Whether your preference is a butter-soft fillet steak, flavor-packed sirloin, tender juicy ribeye or a big thick T bone or even a minute steak quick-cooking and constant attention should be paid when cooking your beef. With only a few minutes leeway between rare and well-done, timing is key. We’ve put together some tips to help you from start to finish.
Once you’ve mastered the art of the perfect steak, check out our accompaniments for the final flourish! www.charliesgrocery.club
Choose your steak
The cut of steak you use
is down to personal preference and budget. Different cuts will deliver
different levels of tenderness and flavor.
Sirloin: Considered to be a prime
steak, like fillet, but has more flavour. Best served medium-rare.
T-bone: To make sure
everything cooks evenly, it’s best finished in the oven. Great for
Fillet: Prized as the most
tender cut and the most expensive. It has little fat, and is best served as
rare as you like.
Rib-eye: There are two cuts
to note: rib-eye, boneless and usually serves one, and rib on the bone, also
known as côte de boeuf.
Best pan for steak
For indoor cooking we recommend frying your steak, although you can grill it if
you prefer. A heavy-duty, thick-based frying pan will achieve the best
results, as will a heavy griddle pan or cast iron skillet.
These types of pans get really hot and retain their heat – ideal for getting
that charred smoky finish to the outside of your meat.
Steaks need to be cooked
in a roomy pan and if the pan isn’t big enough for all your steaks, don’t
be tempted to squeeze them in anyway. Cook them one or two at a time then leave
them to rest as you cook the remainder of your batch or cook a much thicker
steak and carve it and divide the slices to serve. If you’re in the market for
a new piece of kit, contact us and we will send you a taoboa link!
Beef purists may prefer to take in the unadulterated rich flavor of a quality
steak by adding nothing other than a sprinkling of salt and a generous twist of
pepper. Contrary to popular belief, seasoning your steak with salt ahead of
time doesn’t draw out the moisture but actually gives the steak time to absorb
the salt and become more evenly seasoned throughout. Feel free to salt your
steak for 2 hrs before for every 1cm of thickness.
Best cooking fat
Flavorless oils like sunflower or vegetable
work best, and once the steak is searing you can add butter to the
pan for flavor. A nice touch if you’re cooking a thick sirloin steak with
a strip of fat on the side is to sear the fat first by holding the steak with a
pair of tongs, then cooking the beef in the rendered beef fat. You’ll need to
use your judgement when you heat the pan – you want the oil to split in
the pan but not smoke.
How to sear
Searing a steak until it gets a caramelised
brown crust will give it lots of flavour. For this to happen, the pan and the
fat need to be hot enough. The conventional way is to sear it on one side,
then cook it for the same amount on the other side. This gives good
results but the second side is never as nicely caramelised as the first. To
build up an even crust on both sides, cook the steak for the total
time stated in the recipe, but turn the steak every
How long to cook steak
Charlie’s have outlined what you can expect from each category of steak.
- Blue: Should still be a dark color, almost purple, and just
warm. It will feel spongy with no resistance.
- Rare: Dark red in color with some red juice flowing. It will
feel soft and spongy with slight resistance.
- Medium-rare: Pink in color with some juice. It will be a bit
soft and spongy and slightly springy.
- Medium: Pale pink in the middle with hardly any juice. It will
feel firm and springy.
- Well-done: Only a trace of pink color but not dry. It will
feel spongy and soft and slightly springy.
It’s very important to
consider the size and weight of your steak before calculating the cooking time.
If you’re unsure, take advantage of the expert eye of Charlie who should be
able to tell you how long you need to cook your meat.
Fillet steak cooking times
We recommend the following cooking times
for a 3.5cm thick fillet steak:
- Blue: 1½ mins each side
- Rare: 2¼ mins each side
- Medium-rare: 3¼ mins each side
- Medium: 4½ mins each side
Sirloin steak cooking times
We also recommend the following for
a 2cm thick sirloin steak:
- Blue: 1 min each side
- Rare: 1½ mins per side
rare: 2 mins per side
- Medium: About 2¼ mins per side
steak: Cook for about 4-5 mins each side,
depending on thickness.
How to cook perfect steak
- Season the steak with salt up to 2 hrs before, then with pepper just before cooking.
- Heat a heavy-based frying pan until very hot but not smoking.
- Drizzle some oil into the pan and leave for a moment.
- Add the steak, a knob of butter and some garlic,if you want.
- Sear evenly on each side for our recommended time, turning every minute for the best caramelised crust.
- Leave to rest on a board or warm plate for about 5 mins.
- Serve the steak whole or carved into slices with the resting juices poured over.
How to check steak is cooked
Use your fingers to prod
the cooked steak – when rare it will feel soft, medium-rare will be lightly
bouncy, and well-done will be much firmer. Using a meat thermometer (so cheap
on taoboa), can also help.
Medium rare: 63C
Well done: 75C
How to rest a steak
A cooked steak should
rest at room temperature for at least five minutes and ideally around half the
cooking time – it will stay warm for anything up to 10 minutes. Here, pure
science comes into play – the fibres of the meat will reabsorb the free-running
juices, resulting in a moist and tender steak. Any resting juices should
be poured over the steak before serving.
What to serve with steak
You’re sure to find an accompaniment in www.charliesgrocery.club.1 We are so proud of the quality of our meat, however, most of our customers just prefer the taste of our mouthwatering steaks on their own.
Steak jargon buster
Here’s what they mean.
Grass-fed beef: Grass-fed cattle get
to walk around and graze on pasture, which
means the meat is leaner with a richer, gamier flavour that tastes of the
environment it was reared in. This is why Scottish grass-fed beef will taste
different to Irish.
Marbling: Marbling is the fat found
interlacing the inside of a cut of meat. As the meat cooks, the ‘marbled fat’
melts – without this, the meat would be dry and flavourless. Meat with a lot of
marbling mostly comes from the back of the animal where the muscles get little
Wagyu: Wagyu is a generic
name for four breeds of Japanese cattle. They are fed foraged grass and rice
straw, then supplemented with corn, barley, soya bean, wheat bran and, in some
cases, even beer or sake. Wagyu cattle produce meat with heavy marbling but
this comes at a hefty price.
Ageing: The ageing process
improves the taste and tenderness of meat. There are two methods: dry
ageing, which is the traditional process where carcasses are hung in a
cool place for 30-60 days to intensify the flavour and cause the
meat to shrink, while wet ageing is when the meat is butchered and
vacuum-packed, which stops the meat from shrinking.