Over the last 12 months, pretty much since the lockdown was first announced, I have been investing an awful lot of time in improving my cooking skills. This all started with a video from popular chef Aarie de Jong, who was talking about barbecue in particular, something which I have always been a fan of. From this video I decided to really invest more time in cooking with meat and I’d say the biggest achievement so far of the year has been in cooking the perfect steak. For me, no matter which cut of steak I am preparing, there is a simple process which I will always follow, that helps me to get it right every time.
If you want to cook the perfect steak, here is how to get it done.
Bring Up The Temperature
The first thing to remember when cooking a steak is that you should never, ever cook it from cold. If you do this then all that happens is the flesh of the steak hardens when you add the cold meat to the heat, and this results in a tough to eat steak, not what we want. The answer therefore is to first allow the steak to warm up slightly, leaving it at room temperature for around 30 minutes.
Once the steak has sat out for some time, we can then add some seasoning on both sides, and don’t be afraid to really give it some strong flavor here. Add a teaspoon of oil to each side with salt and pepper, and then gently rub the oil and seasoning into the meat. Don’t forget to do this on both sides.
Before you begin to cook the steak it is critical that you have a pan which is super hot. Add a teaspoon of oil to the pan and when it is at its hottest, we are going in with the steak. When cooking a cut like this we have to seal it, which is cooking the outside so that the flavors remain tasty inside. To do this we are going to put the steak on, and then leave it for 1 minute before we flip it over. Monitor the side of the steak and if it cooks towards the halfway point before the minute is done, turn it over before it gets that far. Once you have turned the steak over, do not touch it again until it is finished.
Using the piece of flesh between your thumb and your index finger, we can gauge how well cooked the steak is. Feel the spongy part first, if the steak feels the same then this is rare, lower down towards the palm of your hand it gets less spongy, and that goes to medium-rare and then medium and so on. This is a great way of testing whether or not your steak is ready.
Once you have removed your steak from the heat, let it sit for 5 minutes before serving, this will allow the juices to settle and the flavor to increase.