ONE of Brisbane most experienced hotel chefs has revealed the secrets to cooking the perfect steak, just in time to celebrate Queensland Day tomorrow (June 6).
Norman Hotel executive chef Frank Correnti said it started with the preparation, and went right through to 'resting' the cooked steak and how it was presented on the plate.
"Choosing the right cut of meat can be pretty daunting given a beef carcase can be broken down into about 20 cuts," Mr Correnti said.
"Then there is choice between the flavours of grassfed beef and consistent eating quality of grainfed beef.
"Even the aging process, especially the length of time the meat is allowed to mature after slaughter produce different eating characteristics."
Mr Correnti said a way to simplify the process was to start with a branded product such as JBS's Queenslander brand, which has proven to be extremely popular through the Norman Hotel's pop-up butcher shop, established in response to the COVID-19 restrictions.
The Queenslander brand is also being sold in butcher shops across Queensland (see the list below).
Mr Correnti said cooking to perfect steak started with a hot cooking surface.
"Whether you are using a barbecue or a heavy cast iron pan, preheat the cooking surface for at least 15 minutes before cooking," Mr Correnti said.
"If the plate is not hot enough, the steak will tend to boil or stew, resulting in a poor eating experience."
The steak must also be at room temperature, and seasoned.
"Place your steak on the plate, leave the steak to cook on the first side until you can easily lift it off without sticking," Mr Correnti said.
"This will eliminate ripping the meat. Repeat this process for the second side.
"Once sealed, I'm an advocate of turning a steak as many times as you feel it needs to create an evenly cooked steak from both sides.
"I disagree with the general rule of waiting until the blood rises to the top as this will cause you to lose the necessary juices. It is better to ensure your steak is juicy, full-flavoured and tender."
However, cooking times were dependent on the required 'doneness', steak thickness and cut, he said.
"I always recommend removing the steak two to three minutes before it is ready and the resting the steak before eating."
The Norman Hotel at Woolloongabba in Brisbane typically has about 20 steaks on its comprehensive menu. It is expected to welcome back diners on June 12 based on an expected easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
In addition to the choice of five JBS Queenslander brand steaks, the Norman Hotel's Steak-Away pack comes complete with the Norman's specialty sauces, iconic bacon, baked potatoes, sides including cold slaw, bread rolls, and even the wooden markers used to indicate how the steak has been cooked.
JBS's Queenslander brand is also being sold through retail outlets across Queensland including: Zone Fresh at Windsor in Brisbane; Rite Choice Meats, Charters Towers; FoodWorks, Cloncurry; Bowen Meats, Bowen; Queensland Country Meats, Roma; Chaplin Butchery, Miles; Fresco Meat, Mackay; Gracemere Meats, Gracemere; Gleesons Butchery, Chinchilla; Heits Butchery, Beaudesert; and Andrews Meats, Toowoomba.