It isn’t my habit to tell people what to do. I’m too relaxed for that. But when it comes to steak, I take my subject very seriously. So while I’m not going to tell you how to cook your steak, I will give you five good reasons why you should never cook steak more than medium.
When you cook a steak properly, removing it before it gets to medium doneness means it remains tender and should melt in the mouth. If you follow our other guides on cooking steak, the outside should be nicely cooked, any fat caramelised and flavouring the meat but the centre should be delicate, juicy and delicious.
If you’re eating a prime cut, this is even more important as tenderness of the meat is one of the things you’re paying a premium for.
Lightly cooking a steak unlocks the meat juices which just adds to the experience. The meat is relaxed enough to let it all go and every mouthful becomes a juicy, tasty mouthful. Mop up the juices that escape with a piece of meat on the fork and you’re all over that steak.
Whatever health fad is popular at the time, lean red meat has a lot going for it. Lightly cooked red meat is rich in vitamin A and B6 and in iron. While iron can cope with cooking, the vitamins are delicate and will be reduced the longer you cook your meat. Keep that cooking light and you get more goodness.
The longer you cook a steak, the tougher and less flavourful it becomes. Keep it light and the taste and texture is enhanced because the fat is rendered and juice in the meat is retained. The combination of tenderness, meat juice and those delicate flavours work best in lightly cooked steak.
It’s how steak was made to be eaten
A lot of effort goes into preparing the steak for your table. It is reared, fed, cultivated and prepared to keep it fresh, tender, juicy and flavoursome. Why spoil all that effort by overcooking it? Steak has been designed from the outset for light, careful cooking and honouring that will help you get the best out of it.
Like I said, I’m not going to tell you how to cook your steak but I heartily recommend making medium your maximum!