How do you prepare your steak? And don’t say ‘drive to a restaurant’, even if that is technically acceptable.
If you’re cooking it at home, though, you probably have a go-to steak method. Maybe there’s a specific homemade marinade you turn to all the time, or perhaps you prefer to keep it simple, adding salt and pepper and nothing else before chucking the slab of meat onto a hot pan.
Well apparently you’re wrong, and probably stupid too.
According to Gourmet Meat Club, the idea that you should season red meat before cooking is, and we quote, “a myth”.
Their team of experts explained such an approach only serves to dehydrate the meat, so save the salt for after and use oil and oil alone before putting it in the pan.
“Salting raw meat draws out the moisture and dehydrates it, making it tough when cooked,” they argue.
“Instead, oil the meat before putting it in the hot pan or on the grill and season to taste once the meat is cooked.”
“But a marinade isn’t salt and pepper,” you scream from behind the sofa, edging back towards the kitchen to salvage that slab of chimichurri-soaked sirloin.
Yes and no, according to another of the meat ‘experts’:
“The only part of a marinade that will penetrate is the salt, so this could end up simply dehydrating meat. Instead use the marinades as a sauce once the meat is cooked.”
Of course, not everyone has the same outlook, and some top chefs certainly beg to differ.
Gordon Ramsay? “Season first”.
Anthony Bourdain? “Salt and pepper just before it goes on the grill”.
Even King of Masterchef John Torode calls for a “liberal amount” of seasoning before cooking.
So yes, maybe your meat’s tough because you’ve got the seasoning wrong, but maybe you’re just a bad cook. Hey, if you’re lucky it could be both.
(Images: Aral Tasher/Andrik Langfield Petrides/Rex Features)