Neither a big meat eater nor a keen barbecue food fan, I never learned how to properly cook steak. I will go to a restaurant for one, because I'm not about to waste a perfectly good cut of meat with my lack of cooking skills.
Local company Just Sear, however, wants to break this belief by selling marinated and pre-cooked meat, frozen.
Customers just need to thaw the meat in hot water, cut the plastic bag, dab the meat dry with a kitchen towel and sear it for a few minutes (or pop it in the airfryer) for a perfectly good steak at home, minus the hefty price tag you typically get in restaurants.
It's like steak cooking for dummies and after trying its products, I can say that it is very good at what it sets out to do-- provided users ask questions (it's WhatsApp service is on point), watch its YouTube videos and have the appliances to prepare them, especially for bigger cuts like lamb rack or Tomahawk.
Founded by a team of engineers and steak buffs -- Saheran Hamid, Hisyammudin Yunos, Shazwan Md Noh and Wai How-- the brand initially started off as a meal-prep practice, developed as a sustainable means to support Saheran's meat-based Ketogenic diet.
"The age-old meat-eater's conundrum is the 'unattainable triangle' - the combination of affordable pricing, high quality, speed and convenience. You can have it fast, cheap or good, at most two out of three, but not all at once. But with Just Sear, we give you all three," Saheran says.
The team sent over some items for me to try-- lamb rack, beef steak and salmon Wellington, and I tried each on different days.
The lamb rack is the largest of the lot. It took more than 15 minutes to thaw and another 12 minutes in the airfryer. The night before, I texted the number on its @Just.Sear Instagram page and asked a few questions to Shazwan.
They were promptly answered, with links to the videos sent to me-- how to defrost, how to sear and how to make creamy au jus from the excess water in the bag. The website gives instructions too, when you click to order each item.
I did exactly as I was told and the next day, surprisingly, we had lamb rack for lunch and I was extremely happy. It was really, a simple, no-brainer process. Because that was my first try, I did not thaw it long enough so one part in the middle was cold. But the meat was pre-cooked, so apart from the temperature, there was no issue.
We tried salmon Wellington the next day and it turned out perfectly. Just unwrap the uncooked dish after thawing it overnight in the chiller and scratch lines on it. Spread beaten egg on it and off it went into my airfryer for 20 minutes. I was asked to bake it to 25 minutes but the pastry was already brown so I took it out.
The result-- a delicious dish of salmon and creamed spinach wrapped in flaky pastry-- that made us felt like we're dining in an expensive restaurant. It's delicious and filling and as someone who loves grilled salmon, it was perfect.
STEAK FOR NOVICE COOKS
The company says through extensive research and experimentation, Just Sear developed a quick, easy and fun way to cook red meat for even the most novice cook, and I have to wholly agree with them.
"Many people think that good quality steaks have to be expensive and can only be found in fancy restaurants. You don't have to brave going out to a restaurant, especially amid this ongoing pandemic, and you don't even need to break the bank for a gorgeous piece of steak. Just order from us, spend mere minutes to sear the steaks, and then savour every bite from the comfort of your own home," Saheran says.
The Australian Angus Picanha steak is also delicious I could not believe I was having this at home. I just thawed it in hot water for seven minutes and off it went into my airfryer with the accompanying butter and what came out was soft, juicy steak. I ate it with a side of salad, just how I like it.
Just Sear has pre-cooked Wagyu briskets, Angus short ribs, Wagyu tomahawks and Dry Aged Japanese Wagyu A5 Picanha, among others. Steaks are pre-cooked to medium rare, while barbeque cuts such as ribs, briskets and karubi are cooked to fork tender. They are sold and delivered to customers frozen.
For more information about Just Sear, visit https://www.justsear.com/ or you can find them on Instagram @Just.Sear.