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On the Block: T-Bone Steak

24th April 2019
On the Block: T-Bone Steak

on the block: T-Bone steak 

 

Delicate and dainty it most certainly is not, but if you’re looking for substance and style twinned with knockout flavour, T-bone steak is the way to go. It’s an impressive cut that will very happily satisfy even the biggest of appetites. Or you can hark back to the ’70s and serve it as a knockout centrepiece is a super-retro mixed grill. 

Where it's cut from
The T-bone’s unique proposition is that it delivers two steaks in one. It’s cut from the short loin of the beef animal, which is found in the middle of the rib cage and runs from the spine down to the flank. A very close cousin to Porterhouse steak, each T-bone has the distinctive T-shaped bone running through it, holding together a sirloin steak on one side and a fillet steak on the other. Each of these has its own character and the bone, with all it’s associated connective tissues, delivers flavour and ensures succulence on cooking.    

Taste and Texture 
On the one hand you have the sirloin steak – well marbled, topped with melting fat and offering well-rounded flavour. On the other, there’s the fillet steak, prized as one of the finest beef cuts and delivering buttery soft texture alongside refined flavour. In combination, the T-bone means you get a bit of everything, from tenderness to robust bite and delicate taste to punchy flavour.

Succulence comes courtesy of the sirloin’s layer of superficial fat that renders down and bastes the steak as it cooks. The meat from both sides of the bone is marbled, too, so the T-bone is one juicy proposition.   

 

 

How to cook it
Some people worry that it’s tricky to cook a T-bone steak  – we don’t agree. There are just a few tricks to remember that’ll make sure you get the best results: 

Firstly, remove the steak from the fridge and let it come to room temperature before seasoning on both sides, ready to cook.
 
Secondly, make sure you have your griddle or pan nice and hot, then, holding the steak with a pair of tongs, sear the fatty edge of the steak until it sizzles, starts to render down and turns golden brown. Giving the fat a head start means you’ll have loads of flavour and moisture in the pan for cooking the meat. 
 
Thirdly, aim to cook the steak rare or medium rare – that way the quicker-cooking fillet won’t end up over done. It’ll take around 4 minutes a side on a high heat. Throwing a knob of butter into the pan and basting the steak for the last couple of minutes adds richness. 
 
Lastly, let the cooked steak have a good rest, wrapped in foil, of at least 5 but ideally 10 minutes before serving. It’ll finish cooking in the residual heat and the juices will redistribute evenly, giving you juicy and tender results.
 

Give it a try
T-bone steak makes an indulgent sharing platter for two when served on a rustic board with some tempting sides. Go simple with super-crispy chips and an unfussy salad of rocket and watercress dressed with balsamic and olive oil. A crumbling of blue cheese doesn’t go amiss, either. Or add some assertive spice (your T-bone can more than handle it) in the form of Parmentier potatoes tossed in smoked chipotle and a punchy tomato and red onion salsa spiked with hot green chilli.

A glass of full-bodied red such as a classic Cabernet or Merlot balances well with the T-bone’s texture and fat content. For a perfect match and to draw out all the flavour of the meat, choose a wine produced in a real beef-loving country like Chile or Brazil.

on the block: Beef Fillet Tail

If you were to ask a bunch of foodies to name the best bit on the beef carcass, chances are they’d say fillet. Renowned for being oh-so tender and buttery smooth, fillet most usually presents itself as refined but thick-cut steaks and it also yields up the poshest of posh beef cuts: the chateaubriand. But there’s something else going on here. There’s a bit you might not know about. It’s called the fillet tail – and what a treat it is. 

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