Five expert tips on finding the ultimate steak
It took Mark Schatzker three years to find the perfect steak. The Toronto-based journalist, traveller and lifelong beef lover was sick of the less-than-revelatory variety available hereabouts and set out to find the best a cow could give. The Globe recently hung out with Schatzker to eat steak and talk about his new book, Steak: One Man’s Search for the World’s Tastiest Piece of Beef. Here, five pearls of beefy wisdom we gleaned from that encounter.
1. For value, buy an entire cow
The initial investment is around $2,000, but after the cow has been eaten, its hide makes for a far-from-tacky living room rug.
2. Vegetarianism is for chumps like Hitler
There’s a reason why the smartest primates always seek the fattest animals, Schatzker contends. Brains crave fat, and they don’t get it from tofu (though we wonder if he’s heard of a strange, high-fat food called “nuts”). And yes, he likes to point out—rather dubiously, we should add—that Hitler was a vegetarian.
3. Get out of those wet clothes and into a dry fillet
Always pat a steak dry with paper towel to avoid a boiled flavour. In a move that some would consider non-kosher, he also likes to apply “a large palmful” of kosher salt to each side of his steak.
4. West is best
Schatzker’s steak journey took him to Scotland, Argentina and Japan, but he found his ideal steak in Idaho. (Sorry, Alberta.)
5. Grass is a glorious gamble
Grass-fed beef is less consistent, as the quality of the beef depends on when and where the cow grazes. But when it’s good, it’s really good.