Maybe you have wondered how to prepare a good cut of meat – steak – so that it looks like that of a good restaurant. A few years ago I asked myself that question too and I started to investigate what has the steak of a good restaurant different from what I do at home?
“Choice” vs. “Prime” – the “prime” quality is the best you are going to get. Do not get carried away because it says “angus”. You want to choose a piece that is “prime”. Not all supermarkets sell “prime” and it is possible that the supermarket butcher himself knows nothing of quality “steaks”, and insists on saying that it is “angus”. Is not the same. If you can’t get it at the supermarket, go to a butcher. You also get them in places like La Hacienda or Costco. Costco’s come in blue packaging. I clarify that I have prepared “choice” and they also taste very good … but when I want to eat something of better quality I buy “prime” especially if I am not going to cook it at the BBQ.
In Puerto Rico the industry identifies meats in “Spanglish”, some cuts identify them in Spanish and the majority in English. You usually get bone-in Rib eye, boneless Rib eye, New York Strip, Steak (miñon) also known as “Tenderloin”, T-Bone and Sirloin. Which is the best? It depends on your taste. My favorite is the Rib eye with or without bone. For those who like “prime rib”, this is not a cut of meat, it is a way of cooking Rib eye with bone. I’m leaving out the churrasco (skirt steak), which is a more popular piece of meat that doesn’t require much explanation, like the ‘” flank steak ”, which is similar to churrasco.
The amount and distribution of fat:
When you go to choose a cut of meat you should know that more fat, well distributed, is equivalent to better flavor. With the exception of sirloin, which is the steak with the least fat, you should choose a cut that has finite white “veins” and distributed evenly throughout the piece. More “venitas” = more flavor.
Once you have chosen the meat, we will cook it. This first method requires you to use the burner and oven. Preferably an oven that reaches 500 F.
As for the cooking time, the times indicated are only a guide. For more precision use a meat thermometer:
Rare (raw) – 130-135 F
Medium Rare – 140-145 F
Medium to Medium Well – 155-160 F
Well Done – 165-170 F
I hope this information has been very useful to you, comments are welcome.