Why do steaks taste so much better than home-made ones in the restaurant?

I was employed in a steakhouse and Know how difficult it is for the chefs to prepare a perfect steak and satisfy every customer.

It is not only the method of preparation that is decisive for enjoyment.It is also the nature of the proteins in the meat that determines whether the result is juicy and tender or dry and hard. The breed and rearing of the animals, their slaughter and the maturation in the cold store also determine the quality of the meat.The better the meat, the better the roast. Even with the help of the best cook or preparation process, a lesser piece does not become a gourmet piece.

The meat should come from younger animals.Best of the heifer, a young, female cow that has not yet calved, but has already grown.

At that time, we also used only organic meat and almost exclusively from the region.

This was delivered by the farmer/butcher to the restaurant and then hung there, visible to the customer, in the ripening chambern, where it, at the sametemperature of 1 to 3 degrees Celsius and under controlled humidity andventilation, first once had to hang (mature).Under these conditions, the juicy beef turns into tasty Dry Aged Beefwhen dried for 21 to 42 days.

The suspended meat forms a dark crust under which the soft muscle meat works.The crust is black like blood sausage and hard, above which even a white fluff of harmless mold can develop. If the Dry Aged meat has matured long enough, it will be freed from the crust. The meat juice is evaporated and leaves a delicately grumpy, dark meat, with the typical aromas of nut and butter that make true connoisseur’s hearts beat faster.

Dry-age beef is considered to be the top class among steaks, but has two small weaknesses in the production: it is time-consuming and brings with it a loss of volume of up to 30%, which of course also makes up the price in the restaurant.

Dry-aged meat is expensive.50- 80 euros per kilogram are normal on the market. This is not the only reason why we relied on our own maturation process in the catering business.

If you then slouch during the preparation, you will also have little pleasure with the Dry-Aged-Steak in the end.Perfect enjoyment requires not only a high-quality basic product, but also the correct preparation.

Directly from the fridge into the pan, the dry-aged steak is death.Because the strong heat change releases proteins and water at a stroke.The result is a grey, dry border. So before the dry-aged steak hops into the pan, it should have plenty of time to unfold at room temperature (30-60 minutes).In steak restaurants there are “heat drawers” at the grill stations, which the meat before frying, respectively. Grill gently slow to pre-temper to save some teit and not let the customer wait too long.

A good dry-aged steak doesn’t need much.On the contrary, marinades can rather mask the own taste of the great meat. Salt needs a perfect steak but absolutely and here the timing is crucial.When meat is salted, it draws water to the surface. A film is formed. This process takes about 15 minutes. If you wait another half an hour, the salty film dissolves and the water moves back into the steak. So the salt reaches the innermost, so to speak. Time is the key to enjoyment!

The dry-aged steak should always end up dry in the pan. This is because the water on the surface first evaporates and prevents the formation of roasting aromas.

Simply pat the excess moisture with a kitchen towel from the meat.

Without the right equipment, the Dry-Aged steak won’t be perfect.The pan should be best made of stainless steel or cast iron, as these materials are most heat-tolerant and distribute the heat evenly.With a steak pan with fluted bottom, the typical pattern burns into the flesh.In the case of fat, the heat reaction is also crucial. Butter lard, peanut or rapeseed oilare ideal.Always use a meat tongs to turn.

To highlight the unmistakable roasting tint of a good dry-aged steak, it should definitely be fried sharply.This creates the crisp brown outer skin, which receives a fine caramel-like note, not least from the sugar in the meat. The pan is heated first, then the fat follows. If it has reached the right heat, the dry-aged steak is allowed.60-90 seconds per page are sufficient to produce the above-mentioned taste components.

After roasting follows the cooking. There are different methods here.

The most common is to put the fried meat in the preheated oven (150 degrees). Here it should pass through to the desired cooking point. The easiest way to determine this is with a meat thermometer.If you don’t have one, you can also use the thumb test.The consistency of the dry-age steak is literally touched.

  • Rare / Bloody: 48-52掳C 鈥?thumb test: Hold your hand loose, press the hand lightly with the thumb of the other hand.

The steak should feel just as soft.

  • Medium Rare / Pink: approx. 52-55 degrees 鈥?thumb test: keep thumb and middle finger together, the handball is now a bit firmer.
  • This is what the medium steak should feel like.

  • Medium: 56-59 degrees – thumb test: place thumb and ring finger on each other.
  • Well Done / Cooked through: 60-62 degrees – thumb test: place thumb and small fingers on top of each other.
  • When cooking backwards, the preparation works the other way around.The meat comes first in the oven and is finally placed in the pan.

    There is a good reason for this order: Since the meat consists of a lot of water, the traditional frying technique leads to a permanent release of the juice, especially if the meat does not rest sufficiently afterwards or could not mature long enough.This does not happen because the temperature is extremely low due to the slow cooking in the oven. The protein contained in the meat changes the structure only from 64 degrees. Therefore, it is important that the oven has a constant temperature that is not higher than 60 degrees when cooking the meat.Due to the long and low temperature, the meat juice can be distributed in peace. The steak becomes stress-free tender. You should not rely on the switch on the oven when specifying the degree, but use an oven thermometer.In the range below 100 degrees, most herds are inaccurate.

    And something else is important: While the oven is heating up, a flat, oven-proof shape is already placed in it.

    Once the temperature is reached, put the meat in the mould and cook it under regularturning.The shape must be flat so that the warm air can balance the meat evenly during cooking.

    When a steak is cooked, of course, always depends on the thickness and size of the meat.You should cook 400 grams of beef fillet in the oven for 40 minutes at about 55 degrees and then fry sharply at 180 to 200 degrees.250 grams of beef hips at least 60 minutes at about 55 degrees.

    Then the roastaromas mentioned in the traditional preparation are still missing. They are the taste of the steak.For this purpose, the meat is also fried briefly sharply when cooking backwards in the pan. As a rule of thumb, from each side for about 40 seconds. Make sure that the pan is really hot when you put the meat in!

    After frying, the meat must definitely restso that it can relax.To prevent it from cooling, it is best to pack it in aluminium foil for two to three minutes.

    These are all factors that are hard to keep up with at home, and the reason that steaks in a restaurant simply taste better!

    By the way: If you want to try a wet-ripened steak instead of “dry-aged”, you can let your meat ripen in a vacuum bag.

    With these ripening bags, it is easy to turn high-quality meat into perfect dry-aged beef at home in the refrigerator (at approx. +3掳C) within 3 – 4 weeks by maturation.

    If you prefer to go to a restaurant comfortably, the steakhouse chains like Blockhouse, Texas Roadhouse or Maredo are probably not so badly served.

    My favorite sits in Germany at the moment, however, and it is called Timberjacks and is located in G枚ttingen, soon also with a branch in Kassel.

    Leave a Reply