Even the least technically gifted chefs know the importance of being able to cook a good steak. It is a rite of passage after all. While everyone, from Heston to Jamie, tends to observe a personal set of rules, there are some cardinal directions for achieving steak perfection.
1. Season and sit
Remove your steaks from the fridge, pour olive oil over both sides and season generously with salt and pepper (dousing with oil first will help the seasoning stick). Allow the meat to rest for about 20 minutes, so as to come up to room temperature. This way, it will cook more evenly. NB, sea salt flakes are an absolute must.
2. Use the right equipment
Two words: cast iron. To get the best tasting steak, it needs to have a good ‘crust’ and the best kind comes from a cast iron skillet. Our favourite is the Lodge Square Grill Pan from Studio of Tableware. As the meat cooks to a crispy outer layer, it picks up a deeply savoury, caramelised flavour that you might not ever recover from. Investing in a good pan is imperative.
3. Butter her up
Again, we come to the matter of the crust. In pursuit of said deep golden outer hue, a generous amount of butter is involved. Heat the pan until it is very hot, add a couple of tablespoons of oil before adding a sizeable knob of butter. The oil will help prevent the butter from burning.
4. The act itself
Throwing a steak into a pan of sizzling hot (but not burning) butter should incite a true sizzle. If not, the game is already over. And no matter what your dad might have taught you, it’s vital to remember: thou shalt not cook a steak for the same amount of time on each side. Once your steak has hit the grill, resist the temptation to touch it until it has cooked for five minutes on one side. Then turn it over before cooking for three. Of course, if you prefer your meat to be anything other than medium rare, adjust accordingly.
5. Let it be
Once removed from the skillet, slather your steaks in fresh herbs and butter (alternatively, we suggest a slice of Lewis Road Creamery’s, Sean Connolly-formulated steak butter). Leave to rest for at least five minutes before serving them with the flavour filled, buttery juices.