Sirloin, Fillet, Ribeye – What’s Your Best Steak?
Everyone has their favourite; the exquisitely lean sirloin, the rich and tender fillet or the juicy ribeye. Some may even opt for the rump, but regardless of this all must agree, steak is great!
The real question is, just what is it that makes it so good and how do we choose the best cut for us?
With recent stats showing that the majority of the UK consumer shops in generic supermarkets for their convenience and locale, we are losing touch with the butchers who know all there is about what cut is best for whatever the need – be that frying, searing, BBQing and stroganoffing.
What’s worse is most of us don’t even know what bit of the animal we are buying or what we should be doing with it a part from the basic labels on the plastic wrapping declaring if we should stew or roast it!
For many years steak enthusiasts have tried to bring back butcher love and encourage us mere ‘m’eaters out there to listen to what they have to say.
After all, they are the experts and if they say something shouldn’t be turned into a casserole then we should pay attention!
So, sirloin, fillet or ribeye?
There are so many delicious cuts out there that we chose the three most loved in the land to tear them apart for a bit of analysis.
Sirloin – Naturally lean and absolutely packed with beefy flavour this is a multi-muscled cut from, surprisingly, the sirloin section.
Or for us ‘m’eaters on the back near the rump.
This steak tends to be slightly chewier and less tender than cuts from the rib or loin, which makes it perfect for grilling and especially good for all those healthy people out there who’re worried about fat content and cooking issues!
Make sure and marinate it before cooking though to tenderise the meat.
Fillet – The expensive one! This cut comes from the tenderloin – or near the back rib cage, and due to this area not being weight bearing, what we are left with is a lightly marbled, mild flavoured, melt in the mouth, tender steak.
Fillet fans actively declare this the ‘King Steak’.
There are even stories of people adoring this cut so much they regularly use it to make beef stroganoff – this is, however, complete sacrilege!
Butchers recommend to let this cut do the talking with no fancy sauces, instead simply season with salt and pepper and fry it in a good quality butter to your liking – be that rare, medium rare, or well done.
Ribeye – The marbled delight! This is undoubtedly a favourite of all steak lovers. Rich marbling makes this steak unbelievably juicy and jam packed with flavour!
What’s amazing about this cut is its remarkable tenderness.
A top tip for cooking is to ensure it’s at room temperature before you begin and, like the fillet; it’s best to let this steak speak for itself with a little s+p and fried in a very hot pan with a little oil.
The key to frying this steak to perfection is to only turn it once after 2 – 2 ½ minutes on each side and allow it to rest before you dig in. Standing the steak means all those juices are reabsorbed.
There are so many tasty cuts with multiple ways of cooking that us ‘m’eaters would never be able to do them justice without speaking to our butcher – but if you don’t have the time these top three are safe bets.