At the end of the day, few dishes can beat a well prepared ribeye steak when it comes to flavor and simplicity. Adding nothing except for a touch of salt and pepper, a quality steak oozes great flavor and rich texture with every single bit.
However, despite the apparent ease of preparation, there are some pitfalls lying in wait that could keep you from getting the most out of your cut of meat. If wrongly cooked, it’s easy to transform a quality steak into an overcooked piece of rubber. That can give your jaw an unwanted workout.
Let’s go over a foolproof way of preparing what might be the best cut of beef around, ribeye. To make sure, you’re serving up juicy, sizzling steaks every single time.
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Why Pick Ribeye?
There’s a multitude of different beef cuts that you can derive from a cow.
This ranges from porterhouse to sirloin and many, many more.
The very best cuts of beef are usually take from the top of the cow surrounding the backbone area.
The reason for this is that these muscles are used less over the cow’s lifetime, and are therefore softer and more flavorsome when eaten. Conversely, the meat around the shoulders and legs of the cow are usually used to make mince and other lower quality ground beef foods.
The various premium cuts of beef all have their pros and cons regarding texture, fat content and flavor. As most steak enthusiasts will tell you, for a marriage made in heaven of flavor and texture, ribeye is the steak to beat. It’s derived from the upper ribs of the cow, and also goes by the name of Scotch fillet and entrecote.
It’s the perfect steak cut. It has a deep flavor profile and high degree of tenderness. It is rounded off with a delicate marbling of fat that helps enrich the flavor without making for a greasy piece of meat when cooked. Once you’ve got yourself a prime cut of ribeye, it’s time to begin preparing the steak.
Prepping Your Ribeye Steak
With a really good cut of steak, you want to keep the preparation as simple as possible. This will let the flavor of the meat speak for itself. Really, the preparation process shouldn’t be as straightforward as that of cooking the meat.
If there’s one golden rule for readying your steak, it’s to ensure that the meat is at room temperature before it hits the pan.
This is to ensure that the muscle fibres of the steak are loose and pliant. This helps ensure even heat absorption and maintains the integrity of the steak’s texture.
Removing the steak from the fridge for a minimum of 20 minutes. This ought to be sufficient time for the meat to warm up, but make sure to double check it yourself.
With the steak warm, all that remains is to add a touch of seasoning. All that’s needed is some crushed sea salt and a little coarsely ground black pepper to prepare the perfect steak.
Add it to both sides and gently press the meat into the chopping board to make sure the seasoning is driven into the steak. With the preparation finished, it’s time to fire up the range and move on to cooking your ribeye.
Firing up the Pan
When cooking steak, it’s best to opt for a sturdy griddle or frying pan with a nice, heavy bottom. This can keep heat and provide a steady, even temperature throughout the cooking process.
Make sure the pan is nice and hot, then add a little vegetable oil of a good quality. Avoid using fats like butter and olive oil.
Their smoking point is far too low for the kind of temperature at which you’ll be frying your steak.
Speaking of which, you’ll want the pan to be extremely hot before cooking, to the point where the steak will start sizzling the moment it hits the pan.
You want a high temperature to help ensure the steak cooks quickly and the outside is seared so as to help the meat retain its delicious juices.
It’s also because at lower temperature the meat will begin to absorb the cooking oil into itself which has an adverse effect on flavor and texture.
Perfectly Cooking Your Ribeye Steak
With the ribeye ready and the pan hot, it’s time to cook your steak. Preferences run personally as to how much you want your steak cooked:
- Rare (1-2 minutes): this is the style many food fanatics like for their steak to be prepared. The external surface of the steak is seared with the inside almost raw, but bursting with the flavorsome juices of the meat. However, some people find this leaves the steak too bloody for their liking. Turn the steak once halfway between cooking.
- Medium/ medium rare (2-3 minutes): this method provides a steak that’s cooked closer to the center of the steak whilst still leaving the middle of the meat juicy. If you find rare to be too raw but you also want a strong taste then this might be the option for you. Turn once or twice during cooking.
- Well done (4-5 minutes): this cooks the steak through all the way. Some people opt for this style due to a fear of bacteria surviving in rare steak. However, this shouldn’t be much of a concern with a good quality steak from a reputable source that’s still in date. With a nice cut of ribeye, even a well done steak will still be delicious. Just be certain that you’ve not left the meat in the pan long enough for it to dry out. Turn about once every minute during cooking.
The way you want your steak cooked all comes down to personal preference, and there’s certainly no wrong option here.
If you’re not sure about eating your steak rare, then you can always begin by cooking it well done and then gradually shorten your cooking times to see if you like it rare.
If you want you can throw some extra ingredients in the pan such as crushed garlic or thyme to augment the flavor, but the bottom line is that salt and pepper is all you need to make the perfect steak.
Once you’re steak is cooked to your point of preference, remove it from the pan. Leave it to stand for a minute or two on a wire rack if you’ve got one.
Don’t let it sit on a plate, where the fat and liquid coming off the meat.
This can impair the steak’s flavor and muddy its texture. When done, serve with your sides of choice and sink your teeth into your delicious, perfectly prepared steak.
Getting the process just right might take you a little practice (which is a great excuse to eat more steak!), but a perfectly cooked steak is one of the culinary holy grails, and certainly an art that everyone should aim to master.
William Benetton is a professional freelance writer. He loves photography and web design, also he is a big fan of sport.
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