Authentic American Western Food
IS STEAK YOUR FOOD? STEAK IS OUR PASSION!
At ORIGINAL Botak Jones® we have many unique items based on many unique recipes but it’s our steak that consumes us. Funny, huh? The steak is consuming us. There are so many different factors that need to come together for a steak to be ready for serving at ORIGINAL Botak Jones®, really!
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Steak is not only for the complete carnivore-but also for the person who has steak only now and then. And if you’re one of those people, don’t you want the steak you eat to be satisfying and delicious? Steak has the protein that your body craves when your reserves are on low. It also contains the fats and amino acids that helps your body function. We’ve been doing this for a while now, and let us tell you how and why. The more you know, the better you may regard steaks from ORIGINAL Botak Jones®.
Cattle, you know, where your beef comes from, is divided into three main categories: cows, bulls, and steers. There are four if you count young cattle for veal. We won’t count them.
Are female cattle. We know that is where the bulk of the milk we consume comes from cows. But these are primarily dairy cows, bred for their ability to continuously produce milk. Cows are also used for breeding as you need a male, bull, and a female, cow, to produce a calf. The beef from cows is void of the nutrients needed to make their beef tender and palatable. Some beef from cows is injected with enzymes and fluids to make the beef more palatable. This makes steaks from cows a cheaper choice as the cost of a cow for beef (steak) is much less than a steer or even a bull. We’ll get to that.
Are male cattle, but you knew that. Bulls are bred for beef and steak. Although Bulls have the necessary hormones and enzymes to make their beef more palatable than cows, they also produce testosterone which lead to lower their quality of beef(steak), but still better than cows. Bulls primarily are bred for breeding and by selection, to have offspring that produce through generations, generally higher quality beef (steak).
Are bulls which have been castrated. By castrating the bull, it prevents the production of testosterone. By taking out the testosterone, the beef(steak) is more tender and also more flavorful. Castration improves the marbling-not just the tenderness, as marbling is fat, which has a lot of flavors, so it does the double whammy of making the beef(steak) not only more tender but increases the depth of flavor. How about that?
BREEDS OF CATTLE FOR STEAK
There is a lot of confusion amongst the pseudo steak experts about this. You’ll know if they are pseudo experts if they post their “knowledge” about what they ate the night before. Experts don’t bother posting. Go figure.
So, if you’ve built your knowledge of steak and beef on posts from people who don’t make, process, or sell it, you may just want to read further.
Breeds of cattle (steak) are different just the same as dog breeds, cat breed and human breeds. Are some cattle breeds in themselves better or worse than other breeds. Well, it’s kind of subjective, much like comparing physical attributes of other animals, even humans.
Take basketball for instance. In the past, basketball players HAD to be very tall as the prevailing systems were based on humans who were taller and closer to the basket had a definite advantage over those who were shorter. So, through breeding (drafting players for a team) they were able to craft the type of team (breed) they produced. Steph Curry and some before him, but definitely Steph, changed the way the game was played making more advantageous to shorter tall people.
Now let’s do this same thing to cattle (steak). Cattle are bred and bred through generations of the cattle to make one or another attribute more important or less. Does this make one breed more tender or flavorful, well, it might have something to do with the steak you’re eating but not as much as you may think.
Here are a few breeds that have been actively marketed to the public and to the industry as well in our region.
Is one of the most desirable of breeds in America for intrinsic reasons but mostly due to marketing efforts. Marketing has made it beneficial to state that the beef (steak) is Black Angus or just Angus. Black Angus is the breed most common in America.
Is another breed originally bred in England and then in America as well. Bred for its ability to mature quickly and take on bulk.
Is a breed raised in Texas and prized for their ability to survive and breed in harsher conditions. They were crossbred with Angus to add the attributes of both together.
Is a breed originating in Japan and now being bred around the world. The breed’s main characteristic is the marbling in its beef (steak).
A breed in itself only has the basic attributes and does not ensure a steak of one quality or another. To be considered a breed in many countries, the offspring must be at least 51% of the breed it is touted to be. This is checked periodically in some countries by the DNA testing of beef samples to determine its breed. That means that the expensive Wagyu steak you have may be only 51% Wagyu.
FEED, CARE AND PRODUCTION USED FOR STEAK
What the cattle eat, the quality of what they eat and how they are fed might have more to do than the breed. What you read and how a steak is advertised has a lot to do with people’s perceptions rather than what the facts really happen to be.
Grass fed cattle are the least expensive type to raise but marketing is making it seem like grass fed is a luxury. While we’re not trying to get politically involved here, marketing is having the result of suppliers and restaurants being able to raise the price of their steaks.
Grain fed cattle are usually raised on grass and then fed grain for “fattening” for a certain length of time, which is also marketed. The grain can be oats or barley. In America, corn was the grain of choice for many producers as it was inexpensive and readily obtainable.
Aging is the amount of time beef (steak) has been rested before it is ready to be cooked. Aging intensifies the flavor and allows the beef (steak) to dissolve small veins and connective tissue. It also allows the steak to tenderize by breaking down the cellular structure to an extent. All beef (steak) is aged, the extent of how long and the method used will affect the tenderness, flavor and price.
Marbling is the striated lines of fat built up in the beef(steak). Marbling can occur naturally due the characteristic of the breed and can be enhance by grain feeding. While the amount of marbling may enhance the tenderness of the steak, it may or may not actually enhance the flavor. What built the marbling, the feed used, and how the cattle were raised, will have a greater effect of the flavor than just marbling alone.
The “in” thing for a while and still a topic point online is the marbling score. The marbling score relates to the amount of marbling throughout the steak. People post about the marbling score as if it is the most indicative aspect of how good a steak quality may be. Again, this may or may not be true depending on the other factors above. A Wagyu ribeye with a marbling score of MS9 may have a flat flavor, while an American USDA Prime ribeye may have infinitely more flavor. However, both will have a decidedly different flavor from each other that is not due to marbling at all.
CUTS OF STEAK
Different parts, called cuts, of the steer will also have different flavor intensity and levels of tenderness. This is due to each part of the steer being used a lot, or a lot less while it was living. The most used cuts these days are the striploin or sirloin, the tenderloin, sometimes called the filet mignon in French, and the ribeye which may or may not include the bone to which it is attached. There are many other cuts of beef used, called off cuts, when used to make steaks, but we’ll focus on the three most used.
Called sirloin in America is a great cut of steak if you like steak that is not too tough to chew or too tough on the wallet or pocketbook. Strips usually have little marbling compared to the ribeye but has been exercised just little enough in the steer to keep it somewhat tender. Because it has less fat content, it might not be as flavorful as a ribeye.
Is a cut of steak that runs down the back of the steer. Because of its location it has been used very little in the life of the steer and is therefore the most tender. It contains little fat so while it may be the most tender cut of steak, it doesn’t have the flavor intensity of the ribeye. This steak is expensive due to it being the smallest of the steer. The filet mignon is cut from the tip of the tenderloin and translates roughly to cute filet as it is traditionally served as a small round piece of steak.
is sometimes referred to as the King of Steaks. It is tender and fatty lending to its full deep flavor. As the name suggests, the ribeye is the beef from the rib section of the steer. When served with the bone it may be called an OP Rib but is usually referred to as a Tomahawk, a reference to the American Indian hatchet of which it resembles.
The ribeye might be the most often ordered but data isn’t that reliable. Because of its stature as the steak most wanted by most steak lovers ORIGINAL Botak Jones® has made it its first and premier steak. We offer a New Zeeland or Australian Prime (Marketing Grade), Steer (type of cattle), Ribeye, not to be confused with Prime Rib, which is served as a roast and served that way.
HOW ORIGINAL BOTAK Jones® DOES STEAK
When we start with good steak, we’re only halfway there. First, we get our ribeye in one long chilled beef cut called a cube roll.
We then start by trimming some of the outside fat, called the lip, off of the cube roll. Then we further tenderize the cube roll physically. This opens and relaxes the beef enough to make the next step even more effective.
We then prepare and marinate the cube roll before we wrap it whole and keep it chilled for at least a day to let the marination mingle with the beef deep down.
Only after a day do we cut the cube roll into individual Ribeye Steaks. These are weighed when cutting to ensure they are what our customers are ordering is what they are getting and then vacuum sealed to retain the juices and flavor.
When ordered by our customer, we then, and only then, char-grill the steak to our customer’s order, whether:
RARE – CENTER WILL BE COOL, RED
MEDIUM RARE – CENTER SLIGHTLY RED, MOSTLY PINK
MEDIUM – PINK
MEDIUM WELL – SLIGHTLY PINK CENTER
WELL-DONE – COOKED THROUGH BUT JUICY
VERY WELL-DONE – LESS JUICY
The steak is then rested for 5-8 minutes before being served to let it retain its juices.
How do you make a steak more flavorful?
At ORIGINAL Botak Jones® we only use natural herb and salt to accent and bring out the steak’s natural flavors.
Some folks do use chemicals and artificial flavor enhancers to make the flavor more intense, we don’t.
Why does HOW ORIGINAL BOTAK Jones® char-grill its steaks?
We find that the char-grill, especially over lava rock, intensifies as well as adds a different level and layer of flavor to our food. It’s also a great way to develop the texture and flavor differences in the steak.
Is it okay to return a steak if it’s not cooked to the required doneness?
Of course, it is, but being polite, cut into the steak right away to check the doneness first, as the steak will continue to cook a while from the heat of the outer part of the steak, that is what resting does. So even if you are just on the phone when the steak arrives, it may change doneness in the time it takes before you to start eating.
What are other ways to cook a steak?
There are many ways to cook a good steak. Some people like to pan fry a steak and baste it while it cooks. Similar to char-grilling, the steak should be turned often to allow the steak to cook evenly throughout.
Some like to sear the steak in a pan or on a grill to enclose the inner beef and then finish in a broiler or oven. Some do just the opposite and sear the steak after baking in an oven. Some grill over charcoal, which may add a completely different strong flavor and aroma. It’s important though that the steak is cooked evenly throughout, especially if the steak has thicker or thinner areas.
Is there a “best” doneness or temperature for a steak?
Most chefs we’ve talked to, including myself, suggest Medium-Rare. It allows for the maximum juiciness of the steak and very little blood. Medium would be our second choice, but this really depends on the taste of the diner. Some like it bleau or even less than rare, while others want a steak that is completely cooked though, well-done. Chefs suggest that well-done actually cooks a lot of the flavor out of the steak.