If you can’t cook beef, GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN! It is the easiest meat to cook because you usually don’t have to cook it much.
0. You will NOT overcook any beef EVER. If the term ‘flat brown’ comes to mind when you cook beef, never again should you insult my blog with your eyes. Stop reading now.
1. There are more than three cuts of beef. Find a good butcher or a grocery store with a good meat counter and ask for a bavette, butte, flank, or anything fun that the butcher can suggest. CAVEAT: some people that cut meat behind counters pretend to be butchers. More often than not, they’re not. Know your meat man… Or woman, if you’ve ever come across one of those. I think I have. It was hot.
2. Steaks should be cut thick.
3. A good steak should be treated with much love before it is cooked. That is to say, dab the meat’s surface with paper towel to wick away excess surface moisture; gently massage cosher salt or semi-coarse sea salt all over the meat; let stand for a minimum of 12hrs – covered and refrigerated – in order to draw out more moisture; pat dry right before cooking; SEAR (that means high heat, dry meat). If you try and sear an inadequately dried steak, a barrier of lively liquid and steam will form between your meat and pan negating any positive searing effects. If your meat is wet on the outside it will dry out on the inside (upon further heating). Bow your head in shame if your steak is anything but succulent. The aforementioned process ensures that all moisture is locked in. If done properly, your steak will be sealed after searing and glorious meat juices should spill out at first cutting.
3.1. *** If you follow Tip #3 but you are too noobian to know when your steak is ready simply by pressing it with a finger or a spoon – i.e. you have to cut into it to check its readiness – you will negate all positive seared and moisture lock effects. DO NOT cut your steak until it’s on your plate. Furthermore, if you are cooking one large steak to be portioned out to several people, be sure to serve immediately after slicing. Better yet, divide it up before cooking so that you can sear each piece properly.
4. If you can’t afford a good, reasonably aged, and full bodied bottle of red wine to accompany your beef, know that beer is the better choice. If you can afford decent red wine, Bordeauxs (especially of a 2005 vintage) or Chateaux Neufs are best, though some reasonably priced South African, Californian, Argentinian, and Australian reds are quite suitable. Otherwise, you may as well throw your carefully prepared and probably pricey piece of beef in the trash if you’re going to pair it with what is effectively cheap balsamic vinegar in a glass. That shit is for salad.
5. When cooking a beef roast of any ilk, be sure to adequately and evenly sear all sides before cooking.
6. Flank steaks should never cook more than 3 minutes per side and even that is too long.
7. You will eat at least one piece of red meat per week. Preferably more.