June 22, 2024

quotationscoffeecafe

Welcome to the Food

36 secrets for cooking steak you deserve to know


There’s usually a good offering of steaks at the supermarket nowadays, but if your local butcher is open, it’s great to support them and get a top-quality steak too. Most butchers are passionate about meat and can advise on cuts, cooking times and provenance. Try to buy local, grass-fed and organic if you can.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Sirloin is a top choice for home cooks and is best aged – choose one marbled with fat. A T-bone is two steaks in one: part sirloin and part tenderloin fillet. It needs careful cooking on the grill and doesn’t suit being well done. Porterhouse is effectively the same as T-bone but has a bigger tenderloin. One of the most expensive cuts is chateaubriand, which refers to a large steak cut from the thickest part of the fillet. It’s tender and relatively lean, yet juicy and flavoursome.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Marbling (streaks of fat running through meat) depends on a number of factors including the cow breed, age and diet; the cut; and how long the meat has been aged. Breeds known for intricate marbling include Angus and Wagyu, while well-marbled cuts include flat iron and rib-eye. Marbling infuses flavour into meat as the fat melts during the cooking process. If you want to keep your meal lean, go for fillet.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


A cardinal rule when cooking steak is to always remove the meat from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature before cooking. This way, the muscle fibres won’t seize and toughen when added to a hot pan. The steak will cook more evenly and you’ll be able to achieve the desired temperature (the level of doneness) much more easily.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Pan-frying is the most common way to cook steak, followed by grilling and barbecuing (for those partial to a smoky aroma and charred lines). But certain cuts can be thinly sliced, flash-fried and eaten in salads, sandwiches and stir-fries. Fillet can be eaten raw in carpaccio and steak tartare. Cheaper, tougher cuts, such as chuck and brisket, need to be braised or slow-cooked to break down the connective tissue and tenderise the meat.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Cooks have varying opinions as to which fat is best when cooking steaks. Some like groundnut oil because it has a high smoke point, while others swear by animal fat such as lard, which makes for meatier-tasting steaks (although it does have a fairly low smoke point). Olive oil is generally avoided due to its low smoke point which means that it starts to burn at a lower temperature, producing toxic smoke.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Opinions differ whether you should cook steak in butter or not. It’s advised for thicker or leaner cuts of steak if you cook it by basting it. Add the steaks to a smoking hot pan to sear and render any fat, then add a couple of teaspoons of butter, some woody herbs, like rosemary, and a few garlic cloves with the skin on. Using a spoon, baste the steak with the garlic and herb-infused butter to cook and caramelise as well as add more flavour.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


A thick-based frying pan, griddle or skillet is perfect for frying steaks. Heavy pans evenly distribute and retain more heat, and get really hot – enough to char the meat. Cast iron is particularly good, as are non-stick pans.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


The pan should be so hot it starts to smoke a little before the meat is added. The heat sears the meat and helps render the fat. For safety, turn on the extractor fan and be prepared in case the pan flares up (if it does, just put a lid over the top and it will die down).




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Many chefs will advise you to cook steak fat-side down first, especially when it comes to sirloin which has a strip of fat running down its side. This renders the fat (meaning it melts in the pan), which then helps to cook the meat and create a crust of caramelisation around it.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


If you’re cooking more than one steak, don’t add too many to the pan at once. The meat will steam not fry, and boil itself to a tough and tasteless state. The general rule of thumb is that you should only ever fill 50% of the pan if you want to sear anything.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


You’ll often hear chefs referring to the temperature of the steak. This means they’re talking about the level of doneness. The most commonly used terms are blue – for purple, barely warm steak that will feel very spongy – and rare for dark red steak that still has red juice flowing. Medium-rare is when the steak is pink and juicy in the middle yet cooked throughout. Medium steak will be pale pink in the middle while well-done steak will only have a trace of the pink colour.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Whether on the barbecue or in a pan, steak is best left alone. Don’t poke, prod or move it while it’s cooking until it’s ready to be flipped. You’ll know when to flip either by how long it’s been cooking or when it releases from the pan. If you move it and flip it often, you won’t get the lovely crust on the outside.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


You can do all the cooking on the stove, or sear the steak in an oven-proof pan on a high heat for around 30 seconds on each side, before transferring to the oven to finish cooking. Close the oven door, leave for a couple of minutes on one side, flip the steak and cook for a further two minutes for medium-rare. Cook for four minutes for medium before removing. Keep in mind that this only works for thick-cut steaks as thinner cuts will instantly overcook.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


To tell when a steak is cooked, try the OK test. Put the tips of your thumb and forefinger together in an OK sign then, with your other hand, press down on the fleshy part of the palm, just below the thumb. That’s how a rare steak should feel. Put your middle finger and thumb together and do the same test to know how a medium-rare steak should feel when pressed. Repeat with your ring finger and thumb for a medium steak texture, and your little finger and thumb to gauge a well-done steak.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Not everyone loves the pungent aroma and flavour of blue cheese but for those that do, nothing beats it on a juicy steak. It can be made a number of ways – the simplest recipe is to mix blue cheese, garlic, pepper, wine and the meat juices from the cooked steaks.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


A red wine sauce (also called reduction or jus) is a fail-safe pairing with steak. There are a number of variations but it’s worth sticking to a simple recipe of butter, onion, red wine, stock and vinegar. If you’d like, you can infuse the sauce with herbs like rosemary or thyme.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


37/37 SLIDES