We serve a lot of beef at dinners throughout the year and there are many cuts and preparations, but we like to limit our beef to the following:
Rib-Eye Steaks are the is basically a deboned rib steak but you can also leave the bone in if you choose. These steaks are hugely flavorful and have big pockets of fat and a very smooth texture. I think the best way to prepare the steak is to marinated and then Sous Vide, a method of cooking food at a precise temperature in a water bath. Of course you have to keep your food in a plastic bag but its a simple process. I would invest in a Joule stainless steel model which cost roughly $200. We have a bone in rib-eye or a Tuscan Steak recipe that are delicious.
Short Ribs have been high on my list since my first dinner at Balthazar in Manhattan. They were served as a special on Saturday nights and I would do my best to get there at least once a month to dive into this rich dish. You can buy they with the bone or not, depending on what you plan to cook. I use them for my mini cheesesteaks or just braise them. I aways braise extra rib so I can have the meat to make shirt rib pasta. You can also turn up the flavor with making short rib raviolis.
Skirt Steak carry us through the summer especially with our dear friend Wesley’s super easy marinade. This is a very thinly sliced steak from the underside of the cow and is juicy, fatty and packed with beefy flavor. I prefer it over flank steak for taste and ease of cooking. Get to know you butcher and make sure you ask for the outside cut which is much more tender, thinner and longer than the inside cut, which you should avoid at all costs. You should order in advance from you butcher because this steak is hard to find at time, there are only two outside skirt steaks per cow.
Tenderloin is the most lean and tender beef you can get your hands on and is one of the least flavorful. Have you butcher trim out the center cut which is also known as Chateubriend. If you get the whole tenderloin it is uneven, hard to cook, lots of fat and generally a mess. I like to make beef carpaccio as a great appetizer for a party and it is brilliant to have your butcher cut it for you. You can also slather the beef with herbed butter and roast it for a delicious dinner or just serve with a tasty horseradish steak sauce.
A simple meat thermometer is a must for every kitchen. Here is a quick guide for the temps you should shoot for while cooking:
- RARE: 115-120 DEGREES
- MEDIUM-RARE: 120-125 DEGREES
- MEDIUM: 130-135 DEGREES
- MEDIUM-WELL: 140-145 DEGREES
- WELL DONE: 150-155 DEGREES
For ground beef:
- MEDIUM-RARE: 125-130 DEGREES
- MEDIUM: 135-140 DEGREES
- MEDIUM-WELL: 145-160 DEGREES
- WELL-DONE: 160 DEGREES AND BEYOND