When it comes to recreating a restaurant-style meal, a steak dinner is certainly the best way to impress. What’s more, steak is arguably the most satisfying type of food and this is most especially true when both the preparation and environment are “on point”.
But aside from the cooking, how can you recreate a steakhouse dinner at home?
It’s true, you will find endless resources online that will show you how to master the cooking process. However, a steakhouse dinner is also about the finer details such as setting the table correctly and choosing the best wine pairing for the chosen steak. In this article, we consider five of the most important yet simple tips to recreate a fancy steakhouse dinner at home.
Buy High Quality Meat Only (Sirloin or Rib-Eye)
Let’s be honest, everyone knows the difference when it comes to high quality meat. For most chefs, sirloin or rib-eye steak are always the best option. More specifically, try to keep in mind that a marble of fat can make a steak especially rich and juicy. In fact, fat is not just moisture but also extra flavor for the meat and everything is good in moderation. Either way, given the obvious role of meat in a steakhouse, you should never overlook the importance of quality.
Invest in Some Quality Steak Knives
That being said, the last thing you want to do is massacre this beautiful steak. Just so you know, this is exactly what happens when you use the wrong cutlery and jump in without quality steak knives. In case you might be asking yourself, quality steak knives can be quickly identified by the blade. For instance, forged blades are often heavier and hold a sharp edge for long periods. However, non-serrated blades can glide through meat with little to no effort and make sure that you are left with smooth cuts. And then you have the comfort, for quality steak knives will always come with a comfortable handle.
Preparation is Everything for the Perfect Steak
You know the saying; fail to prepare, prepare to fail. You should always take great care when preparing a steak for the cooking process. For many chefs, this means taking your steak out of the fridge at least ten minutes beforehand for seasoning. At this point, you might want to rub some garlic butter into the steak or salt and pepper with a dab of oil. After all, many wine connoisseurs also believe that salt and pepper can improve the taste of wine. Alternatively, squeeze lime juice over the steak and wait for this mixture to marinate for five or ten minutes. Finally, a nice trick is to wrap the steak in some foil and place it in the oven for ten minutes.
Choose the Right Sauce and Sides for Your Steak
Chimichurri is a mainstay in Argentinian restaurants for good reason. It’s the perfect sauce for any steak and consists of garlic parsley, coriander, oil and white vinegar. Now, that’s not to say you absolutely must use this option but rather to suggest you might enjoy it. Aside from the sauce, chips is sometimes a good (or lazy) choice but cherry tomatoes and greens such as broccoli or asparagus are often the classy option. Ideally, the steak will be nicely sized and mean that you will not have to prepare many sides in the first place.
Set the Table Like a Steakhouse
Let’s be honest, a messy table is a terrible first impression at any restaurant. Also, this lack of attention or care often suggests the eatery is not concerned with the quality of service and this never bodes well for the food itself. With this in mind, make sure you set the table properly and take time to create a picture-perfect setting. Just so you know, plates should be placed on a table mat and a smaller bread plate to the top left of this mat. As for the dinner cutlery, these are placed parallel to the mat with forks on the left and knives on the right. Anyway, the point is, make things look tidy!
And Finally – Pick a Nice Wine Pairing for the Steak
When choosing a wine, you should know that certain types of wine work better with lean meat and fatty meats. That is to say, a light or medium-bodied wine is best for lean cuts, while a bold red wine will work better with fatty cuts. Simply put, lean meat requires a slightly more acidic wine to cut through the texture, while the tannin in bold wines will help scrape any fat away from inside the mouth. As a rule, the best way to decide on a suitable wine is to match the intensity of a wine with the intensity of the dish. For example, a top sirloin steak should be accompanied by an especially bold red wine. It must be said that choosing your favourite wine is one of the best things about recreating a steakhouse dinner, for you are never limited to whatever options that you might find on the wine list in your chosen steakhouse.
While nothing can beat the atmosphere or standard of service at a high quality steakhouse, recreating this experience is a lot more affordable. On the other hand, eating at home is often more enjoyable and private, with the bonus that you won’t have to get up and make your way home after the meal. As if that’s not enough, you get to choose your precise steak from the butcher and pick out your favourite wine and this is most often not possible when you choose a particular restaurant. Either way, attention to detail is the key to a fancy steakhouse dinner at home and with the above steps, you should find this is also a straightforward process that you can recreate over and over.