An argument as old as cave paintings, is exactly how long we should cook our steaks for – in fact, if you squint closely enough you can make out two cavemen arguing fervently about exactly how long the mammoth belongs on the fire for.
While I (begrudgingly) understand this choice is down to people’s personal tastes, there is a reason why professional chefs will passionately explain to you that the only way to have your steak is cooked medium rare. Experts in meat Arlo’s, your go-to steak restaurant based in Balham, have concocted a little guide for exactly why you should be having your steak medium-rare.
Why should I always cook medium rare?
Once you put your steak onto a heat source, it’s a race against time. The longer your steak is exposed to a heat source, the tougher it will get and will eventually dry out completely – nobody likes a chewy steak! If you opt to cook your steak medium rare then you will be getting optimum tenderness with all the lovely juices swimming around in it.
How to figure out whether my steak is medium rare?
The inside of a medium rare steak will be mostly pink, with a little bit of red in the middle of it, however, you can’t know this until after you’ve cut into it which you shouldn’t be doing until it’s on your dinner plate because it’s just a waste of vital juices!
Instead, there is a trick you can do to check the ‘doneness’ of your steak using one simple utensil: your finger. When you want to check how far along the steak is cooked, simply press down on the middle of the steak and feel the ‘give’ of it. A rare steak will feel mushy and a little gross, whereas a medium or well-done steak won’t have any give in it at all. The ideal steak will have a little give in it and will spring back into place after you’ve pressed it.
What makes a rare steak?
If you’re a bit of a carnivore and prefer your meat swimming in a bit of blood, then to make a rare steak all you will need to do is cook each side for one or two minutes. The reason rare steak isn’t as good as medium rare is the simple fact that it hasn’t had a chance to cook properly yet, so the middle will still be somewhat cool – which isn’t exactly pleasant to taste.
Rare steak also suffers for the fact that the fat within it will not have been given ample chance to melt yet, which is one of the main reasons for why steak tastes so good! That being said, rare steak is a lot more tender and juicy, so I suppose if that’s your end goal then it may be alright to sacrifice a bit of flavour for this.
What makes a medium steak?
Cooking steak like this way is probably the biggest crowd pleaser, somewhat annoyingly, as it’s the least likely to yield any blood when you cut into it. The meat inside will mostly be grey, with possibly a little bit of pink in the middle. The juices aren’t really allowed to flow as it’s been dried out, but if that’s what you’re into who are we to judge?
What makes a well-done steak?
A fool. Seriously. Don’t do this. I can just about accept rare or medium cooks of a steak but all you gain with a well-done steak is a waste of perfectly good meat. You often find people who prefer their steak cooked like this will also dip it in tomato sauce – these people fill my nightmares. Of course, my husband would completely disagree as this is how he likes his steak to be cooked.