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Preparation technique / beef – Igor Arent-Rabiej – Sous Chef

Beef is a meat obtained from cattle the age of which exceeds a period of at least six months. It is one of the most vital ingredients used in both: European and American types of cuisine and its five largest producers are as follows: The United States, Brazil, the European Union, China and India. The most expensive in the world, which – given the above – can be quite surprising is Kobe beef originating in… Japan.

Inbreeding of meat cattle is not widely appreciated in Poland. As a result, Polish beef rarely achieves the quality of stock specific for countries with more intensely developed tradition of consumption of this type of meat. In Poland one can sometimes come across beef imported from Argentina or United States where breeds of meat cattle are cultivated on a much larger scale. The product derived from such farms is characterised by very unique culinary properties – e.g. it does not become chewy in the stewing process*.

 

The most important secrets of beef preparation:

  1. The meat must be properly cleaned and kept at a temperature of about 20 Celsius degrees directly before grilling;
  2. Salt – if the meat is exposed to its effects the steak will most definitely harden, whereas salting immediately before grilling will not cause any damage;
  3. The best way to prepare the steak – wood or coal;
  4. Using the oven – yes, after grilling you can finish the process in the oven, it will not harm the quality, but the most important thing is that the meat is carefully ‘closed’ or-if you will- seared (otherwise the steak will not be juicy);
  5. Preparation of steaks with probe/thermometer – you must never do this (!), because breaking the fibre structure of the steak will allow all the juices to leak out;
  6. 6Temperature – grill at a rather high temp. reaching 400 C, later finish it at a lower temperature of about 200 C (although there are suitable grills – coal or wood-fired stoves – where the whole process takes place at about 300-400 C);
  7. Resting – probably one of the most important stages of steak preparation. We always prepare the steak one frying degree lower than desired, and then leave it for about 10 minutes (depending on the cut) in a warm (about 35-40 C) place to rest and reach the expected degree – thanks to this the steak after slicing will not “pour out” and the juices will remain in the meat. Some cuts (e.g. diaphragm or bone-in steaks) are served already cut by a chef – this is not a malpractice but rather a good will gesture.

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