In every dish, the key ingredients play a crucial role in determining the taste, flavor, texture and overall outcome of the dish. Every cuisine, be it Chinese, Mediterranean, Thai, or Italian, has its signature ingredients, without which the dish remains incomplete.
If you want to cook a Mediterranean dish, you will need olive oil, garlic, parsley leaves, yogurt etc. And all these elements are irreplaceable, meaning that you cannot use soya oil or peanut oil instead of olive oil in a Mediterranean dish. Likewise, for Thai cuisine, Thai ginger, coconut milk, and fish sauce are all essential, and none of them can be replaced if you want to taste authentic Thai food.
For a steak-based dish, the cut of the steak, that is the portion of the cow or pig from which the flesh is obtained is of vital importance. So if you are planning to look for the perfect Chateaubriand, you should definitely go to chateaubriand tenderloin.
What Is A Chateaubriand?
It is a French steak. A steak has a thick piece of meat that mainly contains animal muscle, and it may or may not include bones. Steaks can be tossed in oil with vegetables, or they can be grilled in an oven; in some cases, they are even used as the patty between two pieces of bread.
A Chateaubriand is a specific type of steak that uses a tenderloin cut of beef, and this piece of animal flesh is cooked by wrapping it inside two other lean pieces of meat. The outer lean pieces may be a beacon, and these pieces are usually discarded after the primary cooking process is over.
Also, there is some confusion over what is called the Chateaubriand, the final dish or the specific type of meat. However, most chefs like to attribute the name Chateaubriand to the specific cut of the meat.
What Type Of Meat Should Be Used To Make The Perfect Chateaubriand?
The Portion Of The Animal Body From Which The Flesh Is Obtained
The flesh should be obtained from the muscular portion on the underside of the spine. It is an eclipse-shaped muscle that runs along the animal’s vertebral column. The muscle is long and narrow, and it extends from the hip region to the thirteenth vertebra of the cow.
This portion of the cow is also known as the loin region. And this cut is very tender; hence it is also known as tenderloin. The cut is juicy, fine-grained, easy to cook and often leaves a buttery taste in the mouth.
The Size And Shape Of The Piece Of Meat
The shape of the animal flesh used for Chateaubriand can be compared to a pencil. Just as the pencil is long and narrow with a pointed lead tip on top of it, likewise this cut is long, narrow and has a pointed piece of fat on top of it. The piece of fat can be tricky to cook as it can get burned or overcooked easily. Hence most chefs advise that the pointed piece of fat should be tied on top of the muscular piece of flesh while cooking.
The pieces of the steak are around two and a half inches thick. Each cut weighs about four to seven pounds. A pound of steak is good enough to feed around three to four people. Hence if you buy a cut of four pounds, you can feed around sixteen people, and if it is a heavy cut of seven pounds, then you should be able to feed around thirty people.
Tenderness Of The Steak
A speciality of Chateaubriand is the tenderness of the flesh. It is soft, and it is not at all chewy. Animals like cows and buffalos are often used as draught animals. They are used to carry loads for long distances. The muscles of the body develop based on how much it is used. If a specific muscle is made to work harder, it will develop more muscle mass.
However, the cut for Chateaubriand is obtained from such a muscle that is not used for carrying weight or walking long distances. Hence, this cut does not have many muscle fibers. The presence of muscle fibers makes a piece of animal muscle rough and chewy and the absence of muscle fibers makes the Chateaubriand soft and tender.
Flavor Of The Steak
The flavor of a steak depends on many factors, but it is largely dependant on the fat content of the meat. The Chateaubriand cut is obtained from lean meat hence the fat content is quite less. According to US standards, lean meat contains less than five grams of saturated fat and less than ten grams of total fat.
On average lean meat should not contain more than eighteen grams of fat per hundred grams of meat. Eating less amount of saturated fat is good for your heart as saturated fats increase the risk of a heart attack.
Cooking a lean piece of animal flesh is quite difficult if you are not experienced enough. It may dry out quickly, and the steak might give a rubbery feel while chewing and swallowing. At times the main piece of meat is cooked after wrapping it inside two pieces of beacon to increase the flavor of the cut.
A beacon is a thin slice of meat that is soaked in the salt solution. It is obtained from beef or pork meat. It is usually obtained from the belly region or the back portion of the cow or pig.
A steak might look like a simple dish to cook but to cook a perfect steak is a daunting challenge. Several things can go wrong while cooking the steak. The temperature of cooking, the time of cooking, the kind of seasoning used etc., should all be perfect.
However, the most important factor that determines the fate of a steak is the right cut of meat. If the meat cut is not right, the steak will go awfully wrong in terms of taste, texture, flavor and overall feel of the meat.