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The perfect steak

Our guide to getting the most from your meat

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20 AUGUST 2009

The cut you choose is up to you. Most foodies now have sworn off fillet, preferring something slightly chewier, with a little more fat equating a much greater flavour.

A rump or sirloin, treated properly, will taste so much more, well, beefy.

Hanger steak or onglet is coming back into fashion – so pick these up before prices rocket. They are tougher, but are known as the ‘butcher’s steak’ as this was always a treat for those in the know – namely our butchers.

A ribeye is a happy medium, providing different textures and flavours.

There are some essentials when it comes to cooking steak though – and if you are buying decent meat then it should also be treated properly.

Let it come to room temperature for an hour or so before cooking. If you cook it from cold, you’ll end up with red raw steak in the middle – which will actually be cold, too. Not pleasant.

Pre-heat your grill, griddle or frying pan until fairly hot, but not roasting. The meat needs to cook evenly, not burn on the outside before being ready on the inside. Brush the meat with a little oil beforehand – not the griddle. Be generous with the seasoning, but only do this as you are putting it in the pan.

The way you cook the steak depends on how you like it done. There’s an unwritten rule for steaks which says the cooking and resting time must be ten minutes. Thus:

For rare, cook the steak for 1-2 minutes each side and rest for 6-8

Medium rare, cook for 2 to 2 and a half each side, resting for 5-6.

Medium, 3 minutes a side and rest for 4. Well done, 4-5 minutes per side, resting for 1.

Remember to rest them though, as this allows the meat to relax, the cooking to even out and the steak to become juicy and tender.

Serve with your condiment of choice and crisp, proper chips.

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