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A steak is a slice of meat that is cut from the flesh of an animal or a large fish. Beef steaks are by far the most well loved type of steak. But, steaks of chicken, turkey and lamb are also ordered in restaurants. Steaks may be cooked by grilling, roasting, pan-frying or broiling. Steaks take small time to cook and can be eaten both as an entrée and as a main course. They are eaten with rice, noodles, bread or pasta, usually with a vegetable or mushroom side-dish.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) voluntarily grades steaks according to the marbling and the tenderness of the flesh. Marbling refers to the flecks of white stout that are seen within the steak. Nearly all the steaks available in the market fall into the first three grades. The best grade of steak (and the tenderest!) is the prime cut. Filet mignon is the best quality and the softest variety of steak, followed by the sirloin. Only about 2% of steak available in the market falls under the prime category and that too winds up in hotels and restaurants. After the prime cut, there is the choice cut. These cuts are what are generally available in the stores. A small tougher than the choice cut is the select cut. The other grades are standard, commercial, utility, cutter and canner in the decreasing order of their qualities.

The manner of cutting the steak from the flesh of the animal is of importance. Usually the steak is cut perpendicular to the striations on the muscle. This makes the steak tender and simple to chew. The tenderness of steak also depends on which part of beef the slice has been cut from. The sirloin, or the part of the beef located in the mid part of the hindquarters, and the filet mignon from the small end of the tenderloin are supposed to be the tenderest. The filet mignon is the most expensive beef cut.

Among steaks, the trend noted is that as the tenderness increases, the flavor reduces. Filet mignon is the tenderest steak, but it has the mildest flavor. Chuck steaks, flank steaks and rib steaks are tougher to chew, but they have more beefy flavors.

Steaks may have originated in France, but every country has developed several indigenous recipes to prepare steaks. King Henry VIII of England was a steak aficionado. In fact it has been supposed that the word ‘sirloin’ has been coined by him. In Asia and Africa, steak kebabs are well loved and there are scores of methods of preparing these kebabs.

Raw steaks are available in butcher shops and grocery stores. While buying steak, the red hued ones must be preferred. Like all other meats, steaks need cold storage. Steaks that are aged for long times get an enhanced flavor.

i-steak.com Steak provides detailed information about steak, flank steak, grilling steak and more. Steak is affiliated with e-chefhat.com Disposable Chef Hats.

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One Comment on “Steak”

  • Zachary Graham wrote on 12 May, 2010, 1:57

    Beef steak has always been my all time favorite dish and i am always looking for some new recipes that has steak as the main ingredient..~*

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