When it comes to romance, three foods are synonymous with love and sensuality – chocolate, oysters and steak. We can’t help with seafood or a bar of the sweet stuff, but we know everything there is to know about steak.
And with Valentine’s Day ringed in red on our calendar, now is the perfect time to share our guide to buying this versatile and oh, so delicious cut. So, let’s start with the basics.
What is steak?
It may seem like an obvious question, but there is actually a degree of nuance to it: steak is a cut of meat, invariably beef, sliced perpendicular to the muscle fibres.
The most tender types of steak will come from around the backbone which means there is very little connective tissue but the presence of finely marbled fat.
Where does our beef come from?
All of our beef comes from a herd of entirely grass-fed Lincoln Red heifers managed by Louth-based farmer John Needham raised in a totally traditional environment. This makes for a happy, healthy herd, that is sustainably and ethically farmed.
So, what about flavour?
The main components that contribute to flavour are the amount of fat in the meat, the diet of the animal it came from, and how the meat has been aged. Our beef comes from Lincoln Red heifers, bred with a continental bull – which results in the marbling and flavour the Lincoln Red is known for, with the texture and depth of the continental.
Different types of steak
So, now we understand what makes a good steak, we can explore the different cuts, starting with our ambassador chef, Rosie Dicker’s, steak of choice – the rib eye.
Rosie says: “I always use rib eye when cooking steak at home, the flavour you get from this cut is just over and above any other. Trust me.”
Unlike leaner steaks such as fillet, which can be served very rare, it’s best to cook rib-eye to at least medium-rare, as this gives the fat enough time to render down and flavour the meat.
And the golden rule when cooking any steak is to make sure the meat is at room temperature before it goes into the pan. That and getting the seasoning just right! Find Rosie’s Perfect Restaurant Style Steak recipe here.
Sometimes called a full-face rump, rump steaks are made up of two muscles connected by a thin layer of sinew. Rump offers the best value for money yet is one of the most flavoursome steaks, too. We recommend cooking our delicious rumps medium-rare if pan-frying.
Fillet is often thought of as the ‘special occasion’ steak – so perfect for impressing on Valentine’s Day. Our fillet steaks are cut from the centre of the fillet, so you get the absolute best. Fine marbling gives it a richer flavour than most other steaks. Use a delicate touch when cooking and pay attention to the heat and timing to keep the meat tender. Adding butter to the pan helps to seal in the juices.
Tender to eat (and forgiving to cook) sirloin steak is often referred to as ‘faux fillet’ by the French, because it’s almost as tender as fillet and one of our most flavoursome steaks. Sirloin is a real people-pleaser and doesn’t need an awful lot of cooking, so will tick that ‘blue’ box for those who like to eat their steak rare.
The ultimate in luxury, Chateaubriand is delicate in flavour and will guarantee a very tender steak indeed. A fantastic cut to use for Beef Wellington, we recommend cooking this medium-rare to rare to ensure a flavourful dining experience.
Whichever steak you opt for, whether for Valentine’s Day or any day, our trained staff are on hand both in our Louth shop and online to advise which cut will work best for your needs.
Call or visit our website to place your order which can be delivered via DPD using our chilled next-day temperature-controlled delivery service.