GOODWIN menu is simple and our habitués know it by heart. It has a beauty of a harmonious melody: “Salad with sautéed porcini and pumpkinseed oil”, “New-York steak”, “Lamb rack with pepper sauce”, ‘’Premier GOODWIN burger with fried mushrooms, cheese and onion rings” and even “Carrot cake”! A fine selection of side-dishes match our steaks perfectly, be it creamed spinach or fries. Just what the steak orders! Starters and salads are also in perfect harmony with the steak entrées, not to mention good wine that is an ideal steak companion.
Beginning from the beginning
Basically a steak is just a piece of beef. Pork is for cutlets and chops. Steaks are thick pieces of beef (from 1 to 2 inches that is from 2.5 to 5 cm) that are cut across the filaments. Why across? Well, in this case the filaments are perpendicular to the grill, the heat spreads evenly and quickly and the meat cooks better. Not to mention that such meat is much easier to cut and chew. Although with GOODWIN steaks one can say adieu to chewing complications anyway.
A steak begins with the right choice of meat. Steak meat, be it on the bone or without it, must be already perfect with nothing to trim, no extra fat, no sinews. The best piece from the right part of beef is chosen and one may proceed to cooking instructions. If this piece is cut well everything will add to its flavor: both the fatty bits and the bone, if present. Steak meat should never be pounded with meat mallet - only cuts for other meat dishes require pounding. Steak meat can however be marinated, but we don’t like marinated steaks in GOODWIN. Marinating is usually done to tenderize the meat (acids in the marinade work on the meat filaments) but GOODWIN meat requires no tenderizing, it is perfect as it is and ready for cooking because chosen well.
Steak meat is the result of choice cattle breeding
Steak meat is mainly meat from young bulls (from one year old to one year and a half). This is the best period because the bulls have already grown big but their meat still remains young and tender. One of the best cattle breeds is Aberdeen Angus, initially from Scotland. Marbled beef – that is beef marbled with fat is also much appreciated. For this results young bulls are kept on a special high-protein diet. GOODWIN usually orders beef from the Australian or US suppliers. In these countries meat control regulations are the most stringent in the world, especially for the steaks, so only steaks that have passed all levels of control in the Australia or US come across the half of the world to GOODWIN kitchen.
How to preserve perfect choice meat
So the meat is chosen and must be preserved till GOODWIN chef cuts a steak off it (across the filaments, as has been specified – the only right way of cutting steaks!) and cooks it to order. Steaks should never be cooked from meat fresh from slaughter (such meat is not good for the health nor is it tasty enough – as meat tends to harden straight after the procedure). Even predators often do not eat their prey right after killing it. Meat should have time to mature, this process of slow fermentation will tenderize the filaments and ripen the flavor. The darker the meat is the longer is its maturation. Maturation period for chicken is usually one-two days, five days are enough for pork, but for beef strict US regulations dictate a period from 21 to 28 days. Beef usually matures in cool well-aerated special cellars.But before cooking such meat should be brought out, reach room temperature and dry a little. Only then the steak is ready for grilling.
How to cook a steak?
The important thing is to do it quickly! 15 minutes, not more. Every minute after that spoils the steak because steak beef always reaches doneness in under 15 minutes. Its other cuts of beef that are better when cooked slowly and thoroughly: boiled, roasted, and stewed.
Steak beef that has reached room temperature is cut into thick steaks (1 to 2 inches depending on the kind of steak required from the chef). Then the chef needs two well-heated surfaces of different temperatures, 260° and respectively. A steak must never be cooked on an unheated surface – while the meat is heated through all the juice seeps out “stewing” the steak and leaving it dry in the end. If the surface is well-heated to 260° though the steak “seals” in 20 seconds and browns evenly. A caramelization of sugars, that are present in every kind of meat and permit us to brown it, occurs. A juicy well-browned steak is then brought to the requested grade of doneness on the other, less heated (140-180°) surface.
GOODWIN steaks are Josper-grilled
In GOODWIN we use professional charcoal Josper oven for our steaks. Fire and meat – it’s an old partnership and men have been fond of it since the dawn of time and have no intention of renouncing it. That’s why there are many new hi-tech variations on this theme and Josper is one of them. It is just the same as using live fire only without any drawbacks, such as smoke or uneven heat. Charcoal perfumes the sizzling steak with its pervasive aroma and the result becomes doubly flavorful.
And now for the result
In GOODWIN there are 4 popular grades of doneness:
• Rare (a steak browned outside, red inside with blood)
• Medium rare (a steak pink red inside)
• Medium (a half-cooked steak, pink inside) – the most popular grade of doneness.
• Medium well (an almost well done steak, light pink inside);
• Well done (a steak cooked-through, brown inside) - GOODWIN doesn’t recommend this grade!
If you would like to order a raw steak (or bleu as the French call it) this can be done too and it will be perfect, seared outside and purple-red and barely warm inside. Still this grade of doneness isn’t much appreciated in our culture so we prefer to start with Rare.
Even so, only 5% of our guests are adventurous enough to prefer Rare. Their opposites, the conservative ones, those who prefer Well done are twice their number – about 10%. The majority of our guests are firmly for the Medium grade: Medium – 60%, Medium rare – 15%, Medium well – 10%. And of course if a guest hesitates we advise to start with the golden Medium as well.
Only a few degrees mark the difference between different grades of doneness but of course a good experienced chef is able to determine the current temperature of the steak just by looking at it. Still, classic technique of steak-cooking is rigorously observed in GOODWIN. Before the steak is served the chef tests its inside temperature with a professional meat thermometer. Every classic steak-house of the world has its steaks cooked like this and GOODWIN is no exception.