What makes a good steak? Is it the cut? Is it the way you cook it? Or is it the fact that it came from that butcher market in Guildford you like? You know the one, they offer butcher shop online ordering and always have the best selection. While any of these factors can contribute to a really good, flavourful steak, the truth is that a lot of the flavour and tenderness of a steak comes from the marbling.

What Is Marbling?

What is marbling? When it comes to steaks, marbling is the streaks of intramuscular white fat that travels through the muscle fibres. Marbling can be achieved both naturally and through selective breeding. Certain breeds like Tajima Japanese Black (Wagyu), British White, Angus, Shorthorns, Murray Grey and Herefords produce well-marbled beef. Cattle can also be fed barley, corn, or other cereal grains to create higher quality marbling grade. A good way to look for well-marbled steak is by choosing beef from your local butcher meat shop in Woking.

Be aware of fake marbled steak, that’s essentially fat-injected beef. Low-quality beef cuts with injected fat may look good because they look just like naturally-marbled steaks, but they aren’t going to be as tender or flavourful.

Excellent Flavour and Tenderness

When cooked at above 54C, marbling starts to melt and muscle fibres are coated by rich, buttery fat. This enhances the beefy flavour, resulting in an incredibly delicious steak. It’s not recommended to cook marbled steaks rare, because unmelted fat may cause an unpleasant and slightly waxy texture. The recommended way to cook marbled steaks is medium-rare, between 54 and 60 degrees Celsius. This ensures that the intramuscular fat fully melts, resulting in more flavourful and juicier steak, while keeping the centre of the steak tender and pink.

Better Nutritional Value

When cattle are fattened up appropriately to create marbling, oleic acid will replace saturated fats around muscle fibres. Well-marbled beef contains more oleic acid when cattle transition to feedlot feeding. Tajima Japanese Black (Wagyu) or Korean Hanwoo breed is usually fed up to thirty months of age with a proper diet to produce excellent marbling composition and more oleic acid. The higher level of HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol has beneficial effects on our health.

Contact G.J. Honour

To learn more about the importance of marbling in steaks, contact G.J. Honour and shop our wide selection of quality meats today.

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