When we first moved to the island, we asked why the meat was so good here, and the answer we were given is that because we have no cattle, all our meat is imported, and therefore we only bring in the good stuff! For any steak lover, it’s paradise!
Some meat here comes from the Spanish mainland, but a fair amount of it also comes from South America.
It’s important to know what you’re ordering in a restaurant, and sometimes the menu translations aren’t very good.
Entrecot – This is sirloin, one of the tastiest cuts, but not always the tenderest. Lovely meaty flavour.
Solomillo – This one’s filet steak, almost always tender, with very little fat, but not super tasty, so it works well with a sauce.
Lomo Alto – This is a ribeye. You don’t find it that often here, but it’s my favourite, well marbled and super tasty!
Chuleton – This is a huge steak on the bone. Not quite a T-Bone, but very similar. Great beefy flavour and barbecues beautifully. Too much for one person!
How well done?
The Spanish tend to have their steak rarer than most northern Europeans are used to, so when you ask for a medium, you’re very likely to get a rare steak. Here’s how to order:
Poco Hecho (little done) – This means blue or extremely rare.
Medio Hecho (medium done) – This would be rare to medium rare in most countries, so seared on the outside, with a red strip in the middle of the meat and some blood when you cut into it.
Bien Hecho (well done) – This will be equivalent to a medium, so some red meat, but no blood.
If you want your steak without any red meat and cooked all the way through, there isn’t really an equivalent in Spanish, so I would suggest saying “Bien heco, pero sin rojo,” which would be well done, but without red.
Let’s hear it for Pork
Spain is famous for the quality of the pork, and I can tell you from personal experience, it’s spectacularly good. I didn’t like pork until I moved to Lanzarote, now I’ll choose it as often as a steak. So consider choosing it yourself, especially if you see the word “Secreto” in the description.