Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

steak a piece of meat (beef, unless otherwise indicated) or fish cut to be a convenient portion, usually a small slice about 2 cm (0.75") thick, for grilling (US broiling), frying, or cooking over charcoal.

The word itself comes from an Old Norse word steikjo which meant to roast on a spit, a method of cookery which was always popular in England. In the 15th century, beef steak ‘griddled up brown’ was sprinkled with cinnamon and served with sharp sauce. An alternative name for grilled steak, ‘carbonado’ (see carbonade and carbonado), enjoyed a vogue in the 16th century, but lost ground thereafter.