Internationally venerated, New Zealand-born chef Matt Lambert has recently returned to our shores to helm Rodd & Gunn’s The Lodge Bar & Dining in Auckland and Queenstown’s The Lodge Bar. Having overseen operations from New York since 2017, Lambert is now able to do so directly, and is excited to evolve the offering even further now he’s back on home soil.
To celebrate his homecoming just in time for summer, Lambert shares three easy recipes to cook on the grill — beachside or at home. Deep, smoky grilled flavours are a huge part of The Lodge Bar’s offering, and Lambert is as expert as they come at utilising the delicious caramelisation of cooking over charcoal.
Lambert’s tip for grilling steak is the simplest one you’ll ever hear: salt your meat 24 hours before cooking it. This means whatever steak you cook is deliciously flavourful right the way through, and develops a mouthwatering crust when it’s cooked.
1. Salt your steak 24-hours ahead with flake salt, sprinkling on both sides and patting down.
2. When it comes time to cook, start grilling fat-side down. You’re just aiming to melt the fat. The more frequently you flip the steak, it helps get an even cook right the way through the meat.
3. When it’s cooked to your preferred level, take the steak off the grill and rest for 5-10 minutes. Lambert says to rest for the same length of time you cooked your meat for, if not longer.
4. Slice the steak, and although it’s seasoned to perfection thanks to the 24-hour method, it doesn’t hurt to sprinkle a tiny bit more flaky salt on top.
5. To serve, you could quickly grill some hard herbs like rosemary and place it on top to give a slightly herby aroma, delicious with the charcoal flavour of the steak.