EVER wanted to master the art of the perfect steak? Well, now’s the time. One of South Africa’s premier grill rooms, The Hussar Grill, is sharing its expertise with home cooks so that you can fire up the grill at home.
When it comes to choosing your meat, The Hussar Grill serves only Class-A grain-fed beef and game and carefully sources its steak from local farms and family-run businesses. Try to purchase the best quality produce available to ensure a quality meal.
The Hussar Grill wet ages its whole meat for a minimum of 28 days – to ensure superbly matured, tender and flavourful steaks – before portioning it for grilling. When it comes to steak, storage temperature is vital. The Hussar Grill steaks are vacuum-sealed to avoid any oxygen and stored in a cool 5-degree Celsius fridge.
If you have bought steak that is fresh but not aged, but is vacuum sealed, rest assured you can still wet age it at home by keeping it sealed and leaving it in your refrigerator. Do not be alarmed if the meat matures in colour from the bright reddish pink blush of fresh meat, to a deeper tone – this is a good sign. Aging the meat improves its flavour and makes it more tender.
When you’re ready to cook it, use a griddle pan for a beautiful char-grilled mark effect and tongs to turn your steak, making sure you do not press down on the meat. Make sure that the pan is pre-heated before cooking.
“Do not cook your steak directly from the fridge. Let it sit outside on the counter for at least 30 minutes to bring it up to room temperature if you want your steak to cook evenly from edge to centre,” advises Jason Allen, owner of The Hussar Grill restaurant in Steenberg, Cape Town.
Before putting it on the heat, lightly brush your steak with olive oil. Avoid salt on raw meat as it absorbs moisture and dries out the meat. The only thing you should do before grilling your steak is coat it in oil and a basting sauce if you are using one. To cook the perfect medium rare steak, grill it for one minute per one centimetre of thickness on each side. Adjust this time slightly if you want a rare or well-done steak. And if your cut has fat or a bone, cook it on that side first.
The softest, most delicate cut of meat is fillet as it comes from a part of the cow where muscles are hardly used. Fillet is best served rare or medium rare as it is lean and will dry out if cooked too long. Rump steak is from the hind quarters, where the muscles are not too developed. It can be served medium-rare. Sirloin is a fattier cut that should be cooked to the medium stage. Rib eye, which is marbled with fat, needs to be cooked medium or more, to help break down the fat content and caramelise the fat into flavour.
Once the steak is cooked, let it rest for a few minutes to allow all its tasty juices time to redistribute and reabsorb, resulting in a more tender and flavourful steak.
For more information on The Hussar Grill, click here.