KUALA LUMPUR: Enjoying a premium steak or other quality meat dishes at a fancy restaurant can be a pricey affair.
However, preparing them at home may not only be time-consuming but beyond the capabilities of most.
It was with this in mind that four people got together to start Just Sear, which specialises in producing and selling affordably priced pre-cooked and frozen ready-to-sear steaks and other meat-based products.
“At Just Sear, we want to make the ‘unattainable triangle’ possible for our customers,” shares co-founder Nur Saheran Abdul Hamid, 45.
By ‘unattainable triangle’, the former engineer explained that the term referred to the combination of high-quality food, affordability and accessibility or convenience, adding that most people tend to associate steaks with fancy restaurants and high price tags.
The pre-cooked steaks that emerge from Just Sear’s central kitchen in Jalan Ampang can be prepared in just three steps in the comfort of one’s kitchen.
He explains that the first step was to defrost the meat in hot water for about five to 15 minutes until it is soft. Then pat it dry on both sides to ensure there is no moisture. The last step is to just sear the meat using a kitchen blowtorch or in a pan. And voila, the steak is ready!
“Now, you can even enjoy steak in the wee hours of the morning as you watch a football match,” says Nur Saheran, who embarked on making and selling pre-cooked and frozen meat dishes from his home in August 2019.
It was in May 2020 that he and his partners set up a company to run this business.
He is, however, quick to add that they do not compromise on the quality of their meat products in the name of convenience and affordable pricing.
“Our meat supplier also supplies meat to higher-end steakhouses. But by eliminating certain aspects of dining in a fancy restaurant, we can share the savings with our customers,” he says.
After watching a live demonstration of how the pre-cooked meats are prepared and served, the FMT team had the pleasure of tasting the final products.
The Wagyu MB9 Picanha steak (Australian), which was charred to perfection, had a nice brown crust over the juicy and tender meat underneath.
The truffle butter served on the side enhanced the flavour of the meat. Tucking into the delicious steak, it was hard to believe it can be easily prepared at home too.
The Salmon En Croute, or Salmon Wellington meanwhile, had a tantalising aroma and was mouthwatering.
The fresh Norwegian salmon atop a bed of creamy spinach is wrapped in crispy puff pastry and served with homemade lemon butter sauce on the side. Needless to say, every spoonful carried a burst of flavours.
“A Wellington may not be a simple dish to make, but with our ready-to-bake Wellingtons, you can easily enjoy it at home with your family.
“All you have to do is add a layer of egg wash over the defrosted Wellington, sprinkle some salt or additional seasonings and bake it in the oven or air fryer,” explains Nur Saheran, adding that they are currently in the process of applying for halal certification for their products.
Just Sear also offers ready-to-bake chicken, lamb and beef (grain-fed/wagyu) Wellingtons.
Other pre-cooked products include smoked wagyu MB7 porterhouse (Australian), 36 days dry-aged Wagyu MB9 chuck steak (Australian) and grain-fed tenderloin (Australian).
The instructions for their preparation are available on Just Sear’s website and YouTube channel.
The inspiration behind Just Sear came from the personal experience of Nur Saheran, a ketogenic diet follower.
Being diagnosed with prediabetes in 2011 was a turning point in his life, he says, which compelled him to change his lifestyle and eat a healthier diet.
Steaks became an important part of his diet after he started to follow the low-carb, high-fat diet which is based on the principle of shifting the body’s metabolism from burning glucose to burning fat for energy.
“However, it became a challenge for me to maintain this diet because it was time-consuming to cook at home and too expensive to dine out. It was simply not sustainable,” he adds.
That is why Nur Saheran and his partners, Mohd Hisyammudin Mohd Yunos, 40, Mohd Shazwan Md Noh, 36, and Tham Wai Hou, 45, are constantly looking for creative ways to overcome such constraints through science and technology.
Nur Saheran, who calls the Just Sear team “The Culinary Engineers”, says, “We do not come from within the food industry, so we are exploring different ways to do things and disrupt the red meat market.”
“So, that’s the mission of Just Sear – to provide an opportunity for Malaysians to enjoy premium quality red meat in a convenient way and at an affordable price.”
For those who still prefer dining out, the team has just opened a dine-in section at their business premises.
Article appeared in FMT