The tenderness is affected by the choice of meat. Look for flesh with a little fine marbling of fat as this dissolves in cooking and helps to tenderize the steak. Meat from animals that have been carefully reared and cuts from muscles that do not move, such as eye fillet and scotch fillet, are apt to be the most tender. It is also important that the meat should have been well hung in a cool place for about 14 days. During hanging, flavor develops and the natural enzymes in the meat break down the tough tissues, making it firmer, drier and more tender. The meat will also look much darker in color. Bright red steak is more likely to be tough.
If you buy from a good butcher, these points will be covered. But how you cook steak, and for how long, also affects its tenderness. Good quality raw steak is already tender and over-cooking it makes it tough. Always bring the steak to room temperature before you start to cook.
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