Local butcher Michael Fleming gives us the inside scoop on steak dinners.
How many different cuts of steak are there?
These days, there are a lot! New American-style cuts such as hanger steaks and flatirons have become more popular over here in recent years. I would say there are probably about 15 different steak cuts available in Ireland at the moment.
Should all steaks be cooked in the same way?
No — the cooking method will vary according to the cut of steak. Depending on the cut, the amount of fat and the toughness, some will need to be slow-cooked, while others will perform best when cooked quickly over a high heat. You can always ask your butcher for advice on how to best cook your steak.
What is a minute steak?
This is a small steak from the sirloin or round cut, which has been tenderised by a fierce pounding with a meat tenderiser. As the name suggests, these can be cooked in about a minute or so!
Is there a difference between striploin and sirloin steaks?
Yes, and the confusion is largely down to terminology differences between butchers and chefs. Chefs would call sirloin what we butchers know as striploin; what they refer to as striploin, we call a rump. This can be slightly confusing, but always ask your butcher if you are unsure.
What is the leanest type of steak?
Flatiron and flank steaks are both quite lean, but fillet steak is probably the best cut if you’re looking for something tender with minimal fat.
Which type of steak has the best flavour?
This is really down to personal opinion but, for me, it would be a good rib-eye.
Is it possible to make burgers by mincing steak? If so, which steak would you use?
Yes, it is absolutely possible, and you can ask your butcher to do this for you on the spot. In Flemings, we use rib-eye steaks to make our burgers; they are not the cheapest options, but they have a fantastic flavour as they have a good amount of fat and this is important in a tasty burger.
Which cut would you recommend for a steak sandwich?
Again, this is really down to personal preference, but I would opt for a striploin for its great flavour.
Try this recipe fillet steaks with mustard sauce, Friday night dinner goals!
Ireland’s most popular steak cuts
The T-bone is cut from the short loin, or the area where the waist would be. It has a T-shaped bone in the centre, separating the sirloin cut from the fillet. This cut is usually quite pricey because it combines two of the choicest cuts.
The sirloin is a steak cut from the upper middle of the animal. Because it’s near the rump, it is less tender than cuts from the loin or rib, but the line of fat along the edge adds excellent flavour.
Fillet steaks are cut from the tenderloin, which runs along the spine of the cow. This is often prized as the “best” cut because it’s so tender, but the lack of fat means it is less flavoursome than other steaks.
The rib-eye comes from the rib section of the cow, an area that doesn’t support much weight, making it relatively tender. The marbling of fat throughout the rib-eye gives it excellent flavour and means it’s suitable for slow-cooking as well as simple searing.
Round steak is from the backside of the animal. It’s a lean cut and relatively tough, meaning that it’s best used for stewing and braising