Chef Enrico Monzon, Hy’s Steakhouse
Just because you are cooking steak at home doesn’t mean you cannot try your hand at aging it. Admittedly without the temperature and humidity controlled environment of a professional kitchen, you won’t be able to achieve the exact same results of say a good 21-day dry aging process, but you can make the most out of the beef you purchase at the grocery store. To start, Chef Enrico Monzon, of Hy’s Steakhouse, suggests looking for something with lots of marbling – streaks of fat that add tenderness and flavour.
From there you can wash off any excess blood, cover it with cheesecloth or paper towel, and leave it in the fridge overnight or for a couple of days. “Only leave it there for 2 days at most, otherwise the meat will start to go bad,” says Chef Enrico. After that, all that’s left is to cook it the way you like it. A simple seasoning of salt and pepper lets the steak speak for itself, and will help your aging efforts come through.
Check out Hy’s Only Sauce recipe here.
Chef Brendan Delaney, Modern Steak
“We can’t eat filet mignon every day, so it’s important to understand what different cuts provide in terms of tenderness and flavour,” says Chef Brendan Delaney of Modern steak. If you don’t know what you are buying or how to prepare it, you risk being disappointed in the final product.
“The Big Three” are tenderloin, striploin and rib eye. Each provides different levels of tenderness and flavor, and most importantly, needs to be cooked to a specific temperature to turn out just right. For example, rib eye should be cooked to medium to render out the fat and allow it to melt into the rest of the meat. Value cuts like flank steak can also be delicious – and are much easier on your wallet – assuming you know how to prepare them.For example, cook flank steak to medium rare, rest, and cut it against the grain to ensure maximum tenderness, rather than stringiness.
Check out Modern’s Horseradish Creama recipe here.
Chef Roy Oh – Anju
Cooking steak can be intimidating, especially if it’s a pricey cut. You don’t want to overcook it, but you don’t want it to be raw either. “If you look closely the steak will tell you how it’s doing by its blood,” says Chef Roy Oh, owner of Anju. Once it gets to medium rare, blood will start to run out. If the blood is flowing, you can be pretty confident you’ve reached medium. When things start to clear up, you know your steak is medium well, and when all the blood is gone, it’s well done.
“Patience is also a virtue when cooking steak,” Roy emphasizes. Having a hot pan, not over-flipping it, and adequately resting your steak before serving are all key players. They will help to ensure that you will have delicious, juicy steaks for dinner, or whatever meal you may be preparing them for.
One of Roy’s favourite ways of enjoying steak is very simply grilled, finished with garlic butter, Montreal steak spice, sliced and drizzled with good quality sesame oil. Why not add some Korean flare to an Albertan staple?
Check out Chef Roy’s Green Onion Salad recipe here.
Photos by Ingrid Kunzel