Beef Steak is a South African favorite and most of us know a lot about how to cook it. It is part of our culture and many opinions exist, but most agree that they like it.
Our Braais have a few must have elements – Steak, Lamb Chops, Boerewors and Braai Broodjies.
We eat steak at restaurants and as take aways, also on Portuguese bread rolls as Prego. Chateaubriand fillet, spectacularly flambed and rump mostly rare. Thin steaks and thick steaks, marinated and on a stick; you see it everywhere.
Herewith a few insights
Rib Eye Steak
Most steak aficionados consider this the best all-around cut. The ribeye has the most fat compared to the other cuts, which is why it’s such a tender, juicy, and flavorful piece of beef. It can be grilled, broiled, or pan-fried with equally delicious results. These steaks are actually cut from the same piece of meat used for the famous roast prime rib.
Ribeye is not as popular as Rump in South Africa, but is gaining popularity as South Africans are more and more exposed to it.
The most popular cut in South Africa.
Rump roast is a boneless piece of beef, cut from the hindquarter that covers the hip bone. It’s made up of three of the five rump muscles that do little work resulting in a mix of textures and levels of tenderness. Full of flavour, rump roast is succulent and tender when roasted or diced for casseroles.
The rump is a boneless five-muscled primal that sits between the sirloin and topside. The rump cap is the cut that is located on top of the rump. Because it’s not an exerted muscle, rump cap is tender with a layer of fat that flavors and moistens the meat as it cooks. The rump cap produces a tender roast, or you can slice it against the grain for small steaks and tender stir-fry cuts.
Cut from the whole rump, rostbiff contains three of the five boneless muscles that make up the rump primal, including the eye of rump, center and rump flap. Because the grains of each muscle have different textures and levels of tenderness, rostbiff is succulent with a marked flavor. Its rich flavor reaches full potential when roasted whole or you can carve it across the grain into steaks or thin strips for a stir-fry.
The rump is a boneless five-muscled primal that sits between the sirloin and topside. Rump steak is made up of four of these muscles with differing tenderness. A great all-rounder steak, rump is a little firmer in texture and are perfect for a variety of cooking methods.
RUMP CENTRE STEAK
The rump center steak cut is taken from the heart of the rump – a five-muscled primal sitting between the sirloin and the topside. This cut has a rich and generous depth of flavor. It’s lean and tender with a satisfying chew.
Rump medallions are cut from the eye of rump, one of the five muscles that make up the whole rump. This short, lean, log-shaped muscle has the tenderness of tenderloin and the flavour of rump. Medallions are perfect for fast cooking whole, or you can slice them for stir-fries.
Steakhouses are judged based on this cut.
Sirloin – New York Strip steak
This steakhouse classic is perfect for the grill but also does well pan-fried. It is very well marbled, tender, and full flavored. The sirloin should rather be done Medium rare as it his a tendency to be somewhat dry if overdone. The New York Strip is usually sold with a half-inch of fat running along one side. It is recommended to trim after cooking to take advantage of the flavor and richness it adds. The fat also mostly has an inedible rind section between the meat and the fat, so it is best to trim it.
This cut is also known in restaurants as a filet mignon. It is lightly marbled with fat and has the mildest flavor of all these cuts. This area of the animal doesn’t do much work, so the meat is extremely tender–in fact, it’s the tenderest cut available. The buttery texture is what makes this cut so desirable. This is considered a special occasion steak and is the most expensive cut listed here. Because it’s a relatively lean cut, it is often wrapped with bacon in steakhouses before it’s grilled.
T-Bone Steak and Porterhouse steak
The T-Bone Steak is really two steaks in one. The T-shaped bone divides a New York strip steak and a tenderloin fillet This steak is best cooked on a grill, or broiled since the bone can make it difficult to sear the meat when pan-fried. When choosing this cut, keep in mind that meat next to the bone will be rarer than the rest of the steak. This steak is not a good choice if you like your meat well done since by the time the meat is cooked near the bone, the other parts will be dry. A porterhouse steak is virtually same as a T-bone steak, but it is cut further up the loin which makes it larger, with a bigger portion of tenderloin. The above image is that of a Porterhouse Steak.
This delicious cut is not technically a steak, but it makes the list because of its popularity, especially during grilling season. Its larger size makes it perfect for entertaining, as you can get between four and six portions per flank steak. This cut is the only one on the list that comes from the lower half of the animal. Because of this, it has more connective tissue, which gives it a great flavor but also makes it less tender than the other steaks. Flank steak is always served cut across the grain into thin slices.
Top Sirloin Steak
This steak is the most affordable cut on the list. While very flavorful, it is a bit less tender than all the other cuts, except for the flank steak. It’s a relatively lean cut, without a lot of marbling. Top Sirloin is often marinated or pounded to help tenderize it. Like the rib eye steak, it can be cooked in any manner. It’s also a good choice for cutting in cubes and skewering with vegetables for grilling.
As seen above, beef offers such an array of tastes and textures of which only a few were mentioned here. It is therefore understandable that it is such a sought after meat. The popularity of beef remains high being the fourth most consumed meat in the world after pork, fish and chicken.