Essential guide to every discerning carnivore’s favourite meat
Time Out Bahrain staff
Ribeye Ribeye is known for its heavy marbling with distinctive flavours, making it one of the richest and beefiest cuts. Wagyu cattle are known for producing the best.
Tenderloin A narrow piece of flesh in the cow’s mid-section, the tenderloin is steak’s most expensive cut and prized for being lean and tender. In France, the cut from the smaller end is known as filet mignon, while châteaubriand is taken from the centre.
Sirloin Sirloin might be one of the cheapest cuts but its popular due to its leanness, making it the cut of choice for fat-haters.
Porterhouse and T-bone Porterhouse and T-bone steaks are well known for being humungous and are cut from the short loin of the cow. The T-bone is smaller with a high ratio of bone to meat, but both cuts have T-shaped bones with generous portions of fat.
Rump Costs are low from rump, which is taken from the backside of the cow, but flavours are high. Because this part of the cow is quite active, the meat tends to be quite chewy but it works well when grilled on a barbecue or cut into thin strips.
How do you like your steak?
Rare Only for the most animalistic among us, rare cuts should be brown on the meat’s crust and bright red in the middle.
Medium rare According to chefs, this is how prime cuts of steak should be cooked to best show off the quality, with a thin browned edge and a pink middle.
Medium A pink band should run through the centre while the rest of the meat is brown. It’s firm to touch and the most common choice for meat eaters.
Medium well There should only be a hint of pink in your steak while the rest is various shades of brown – darker on the edges and lighter towards the middle.
Well done A well done cut is brown all over, not at all pink and very firm to touch. This is the order of choice for people who don’t actually like steak.
What’s the beef with steak?
So, what’s all the fuss about marbling grades? As advised by Joe Van Jaarsveld, The Meat Co’s head of global strategic sourcing ‘Marbling refers to the intramuscular fat (flecks and streaks of fat) that is deposited between muscle fibres in beef, influenced by selective breeding as well as being fed cereal grains, such as corn or barley. The marbling adds flavour and is one of the main criteria for judging beef quality. This marbling is assessed in chilled carcasses by comparing the quantity of marbled fat versus meat. In general, the more marbling it contains, the better the product is perceived to be. The marbling score, or grade, is judged from one to nine, with nine-plus being the cut with the most marbling and therefore regarded as the best. Of course, in reality, the best cut, or flavours, is up to each individual’s taste, which is how it should be.’ The Meat Co Open Sat-Tue 12.30pm-11.30pm; Fri 12.30pm-midnight. Block 338, Adliya, www.themeatco.com (1774 2080).
What is Kobe beef and why is it so highly prized? As advised by Yann Bernard Lejard chef de cuisine at Plums, The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain ‘Literally ‘Wa’ means Japan and ‘gyu’ means beef – wagyu is the term for all the beef breeds in Japan. Originally, this breed was grown and appreciated for their power force, which was very useful to the farmers’ work. This Japanese breed lives in the mountains, the colour of their fur is black or dark red, and their weight is around 600 kilograms.
‘The beef meat from the city of Kobe is very specific as their breed undergoes a specific diet and they even get massages with sake: ‘Japanese sensorial massage’. Along with their daily food, they drink around three litres of hops, which might be the reason why they are always so zen.
‘The particularity of the Kobe beef is the intramuscular marble of the fat in the meat. Contrary to all the other meats, where the fat is around the muscle, with Kobe beef the fat is delivered in all the muscle and it’s very poor in cholesterol and saturated fat.
‘It is also quite unknown that the Kobe cows are used to listening to music while they enjoy spacious landscapes around them. As a result, the meat produced is of high quality, so tender, juicy and delicious.
‘The best way to taste a Kobe tenderloin or sirloin is seasoned and grilled. Then leave the meat to rest for a little while, and serve it medium to medium well-done.
‘You should feel this particular, fresh butter taste melting in your mouth, that only the Kobe beef can give you.’ Plums Open daily 7pm-11.30pm. The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel & Spa, Seef (1758 0000).
Why is cow feed so important and how does it affect the meat’s texture and taste? As advised by David Bell, executive sous chef from the InterContinental Regency Hotel
‘Grain fed beef is derived from cattle that have been fed on a nutritionally balanced, high-energy-finished ration for a specified number of days. This feeding regime results in a more consistent product and enhanced marbling that contribute to improved tenderness, juiciness and flavour. ‘Grain fed beef generally yields more consistent fat and meat colour. ‘Typical feeding regimes are: short-fed (100 to 150 days), medium-fed (150 to 200 days) and long-fed (200-plus days). It is highly regarded in many export markets, the most famous is the Wagyu breed (or Kobe beef as it is also known) which is the holy grail of the meat industry.’ Legendz Steakhouse Open daily 12.30pm-3.30pm, 7pm-11pm. InterContinental Regency Bahrain, Manama (1722 7777).
Where to enjoy your cuts in Bahrain? Butcher Shop & Grill Where better to look for a good selection of steak cuts than in a place that also has an in-house butchery and knife counter? For some, South African concept the Butcher Shop & Grill is the bee’s knees of steakhouses, as they have some prime cuts that are cooked consistently to perfection. Open Sat-Tue noon-11pm, Wed-Fri noon-midnight. Bahrain City Centre (1717 2323).
Legendz Steakhouse Five-star hotel outlet Legendz Steakhouse is known for its prime beef cuts and moreish sauces (although the meat is so good you won’t actually need them). They have some fantastic side dishes on offer too. Open daily 12.30pm-3.30pm, 7.30pm-11pm. InterContinental Regency Bahrain (1722 7777).
Le Sauvage With a menu emphasis on steak at the award-winning steakhouse Le Sauvage, diners can choose between prime cuts from Argentina, Angus beef from the US and wagyu from Australia, all cooked to perfection and served with great complementary sauces and sides. Open Tue-Sun 6pm-midnight. The Domain Bahrain Hotel, Diplomatic Area (1600 0222).
The Meat Co The quality and range of available prime cuts (and grape) at award-winning South African steakhouse The Meat Co is second-to-none on the island, particularly as they have a ‘meat connoisseurs’ menu that makes carnivores drool. Open Sun-Thu 12.30pm-11.15pm. Fri-Sat 12.30pm-12.45am. Block 338, Adliya (1774 2080).
Plums The menu isn’t overwhelming at Plums but that’s a good thing in our books as it encompasses everything you would want from a five-star hotel’s steakhouse, including some top quality cuts of meat, not just limited to steaks. Open daily 7pm-11.30pm. The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel & Spa (1758 0000).
Sizzlers An old favourite for steak lovers is this international restaurant that boasts comfortable interiors, reasonable prices and great food. The best bit? You can head there at any time of day or night for your meat fix. Open daily 24 hours. Mansouri Mansions (1771 6999).