Sirloin, sirloin, porterhouse, marbling, dry age. The terminology of different steak meats can make even the most accustomed steak eater dizzy, so it’s time to put the terms in order.
A steak restaurant opened this winter on the edge of Helsinki’s Senate Square, in Apteekinkulma, where steaks are known throughout the world.
Gastrogrill Muré is a showcase of Finnish meat, focusing on Finnish steak. Behind Muré is the meat house Atria, whose steaks have won the title of the world’s best steak in the World Steak Challenge no less than three times.
The latest win is from the fall of 2021, when the winning steak was a grass-fed Ayrshire sirloin steak with flavored fat. 400 different steaks from 23 different countries participated in the competition, and the jury tasted the meats blind.
So, Finnish steak has really earned a reputation around the world, and that’s exactly what Muré also wants to take center stage.
Tenderloin is the most popular
Muré is not a new restaurant. It opened in June 2020 on Korkeavuorenkatu. The restaurant’s initial plans were ragged due to the corona restrictions, but slowly it became clear that there is a demand for a steak restaurant.
– When Corona started to ease, we had 1,300–1,400 customers per month in 37 seats. The premises became cramped. It was quite a ruckus, says the restaurant’s managing director Pasi Luostarinen.
There has also been enough buzz at the new address on Pohjois-Esplanadi, its CEO recently got to experience firsthand.
– I tried to reserve a table for last Saturday three weeks in advance, but the butler said that there are no tables unless I arrive at four and leave by six. Of course, this is a positive problem.
Muré works as a chef Mika Palonen, who was chosen Chef of the Year in 2010 and represented Finland in the Bocuse DÓr competition in 2012–2013. Palonen says that both Finns and tourists visit the restaurant as customers. Beef tenderloin has become the most popular meat on the list.
– It is the easiest and most familiar to customers. For sauces, dark sauce is used the most, and for side dishes, unfortunately, French ones, Palonen says with a laugh.
– But the French go well with meats, he admits.
Most of the customers order their steak at the restaurant with the doneness recommended by the waiter, but everyone’s preferences are listened to in the kitchen.
– Yes, there will be those well done orders, and then we will do as the customer wants. That’s not a problem, even if I think the meat is going to spoil, says the chef.
The ABC of Steak Vocabulary
Then let’s familiarize ourselves with meats and let Luostarinen and Palonen explain what the steak vocabulary really means.
What means dry age meat?
– Dry age meat is placed in a dry age cabinet with a microclimate. Inside the cabinet, the humidity is 82–85 percent and the temperature is 1–1.5 degrees. Air circulates in the cabinet, and it is disinfected with an active carbon filter and UV light, so that the wrong kind of bugs don’t get into the meat, Luostarinen explains.
– In the cabinet, the meat thickens and becomes tender, and its flavor intensifies. The meat gets an umami and nutty taste. A powdery mold growth grows on the surface of the meat, which is peeled off, explains Luostarinen.
The meat is kept in the cupboard for 4–9 weeks, depending on the quality of the meat. In the world, meat can be kept in the cupboard much longer, but it is not appropriate.
– The taste is at its best and nutty after 4-9, after that it gets weird, Palonen explains.
What means prime?
Prime is entrecôte on the bone. So it is fattier meat than fillets.
– Prime is absolutely amazing because of its fat. Prime is at its best when cooked a little more than leaner sirloin or sirloin. Then the mouthfeel is perfect, Palonen says.
What means porterhouse?
– Porterhouse comes with a bone and it has fillet on both sides, one side has sirloin and the other side has sirloin. A porterhouse is like a T-bone steak, but a porterhouse has more tenderloin than a T-bone steak. The monk says.
A T-bone steak is slightly smaller than a porterhouse.
What means marbling?
– Marbling refers to white fat that can be seen on the surface of the meat. The amount of fat increases as the animal ages, and then the amount of visible white fat in the meat also increases. A scale of 1–5 or 1–10 is usually used for marbling, in Kobe 1–12, Luostarinen says.
– We use a heifer, which is a young, uncalved cow. Marbling in it is usually low, class 1–3. Marbling usually also increases the amount of connective tissue, which gives the meat a certain toughness. By using heifer, we lose a bit of marbling, but on the other hand, the meat has a fresher taste.
What does the term mean Chateaubriand?
– Chateaubriand is the center of the tenderloin, the best piece of tenderloin.