When we want to cook meat, we always strive to make it tender and juicy. It would be a pity if we bought a quality steak, prepared a great garnish or sauce for it,and in the end all our efforts failed, because the meat becomes tough and difficult to chew.
Here are some tips on how to make the perfect steak, that is not only delicious but also juicy and tender.
First - the type of meat is important, whether it is beef, pork or another more exotic type and to comply with the specific requirements for the cooking time of each type. Let's focus on the most commonly prepared steaks - beef and pork. It is also important which part of the animal the meat is from, as well as how it is cut.
To choose the perfect steak, do not hesitate to seek advice from the seller in the butcher's shop or the specialized stand for this.
Once you have a quality product, you should prepare it and then cook it properly.
Usually a steak is cooked in a pan or a grill. Whether you use pork or beef, one of the best and classic tricks is to pound it with a special meat hammer. There are other appliances, which do a great job and the best thing is that this way we get the desired effect without affecting the taste of the meat in any way, as we would if using marinades.
Another trick you can use is to seek help from milk. Soaking tough meats in milk or yoghurt for a few hours contributes to a great end result. The same goes for some other acids such as vinegar, citrus juices or alcohol. They soften mostly the outer layer and you should keep in mind that they will change the taste of your steak to some extent.
Not a very popular, but good trick is to keep the meat for 15 minutes in water with starch. For 500 grams of meat - 2 cups of water with a tablespoon of starch dissolved in it. This culinary trick can also be applied to meats that we will not be baked, but will be boiled or stewed.
Kiwi, papaya and pineapple fruit purees are also a powerful meat softener, because they contain the enzyme bromelain, which has the ability to break down muscle fibers and this of course softens the meat.
Another trick for a juicy steak is to use baking soda. It breaks down the proteins, amino acid bonds of any type of meat, which makes it more tender.
There are two ways to apply it:
The soda is dissolved in water, the steak is spread with it and left in the refrigerator for 2 hours. It can also be directly sprinkled with baking soda and left for 3 hours.
Another natural options is undoubtedly sugar. It is more suitable for pork.
It is important, that whatever we grease or soak our steak with, before cooking it we need to dry it and clean it well.
We have come to the most important trick and it is related to salt.
Always add salt to your steak before serving it or in the last seconds of cooking and never add salt at the beginning. Salt extracts juices from food and makes meat dry and tough.
If you are cooking on a grill or pan, make sure the temperature is high before adding the steak to it. This will seal it and the juices will remain in the meat.
If the steak you choose is too thick and you are worried that it will remain raw, make light cuts on the surface with a sharp knife without ruining the meat itself. This way, the temperature will reach further into it.
Another important thing is to take it out of the fridge 30 minutes earlier. Very cold meat in contact with high heat will cook the steak only on the surface and will remain raw on the inside.
In the process of baking/sealing, do not turn the steak several times. When it has obtained the desired color on one side, only then turn it only once to bake on the other side.
Once the meat is ready, be sure to let it rest for 7-8 minutes before cutting it.