Getting the right "doneness"
If carry-over cooking occurs as it's resting, and I want a steak done "medium-rare", should I take it out of the pan when it feels "rare"?
Julienne, chiffonade, emince...? Fancy names. Simple concepts. Find clarity here.
The feel method already takes into consideration the carry-over cooking. But remember, this only works for steaks, not roasts. Also, much depends how the carry-over cooking is done. If tented and turned occasionally on a rack (as opposed to no turning and on a plate), the doneness will be more even throughout. This means that the blood, heat, and continued coagulation has spread throughout the steak perfectly.
I was sceptical about a couple pf things on this video. One being the flip often method and the other being how to season the steak. I just tried this exact method tonight and i'm sure I don't have to tell you but I will, It Is Phenominal. I never thought a little oil salt and pepper could season so well. I found out the real mistakes I were making though was in the selection of meat cut and quality. With the right cut and quality the seasoning mentioned in this video are all you need to bring out the magnificant flavor of a beef steak!
As I was learning to cook, I was lucky enough to have a butcher as a friend. He was of the "flip" school too, and that's the way I did it for years. But then, I took a cooking class in Napa CA, and the Chef said never flip a steak, and to be honest, I forget why. I was glad, when I took this class, that flipping was your method. Oh, and my brother is still talking about the steak I made him!!!
Hi... first of all, we recommend the flip-often method over the flip-once unless you are doing a very thin steak.
To test for doneness (for rare and well-done) using the flip-once method, you will have to rely on the touching-method demonstrated for the flip-often method (topic 4). It is the primary method, shy of cutting into the steaks to determine doness. We don't recommend cutting into the steaks as it will result in a steak that is less juicy as most of the juices will escape from the incision. But during your learning phase, don't hesitate to check by taking a peak if you need to. One other way for well-done steaks is to wait until the juices run clear (meaning no redness at all). Once the occurs, the meat will be cooked well-done throughout.
It will take time to be able to master this (many chefs take months of practice before they can tell with accuracy). So have patience. You could even start a log and record your times and then adjust on subsequent attempts until you figure out the perfect timing and the perfect indicators for your desired doness.
Here's a little trick I employed when learning. I always wanted to make sure that the steaks I cooked for quests were cooked perfectly, so I did cut into one when learning. And this steak became mine (the "host" steak). Just keep in mind that you still need to rest it and there will be a bit of carry-over cooking so cook them a bit underdone and let them rest to the perfect doneness.
This is a lesson on premium steaks. How to choose, what to do with them when you get them home and how to cook. We talk about panfrying and grilling within the context of this lesson.
Happy to answer any questions that you have re: the questions if the topics themselves don't cover them or if you have further questions. Just let us know what they are.
When your hand is open,touch the fatty part where your palm meets your thumb. This is how a rare steak feels. Touch your pointer finger to your thumb,this is med-rare. Middle finger to thumb is medium. Ring finger to thumb is med-well. Pinky to thumb means you burnt your steak.
I just can't seem to master how to add heavy cream to pan sauce without getting white specks instead of a good uniform colour. I made two steaks today -- one with a wine and stock pan sauce, like the one shown in "Beef Tenderloin in Red Wine Sauce", and the other deglazed with wine and then adding some heavy cream to it. I got specs again (I've complained about this already on this forum, but that time I had used old cream and some half-and-half)! But this time I tried with fresh cream, but the specks still formed. Do I reduce the heat to very low when adding the cream?
I *really* like this lesson and learned a lot regarding a topic I thought I was pretty good at. Thanks a lot.
I have been using the touch method since I can remember but have inconsistent results with very thick cuts of tenderloin. I find that they continue to feel "rare soft" until they are cooked to medium and I prefer medium-rare or about the middle half pink. So I find myself taking them off early and that sometimes results in inconsistent doneness. No problem with NY or ribeye (thinner) steaks by the way.
After I watched this video, I tried putting one tenderloin on a very hot grill and left a second of the same cut off. I cooked the steak for a minute then flipped and repeated 5 times, so each side had 3 minutes - this is usually good for medium rare with my infra-red barbecue.
I put the other steak on for one minute per side, pulled them both off at the same time then tested the two using the touch method. While I could easily tell which had been cooking longer (because of the crust) the difference in softness was not readily noticeable. Both seemed like the palm of my hand with thumb and pointing finger touching, or both felt rare when one should feel medium-rare.
Do you have a suggestion? If I am serving guests I may flatten the tenderloin a bit to avoid problems, but I'd rather not.
Thanks for making a great site!
Hi David. Firstly, as a teacher I absolutely love the fact that your experimenting and taking things into your own hands. For some reason people opt out when it comes to using their instincts and senses to arrive at their own conclusions.
The issue with thick steaks is that they may reach a point where they are basically a mini-roast, in which case there is no way to "feel" what activity of coagulation has occured in the middle. In these cases, and especailly becasue some steak connaiseurs love their steaks quite thick, you'll need a thermometer to test the doneness. The flipping methods still has its advantages, it's just a matter of a few more flips and longer resting period. Also, make sure to check by inserting from the side of the thickest part of the steak towards its center.
Sorry, not currently available in our store. But I've heard great things about this one.
I have been pestering Joe with than cream-based pan sauce that I can't seem to get right. This time I looked at the fat content on the container. It says 17% fat, nowhere close to the 33% or up that Joe mentioned. And that was the highest fat content in any cream at my supermarket. Can I do anything to the cream to increase the fat content. I don't think the British "double cream" is available in US supermarkets. Is there no way I can make a good cream-based pan sauce without cream that 33% fat?