How to Cook the Perfect Steak by Chef Charles Knight

 Entrée (French, which means entry or entrance) is one of several savory courses in Western-style formal meal service. Its traditional definition, still used in Europe, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand (indeed, almost everywhere in the world outside of North America) refers to a smaller course that precedes the main course; however, in North America, the disappearance in the early 20th century of a large communal main course such as a roast as a standard part of the meal has led to the term ‘Entrée’ being used to describe the main course itself.

There are FIVE different techniques for cooking meats; roasting, sautéing, pan broiling (stove-top grilling), and baking. Cooking meats with liquids is referred to as braising and marinating.

Throughout this section, you will learn the methods of cooking a roast on top of the stove, how to cook the perfect steak, how to bake, the methods associated with braising, and the quick and easy methods of sautéing. All the recipes are cooked on top of the stove.

Sautéing and Stove-Top Grilling…

Because heat is conducted very efficiently through Health Craft cookware to the meat, the meat’s surface tends to brown very quickly, in 1 to 2 minutes. No fat is needed for cooking. Once the meat is browned sufficiently, it will release from the pan for turning. To prevent the meat’s surface from toughening while the inside cooks the heat is usually reduced after the initial browning. If the pan is covered, water vapor is trapped and a process more like basting results. Therefore, you must open the vent when pan-broiling (stove-top grilling).

Roasting on Top of the Stove…

When you brown (sear) the meat first in the pan and then roast on top of the stove in a covered pan or Dutch oven for given doneness, your meats will have been cooked in a brief period of time compared to oven roasting. The roast will be more tender and juicier. Since vapor can not escape from a covered pan you will have three to 4 times as much natural gravy as well.

Instructions for roasting on top of the stove are simple to follow.

  • For more tender and juicier results always begin with meat that is at room temperature.
  • Preheat the pan over medium heat 275ᵒF to medium-high 375ᵒF.
  • Sear the meat on all sides. It will stick at first. When browning is complete it will loosen itself easily from the pan and then turn and brown on the other side.
    • Browing or searing the meat is known as the “Maillard Reaction” Amino acids and natural sugars are drawn to the surface of the meat in a specific way forming a sort of caramelization that intensifies the flavor.
  • Roasting stovetop: Cover the pan, close the vent, and turn the heat to medium-low 180ᵒF to 200ᵒF. When tiny bubbles begin to form around the cover, you have reached the proper cooking temperature for roasting on top of the stove. If there are no bubbles, the heat is too low. If the moisture around the rim of the cover is spitting, the heat is too high.

Baking on Top of the Stove…

Baking on top of the stove is typically something you would do with a Meatloaf. The large 11-inch sauté skillet will hold 4 to 5 pounds of ground beef and will bake in 30 to 40 minutes or less on an induction cooktop.

  • Place the meatloaf mix recipe in the skillet to fill the pan.
  • Start the meatloaf over medium heat at 275ᵒF for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low 160ᵒF to 175ᵒF and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

Doneness Test

Rare: Rest your left thumb against your left forefinger and press down on the soft fleshy part at the base of your left thumb with your right forefinger. That is what raw or rare feels like.

Medium-Rare: Place your left thumb directly over the center of your left forefinger and press down on the soft fleshy part at the base of your left thumb with your right forefinger. That is what medium-rare feels like.

Medium: Place your left thumb in between your left forefinger and your left middle finger and press down on the soft fleshy part at the base of your left thumb with your right forefinger. That is what medium feels like.

Medium-Well: Place your left thumb directly over the center of you left middle finger and press down on the soft fleshy part at the base of your left thumb with your right forefinger. That is what medium-well feels like.

Deglazing the Pan

One of the most sought-after features by professional chefs and knowledgeable home cooks is Health Craft’s non-porous surgical stainless steel cooking surface. The pan’s ability to completely release food particles (deglaze) adds the intense natural flavor of the meats cooked without the taste of contamination from the less expensive metals and coatings used in the manufacturing of most other pots and pans.

The chemistry of searing (caramelizing) the outer surface of meat is to cook it when it is room temperature. When placed into a hot pan, the meat immediately sticks to the pan and the natural salts and sugars in the meat are drawn to the surface along with melting marbleized fat. This process not only provides intense flavor to the outer surface of the meat, but the melting fat lubricates the pan as the meat is naturally tenderized. The result, the juices are locked inside, and the meat removes easily from the pans surface when the searing process is complete. Secondly, the residue remaining on the pan contains intense natural flavor. When meat stock, wine or liquid is added (deglazing), the residue is released to form a complimentary au juice or simmered down to become an intensely flavored gravy or demy glace.

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