Dec 8, 2010

Know Your Steak!

Degree of cooking

The amount of time a steak is cooked is based upon personal preference; shorter cooking times retain more juice, whereas longer steak cooking times result in drier, tougher meat but reduce concerns about disease. A vocabulary has evolved to describe the degree to which a steak is cooked. The following terms are in order from least cooked to most cooked:
  • Raw — Uncooked. Used in dishes like steak tartareCarpacciogored goredtiger meat and kitfo.
  • Seared, Blue rare or very rare — Cooked very quickly; the outside is seared, but the inside is usually cool and barely cooked. The steak will be red on the inside and barely warmed. Sometimes asked for as "blood rare" or "bloody as hell". In the United States, this is also sometimes referred to as 'Black and Blue' or 'Pittsburgh Rare'. It is common for chefs to place the steak in an oven to warm the inside of the steak. This method generally means 'blue' steaks take longer to cook than any other degrees.
  • Rare — (52 °C [125 °F] core temperature) The outside is gray-brown, and the middle of the steak is red and slightly warm.
  • Medium rare — (55 °C [130 °F] core temperature) The steak will have a fully red, warm center. This is the standard degree of cooking at most steakhouses, unless specified otherwise.
  • Medium — (60 °C [140 °F] core temperature) The middle of the steak is hot and red with pink surrounding the center. The outside is gray-brown.
  • Medium well done — (65 °C [150 °F] core temperature) The meat is light pink surrounding the center.
  • Well done — (71 °C [160 °F] and above core temperature) The meat is gray-brown throughout and slightly charred.
  • Overcook — (much more than 71 °C [160 °F] core temperature) The meat is dark throughout and slightly bitter.
A style exists in some parts of North America called "Chicago". A Chicago-style steak is cooked to the desired level and then quickly charred. The diner orders it by asking for the style followed by the doneness (e.g. "Chicago-style rare"). A steak ordered "Pittsburgh rare" is rare or very rare on the inside and charred on the outside. In Pittsburgh, this style is referred to as "black and blue" (black, i.e. sooty on the outside, Blue rare on the inside).[1]

Chateaubriand steak

Usually served for two, center cut from the large end of the tenderloin. Sometimes it's extra thick top sirloin.

Chuck steak

A cut from neck to the ribs.

Cube steak

A cut of meat, usually top round, tenderized by fierce pounding with a mallet or mechanical blades.

Filet Mignon

A cut from the small end of the tenderloin; the most tender and usually the most expensive cut by weight.

Flap steak

A cut from the bottom sirloin.

Flank steak

From the underside. Not as tender as steaks cut from the rib or loin.

Flat iron steak

A cut from under the shoulder blade.

Hanger steak or (French) onglet

A steak from near the center of the diaphragm. Flavorful, and very tender towards the edges, but sinewy in the middle. Often called the butcher's tenderloin or hanging tender.

Popeseye steak

Thinly sliced rump steak, originating in Scotland and available in the UK.

Rib eye steak, also known as Scotch fillet
A rib steak consisting of the longissimus muscle and the spinalis or cap. This comes from the primal rib used to make prime rib which is typically oven roasted as opposed to grilled as is typical with rib eye. Also known as a Spencer Steak.
Round steak, rump steak, or (French) rumsteak
A cut from the rump of the animal. A true grilling steak with good flavor though it can be tough if not cooked properly.
Sirloin steak
A steak cut from the hip. Also tends to be less tough, resulting in a higher price tag.
Outside Skirt steak
A steak made from the diaphragm. Very flavorful, but also rather tough.
Inside skirt steak
A steak from the flank or bottom sirloin similar in appearance but more tender than the outside.
Strip steak, also known as Kansas City stripNew York strip, and Entrecôte
A high-quality steak cut from the strip loin, a muscle that is relatively low in connective tissue, so it is particularly tender.
T-bone steak and Porterhouse
A cut from the tenderloin and strip loin, connected with a T-shaped bone (lumbar vertebra). The two are distinguished by the size of the tenderloin in the cut. T-bones have smaller tenderloin sections, while the Porterhouse – though generally smaller in the strip – will have more tenderloin. T-bone and Porterhouse steaks are among the most expensive steaks on a menu because of the large individual portion size.
Tri-tip steak/roast
Also known as a Triangle Steak, due to its shape, it's a boneless cut from the bottom sirloin butt.
Several other foods are called "steak" without actually being steaks:
Salisbury steak
Not a steak, but rather a burger from ground beef made with onions, usually bread crumbs, and occasionally mushrooms. Also known as "Hamburger Steak" or "Minute Steak" (due to its shorter cooking time). It is the least expensive "cut" of steak, usually because it is made of lower grade meat.
Steak tartare or tartar steak
Finely chopped raw fillet of beef, onion, parsley, capers, a hot sauce (usually Worcestershire) and raw egg.

credit to wikipedia.

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