By now, you’ve probably realised how here at Sciacca Grill, we take our meat very seriously, and we’re pretty sure you’ll agree that if you’re craving for the best steak in Malta, our eatery is the place to be, precisely for this reason.
Perhaps the beauty of having a good quality cut of meat is the fact that it’s so versatile in the way it could be cooked. And because we don’t only like spoiling our loyal clientele when they come dine in one of our eateries, we even wanted to share with you 3 unconventional ways of cooking a juicy piece of steak.
If your goal is to have evenly cooked steaks that are thick and juicy, then this technique is worth the time and investment. The tried-and-tested, conventional technique behind starting a steak on a very hot grill is that it seals the surface and traps the juices inside the steak.
However, keep in mind that when you sear the outside of a steak, you aren’t really sealing any juices in. What you’re doing is dumping a whole lot of heat into the steak that kick-starts the cooking process. This is fine if the steak is thin or you like your steak rare because the inside gets up to temperature before the outside overcooks.
But when it’s thicker, things don’t work out quite so well. Too much heat for too long is a recipe for disaster, and when you sear the outside before moving to the hot oven, you’re raising the temperature side of that equation and removing moisture.
However, if you reverse this method you might be in for a surprisingly favourable result. Start the steak in an oven at 275 degrees (or on the cold side of the grill) for 45-60 minutes, then allow it to rest under foil for 10 minutes. Before moving to a hot grill to sear the exterior, you’re keeping the outside temperature of the meat lower while the inside heats up, which reduces moisture loss and results in a juicier steak. This reverse-sear method definitely requires a decent meat thermometer to keep track of the internal temperature.
To try something a little more sophisticated, rather than throwing meat on a hot grill, sous vide might be the thing for you. The process requires placing food in airtight bags and cooking slowly at low temperatures in a water bath.
When cooking steak the temperatures can be as low as around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. By using a vacuum-sealed bag, the meat is sealed in with its juices and any seasoning you apply has nowhere to go but into the meat.
This method entails slowly cooking the meat at a low temperature, and then finishing it on a hot grill or pan. And whether you like your steak rare, medium, or even well done, you can very easily achieve your preference every single time with a perfect sous vide.
If you want rare steak, you set the water temperature to 120 degrees, and cook for between 1 to 2 hours. If you like your steak medium, set the temperature to 135 degrees, and cook for up to 4 hours, and so on. Just tell the machine what temperature you want the inside of your steak and let it do all the work.
Once you’re ready, simply remove the meat from the bag and gently pat dry, then sear the outside in a very hot pan or on a very hot grill. Do this for no longer than 90 seconds, and make sure you turn it regularly to avoid overheating one side and further cooking the interior. It’s good to note that this method doesn’t require resting.
More often than not, this unsung cooking method is overlooked, probably because at first glance, it doesn’t appear to require any preparation at all. But that’s a fallacy. Steak tartare is a popular dish in various parts of the world, including Malta. And while a lot of people struggle with the idea of a rare or even blue steak, a completely raw one might be even more questionable. What can we say, it’s an acquired taste!
Steak tartare is not only odd for the lack of heat involved in its preparation, it also stands out due to the fact that the steak is chopped up before serving. Most of the preparation of steak tartare involves the assembly of ingredients. That said, there are a few key steps that must be taken to guarantee food safety.
Since the meat won’t be being exposed to heat on the outside, where most of the bacteria will be found, it’s important to take the time to choose a very fresh, good quality cut. Forget pre-packaged or frozen meat. Proper steak tartare starts out like as a decent steak, which is then chilled in the freezer and diced up immediately prior to serving.
Another way to ensure clean steak, is to have the butcher cut it for you right there and then. As for the rest of the ingredients, like salt, pepper, mustard, chives, egg yolks, capers, and lemon juice; these could be presented on the side of the plate to combine at their leisure.
When all’s said and done, one thing that must be acknowledged is that different cuts of meat require different cookery (or preparation) techniques as well as varying temperatures. Treating every steak in the same manner would not only be sacrilegious, but considered a disservice in the culinary world. So next time you feel the need to eat a steak, stop before you blindly throw it on the grill.
Are you still not sure about such out-of-the-box methods? Do you still support the school of thought that believes there’s nothing better than a properly grilled chunk of meat? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Book your table for your next event or celebration at Sciacca Grill, and one of our chefs will surely cook one of our prime cuts to perfection!