Wednesday, 4 December 2013

How to make the most of cooking with steak

Move over wine matching, our colleagues at Simply Beef and Lamb have been matching our steaks with traditional ales to explore the rich flavour profiles some of the different steaks you can find in supermarkets and butchers right now. From IPA to trappist Dubbel, we've asked ale expert Richard Fox and our in-house steak expert Hugh to marry a variety of tasty steaks to their hoppy counterparts. Guest blogger Zhenya Dewfield, EBLEX digital product manager, explains.

Now the trendiest new steak on the (butcher’s) block, the flat iron is gaining popularity with celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver, favouring it for its great value and tenderness when cooked rare to medium-rare.

Flat Iron Steak

Hugh and Richard suggested pairing the flat iron with an American amber lager which has flavours of caramel and a little malt-sweetness to add complexity and balance.

The flat iron steak has a full flavour, while lean, the fat within the steak is marbled throughout and the beer is perfect for cutting through and refreshing the palate for the next mouthful. The maltiness and sweetness in the beer enables it to match and complement the flavour punch of the steak.

The classic rib-eye is a tender but well-fatted steak with a fantastic flavour. Our steak expert, Hugh, recommends cooking the rib-eye to medium to allow the fat to cook and release its wonderful flavour.
Rib-Eye Steak

 
Richard suggests pairing the rib-eye with a classic bottle-conditioned British IPA with fruit and caramel flavours. The effervescence of the beer will perform a perfect cutting and cleansing role, well suited to the flavoursome fats of the classic rib-eye.

The most lean and tender of all steaks, the fillet steak needs a beer that allows its subtleties to shine. Richard advises pairing is with a buttery and refreshing Czech Pilsner which is light with a firm, hoppy tang to refresh the palate and prepare it for the next bite.
Fillet Steak
The hanger steak is cut from a lean muscle group near the internal organs, producing a very beefy flavour in the meat. Hugh warns that, like the flat iron, the hanger steak is best cooked rare to medium as cooking for any longer causes this lean steak to become tough. Richard pairs the strong flavours with a full-bodied trappist Dubbel ale - bottle-conditioned, strong, with a rich complexity. Dark in colour, the Dubbel has notes of plums and dates with a smooth palate and accents of bitter chocolate - a perfect match for this juicy, full-flavoured cut of steak.

If you fancy trying any of these steaks with your favourite ale, most are widely available, or ask your local butcher for a guide.

What drinks do you like to pair with a good steak? Find Simply Beef and Lamb on twitter @simplybeeflamb or on Facebook.com/simplybeefandlamb to tell us about it.