3. Get the perfect sear
As we’ve said, the proper sear is where you can guarantee the volume and weight of your meat, and also lock in moisture and flavour. Getting your pan to a high heat – not so high the oil burns, but still high – helps to achieve this. Look for good viscosity of oil before you thrown in the meat – which should sizzle as soon as the meat hits it.
Even though with chuck steak or similar the temptation is to throw the meat into the pan and turn it over vigorously, I’d recommend thinking of the lumps of meat as mini steaks: try and cook them evenly on both sides, allowing them to build up healthy colour as you go.
4. De-glaze for taste and tenderness
After the sear, the bottom of the pan should be a lovely golden brown colour. This represents a real depth of flavour you need to bring into the dish. To do this, you need to deglaze the pan. You can use any number of liquids, depending on your dish – wine, beer or stock could all be perfect.
The key element is to understand that the temperature will drop in your pan when you add your liquid, and the flavour of your final dish will depend on getting that temperature back into the pan as quickly as possible.
Again, I had an advantage working with the Vario Cooking Centre, which monitors its temperature dynamically and adjusts the power it gives to the heating elements to avoid big temperature drops. However, if you are using gas or another electrical appliance you can make sure this happens right by being ready for the temperature drop when you add your liquid. Again, this is helped by not overcrowding your pan either. This might mean you have to batch your meat cooking, but it will be worth it in the end because you will produce juicy meat that is packed with flavour and doesn’t lose its volume.