One of the closest links between man and beast is our love for meat. But what should separate us from mere animals is the manner in which that meat is cooked. Sadly, just because you’re human doesn’t mean you’re eating your meat any better than a beast.
Grilling a steak truly is like art: lots of people can draw, but not everyone is Michelangelo. The fact of the matter is that you owe it to yourself to prepare the meat in the best way possible!!
Five things to look for when buying a steak
1. When choosing a steak, sirloin is a fine choice due to its tasty, melt-in-the-mouth succulence. Good sirloin has just the right amount of fat and nice marbling. Rump steak is slightly cheaper than sirloin but it’s still a great steak for griddling or frying, with more flavour than sirloin. However, it does tend to be slightly chewier, especially if it has not been matured properly.
2. Age of the steak is important, as the hanging process develops the flavour and tenderises the meat. So ask your butcher how long the beef has been hung for. As a rule, 21 days as a minimum and 35 days as a maximum is a good range to go for. Most butchers already do this for you, be sure to ask.
3. Good beef should be a deep red colour. However, alot of butchers put red food colouring!
4. Check the beef has good marbling – little streaks of fat running through the meat. This melts when heated, helping the steak to baste itself from within as it cooks.
5. Allow at least 4 oz. of steak per serving - double or triple that for hungry eaters, or if the steak contains a bone.
Five steps to cooking the perfect steak
2. Lightly brush the steak with a little olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Don’t grill more than two steaks at a time, and keep them spaced well apart. If you add more than two steaks to the pan at once, the temperature will drop and the steak will stew, rather than fry.
4. Don’t turn the steaks until good seared markings are achieved, then turn them over and cook on the other side
5. You must let the steak rest for about 3 minutes before serving, to allow the juices that have been drawn to the surface to relax back into the meat.
How long to cook a steak for
These timings are based on cooking a sirloin steak that’s about 2cm thick. (Cooking times will vary depending on the type and thickness of the steak, and how hot your pan is.)
Blue: 1 minute each side
Rare: 1½ minutes each side
Medium rare: 2 minutes each side
Medium: 2¼ minutes each side
Medium-well done: 2½ - 3 minutes each side.