absorbed, much less will be lost when you cut into the steak, ensuring that every bite has the maximum amount of flavour and juiciness.

 

So there you have it – an artisan butcher’s approach to getting the most out of your meat. Enjoy your new status as master of steak preparation !

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