Latin Touch Meat Guides Beef: Part Two
~Chef Perry Perkins~
A hot juicy steak sizzling on the grill, crusted with salt, cooked to a perfect medium-rare, and properly rested...is there anything better?
No. No there’s not.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association suggest twenty-eight steaks or beef fillets that are best for live-fire grilling, in a wide variety of flavors textures, natural tenderness, and price-range.
Of these, my personal favorite to grill are, in order:
Cut from the short-loin, strip is commonly referred to as a New York strip, it’s also known as a Kansas City strip, top loin, Delmonico, or shell steak, depending on where you find it. My favorite cut for flavor, when I just want a nice, thick steak.
Cut from the diaphragm, this boneless cut is often marinated before grilling; slice it thinly across the grain for tenderness.
My favorite for sandwiches, tacos, fajitas, etc.
Also called the Butcher’s steak, or hanging tender. Sear quickly, slice thinly across the grain for tenderness.
Choosing your Steak
Marbling refers to the amount of fat distributed within the meat, and it’s your best indicator of beef quality. Marbling are the squiggly white lines running through the muscle fibers, NOT the large chunks of white fat (also known as gristle).
The more squiggles, the more flavor, and the more tender your steak!
Your beef should be a heathy, bright (but not unnatural) red in color, with bright white fat. Also, there should be little or no odor to the meat.
Tips for Prepping Your Steaks
Chef’s Tip: If your steak is stuck to the grill, leave it alone. Once perfectly crusted, the grill will “let go” of the meat. Don’t force it!
|Term (French)||Description||Temperature range|
|Extra-rare (bleu)||deep red, cold in center||115–120 °F|
|Rare (saignant)||red cool center; soft||125–130 °F|
|Medium rare (à point)||warm pink center; firmer||140–150 °F|
I prefer my steak somewhere between rare and medium rare, and I won't cook a steak beyond medium.
The cow is already dead, I see no point in killing it twice. ;)
To stave off the carnivorous lawyers, I need to mention, that the USDA recommends a minimum safe temperature of 145 °F.
Now you know…let the griller beware! ;)
Allow your steaks rest for at least five minutes. Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT to “redistribute the juices” but instead, as the temperature of the meat begins to drop from its maximum, the viscosity of the meat juices increases (think hot oil vs. cold oil in your car’s engine) until it’s thick enough to stay trapped in the muscle fibers, when cut.
Chef’s rule of thumb: An unrested steak is a ruined steak, the moment you cut into it.
As a third-generation chef, Perry P. Perkins focuses his love of cooking on barbeque, traditional southern fare, and fresh Northwest cuisine.
Perry runs the non-profit organization, MY KITCHEN Outreach Program, which teaches nutrition, shopping, and hands on cooking classes for at risk youth.
His cookbooks include La Caja China Cooking, La Caja China World, La Caja China Party, and the NEW “La Caja China Grill.”
You can follow the rest of Chef Perry’s cooking adventures at ChefPerryPerkins.com
Latin Touch Meat Guides Beef: Part One ~Chef Perry Perkins~ Humans have been eating beef since prehistoric times, and for good reason. Pound for pound, beef is one of the best sources of high-quality protein and nutrients. It’s also the third most widely eaten meat in the world, accounting for about 25% of modern meat production, [...]
3 Ways to Spice up Burger Party ~Chef Perry Perkins~ Burgers are my favorite lunch to grill over the coals of my Caja china, while dinner is roasting inside (plus, I'm cheap, and hate the ide of wasting those beautiful glowing coals by not grilling SOMETHING over them, lol). Now, there's not a thing wrong with the good [...]
Pig Safety 101 Part Two ~Chef Perry Perkins~ In our first post, we looked at some of the dangers of improperly handled or prepared pork, as well as tips for picking a safe provider, and getting your pig home safely. Now, let’s look at the rest of the job... Keeping it Cold So, how do you keep that piggie safe, once [...]
Pig Safety 101 Part One ~Chef Perry Perkins~ Okay, okay…food safety isn’t sexy…but it is important. With whole hogs, not only can you get people sick, you can get a LOT of people sick. A lot of friends and family, to boot. The Risks Here in my home state of Washington, the Department of Health recently reported that at least a third [...]
Latin Touch Meat Guide Pork: Part Three ~Chef Perry Perkins~ In part one, we looked at how to know how much pork to serve, the basics of cooking, brining pork, and tips for perfect pork chops. Next we moved on to some larger cuts: tenderloin, pork loin roast and, pork shoulders. Now, in our final guide to pork, let’s [...]
Latin Touch Meat Guide Pork: Part Two ~Chef Perry Perkins~ In part one, we looked at how to know how much pork to serve, the basics of cooking, brining pork, and tips for perfect pork chops. Now let’s look at some larger cuts: tenderloin, pork loin roast and, of course, pork shoulders! Pork Tenderloin The tenderloin refers to the Psoas major [...]
Latin Touch Meat Guides Pork: Part One ~Chef Perry Perkins~ The early Spanish explorers of America brought the first pigs to the new world. They also brought the technique of "Barbacoa", which they'd learned from the tribes of Hispaniola. In 1540 the Chicksaw tribe of (current) Mississippi, cooked a feast of pork over the barbacoa for explorer Hernando [...]
Regional BBQ: Owensboro ~Chef Perry Perkins~ We've covered a lot of regions and a lot of BBQ in this series. From Texas brisket, to Carolina ribs, but perhaps the most unique regional BBQ style in the USA can be found in the great state of Kentucky. Specifically, Owensboro Kentucky. What makes this style so unique isn't about spices, or sauces, [...]
Regional BBQ: Chicago ~Chef Perry Perkins~ Chicago-style BBQ has it roots in three important historical events. The opening of the Union Stockyards in 1865, and the migrations of both Eastern Europeans, and African American (mainly from the Mississippi Delta) around the same time. The first brought their traditions of boiled and smoked meats and sausages, while the second brought generations of [...]