hen it comes right down to it, there’s very little in the culinary world as simple and delicious as a well-made steak. With nothing added except a little salt and pepper, a great steak can provide the kind of full-flavored, richly textured melt-in-the-mouth moments that it’s hard to match with anything else.
However, as simple as it looks, there’s more than meets the eye to get a great steak right, and if you’re not careful, even the best cut can end up a tough, rubbery exercise in chewing to be endured. Let’s look at how to get the cooking process right with perhaps the best steak cut of all, ribeye, to ensure your serving sizzling, juicy prime cuts every single time.
Why Choose Rib-Eye?
There’s a whole host of different cuts of beef out there, from sirloin to porterhouse and many more. The highest quality cuts of meat come from the top of the cow, around the backbone.
This is because the muscles here typically get used less over the course of the cow’s lifetime, and therefore are more tender and flavorsome to eat. This is compared to cuts from around the legs and shoulders where the meat is much tougher, and usually, this grade of meat goes into mince and other ground beef products.
Of the premium cuts, many have their strengths and weakness as far as flavor, texture and fat content go. However, for our money, there really is no more delicious option to pick than the ribeye. Taken from the rib section of the animal, ribeye (also known as entrecote and Scotch fillet) is the most flavorsome of all steak cuts.
It’s really a faultless cut of meat, as it manages to maintain a high degree of tenderness as well. Finally, rounding off the flavor profile is the delicate marbling of fat. That is to say, the perfect amount of fat to complement the flavor of the meat, but not such large collected deposits to make for a greasy cut or overpower the steak itself.
So, once you’ve gotten your hands on some prime cuts of ribeye steak, it’s time to move on to cooking preparation.
Preparing Your Ribeye Steak
The whole idea of preparing great steak is to keep it simple. If your meat is of sufficient quality, the flavor will speak for itself. That means that preparing a steak should be just as straightforward as cooking it.
There is one golden rule, however: make sure that your steak is at room temperature before cooking. This way you can be sure the muscle fibres in the steak are nice and loose, helping both to maintain texture and to ensure that heat is absorbed evenly throughout the cooking process.
Taking your steak out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking should ensure your ribeye is sufficiently warmed up, but be sure to check yourself. Now, when it comes to seasoning, you want to keep things simple. Some crush sea salt and roughly cracked black pepper should be all you need for the perfect steak.
Lightly season both sides of the steak, and rub the meat around the chopping board slightly to ensure the seasoning gets pressed into the flesh. With that taken care of, you can fire up the hob and get down to cooking.
Readying the Pan
For the cooking itself, get a sturdy, heavy-bottomed frying pan or griddle, that will be able to hold a steady, even heat throughout cooking. Get the pan nice and hot, and add some good quality vegetable oil.
You may be tempted to use a fancier type like olive oil, but unfortunately, the smoking point is much too low for flash frying at high temperatures. Now, make sure the pan is very hot before adding the steak. You want the steak to start sizzling immediately as it comes in contact pan.
This is because it helps for a more controlled cooking process that keeps the tasty juices sealed in. It’s also important because adding the meat to an oiled pan that’s not hot enough means the meat will absorb the oil and toughen up during cooking where you want it to retain its juicy melt-in-the-mouth quality.
Cooking the Steak
Now it’s time to cook your steak, depending on your preference:
- Rare (1 – 2 minutes): rare is the preference for many foodies and meat lovers. The steak stays bloody throughout most of itself, save for the searing on the surface of each side. This cooking typically retains all the juices, but for some people, it can be a little off-putting. Turn once halfway during cooking.
- Medium rare to medium (2 – 3 minutes): this style gives people the best of both worlds, with a cooked exterior that still retains a juicy, bloody center. If rare is too bloody but you still want to sample the chewy, flesh texture then this is a good choice. Turn one or two times while cooking.
- Well done (4-5 minutes): this should leave your steak cooked through right down to the center. This is popular for people worried about bacteria surviving the cooking processes for rawer steak (although this shouldn’t be a problem with good quality meat before it’s use-by date). If the ribeye is good quality then you’ll still have a delicious steak on your hands, just make sure not to dry the steak out by leaving it in the pan too long. Turn roughly once every minute.
There’s no right or wrong way to cook a steak, although a lot of people professionally involved in the restaurant world tend to go for rare. If you’re nervous about eating rare steak, you can always start with the medium, then go for medium rare and work up to cooking rare steak gradually.
When the steak is in the pan, you can add some extra herbs or spices if your own personal preferences call for it. Crushed garlic cloves and some thyme work well but, in all honesty, salt and pepper really is all you need for the perfect steak.
After Your Steak is Cooked
Once your steaks are perfectly done to your desired degree, take them from the pan and leave them to sit for a couple of minutes, preferably on a wire rack. Try to avoid leaving your steak on a plate, as leaving to to stew in its own fat and juices can marr the final flavour slightly and impact the integrity of the texture.
Then, serve with the sides of your choice, and dive into the incredible flavour profile offered by ribeye steak. The art of cooking a steak perfectly can take a little time to master before you get it just the way your palette, but learning to get it right is just a great excuse to eat more ribeye as much as anything else.
About the author: William Benetton is a professional freelance writer. He loves to travel around our huge world, also he is a big fan of sport. Also, this guy loves to create informative websites/blogs, you can check some of his best works.