Steak is one of the easiest meals to cook in the kitchen, but, understandably, food novices can be put off. How can I tell when it's done? What if I overcook it? What kind of cut should I buy? Diego Jacquet – chef patron of ZOILO, a true Argentinian restaurant in London that counts Claudia Winkleman and Rio Ferdinand as fans – has shared his secrets for preparing and cooking the perfect steak. So if you're looking to treat that special someone this Valentine's Day, look no further...
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Diego has shared his top tips for cooking the perfect steak
It's all about the cut – you should choose carefully and base your decision around your preferred flavour and texture.
Rib eye: The king of steaks with marbling all over, which gives great flavour.
Fillet: The leanest of steaks, it may not have the best flavour, but it's certainly the best texture.
Sirloin: A mix of the above – lean meat with a top line of protecting fat that gives flavour and texture.
Flank: My favourite cut, this steak packs the most flavour and the texture is great too.
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Always take your steak out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking to allow it to get to room temperature.
Always grill your steak, if possible – if you don't have access to a grill, though, you can certainly cook a nice rib eye in a pan with butter, garlic and thyme.
Consider the thickness of your steak when deciding how strong the fire of your grill should be. If thin, it will be best to cook it at a high temperature and quickly. I recommend three minutes on each side. If thick, you will need to cook it for longer at a lower temperature – for a 300g steak cooked medium, I recommend seven minutes on each side.
Don't be afraid to add salt to your steak – but only to the cooked side.
Always allow your steak to rest for at least five minutes before tucking in - this will keep all the juices within!
What you serve your steak with is a personal choice – for me, I love chimichurri, but the way to my heart is always oyster mayo!