Tips for Cooking the Perfect Steak
Heat, heat and more heat! Choose your steak well, ideally use the butcher but if you are buying at a supermarket, remove the packaging sooner rather than later. Buy as thick a piece as possible, so if cooking for 2, buy twice the thickness and cut after cooking. The meat must be at room temperature before you cook it, and it must rest for at least 5 minutes after cooking. If cooking a bigger piece – it should rest for about half the cooking time. You can rest it covered with foil, on a rack (like a cake rack), to catch any juices.
Which ever cut you have, you just need your pan or a griddle pan, then you can finish the cooking in a low oven if it’s a thicker piece.
If your steak has a piece of fat on it, leave it on to cook, you can choose to eat or leave. But use the fat as a visual guide to cooking. As the fat renders it colours and the flavour joins the juices in the pan. If you have a steak on the bone – T-Bone or Tomahawk, cook with the bone in and remove before serving. The bone adds flavour to the cooking.
For these 5-6oz fillet steaks, we are in the region of 1-2 minutes each side in a hot pan. There are arguments about seasoning before or after cooking – both work….however do oil the meat directly…not the pan. Don’t move it until ready to turn and when you have turned the second time, you will get a feel for how you like your steak to be cooked! Don’t be afraid to poke it with your finger!
King Prawn & Chorizo
- Olive oil
- 350g raw king prawns, peeled and deveined
- 3 chorizo sausages, chopped into 1cm thick slices
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 in of chopped plum tomatoes
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley
- Juice of 1 lime
- Heat the oil in a medium frying pan over a moderate heat then add the chorizo and fry for 2-3 minutes until slightly crispy on each side. Stir in the prawns, chilli and garlic and sauté for a further 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid the garlic burning, until the prawns are just cooked.
- Add the tomatoes and leave to simmer for 5-10 minutes until the tomatoes have thickened to a sauce-like consistency. Season with salt and pepper and add the parsley for a nice earthy flavour.
- 700 g potatoes 4 medium maris piper potatoes of similar size
- 1 tbsp oil vegetable
- 150 g butter
- 4 garlic cloves
- 200 ml vegetable stock
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Peel the potatoes and cut a little of both ends to get a cylinder shape.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the potatoes cut side down for about 5 minutes or until well coloured. Turn the potatoes over and repeat.
- Add the butter to the pan to melt and baste the potatoes.
- Crush the garlic with the side of a knife and add to the pan with the herbs and season the potatoes.
- Add the stock to the pan, bring to the boil and cover and simmer for about 40 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.
Sauces – we made 2, pick your favourite
- 1 shallot finely diced
100ml double cream
75ml white wine
100g blue cheese – we used soft goats blue
Dash of oil
- Soften the shallot in oil
Add the madeira & wine reduce by 3/4
Add the cream and beef stock reduce by 1/2
Crumble in cheese and incorporate
Mushroom Tarragon Sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp plain flour, for thickening
- 2 shallots, very finely chopped (100g or 3.5 oz)
- 50 ml (3 ½ tbsp) brandy, optional
- 100 ml (7 tbsp) white wine
- 1 chicken stock pot
- 600 ml (2 1/2 cups) tomato juice (with an optional touch of gravy browning added in for extra colour if desired)
- 250 g (9 oz) button mushrooms, finely sliced
- 3 tbsp tarragon, chopped
- 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, skinned, de-seeded and finely diced
- A few sprigs of fresh parsley to garnish
- Gently heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Finely chop the shallot and add to the frying pan, and as it softens add the sliced mushroom and after a couple of minutes add the flour, then the brandy. Cook for 2-3 minutes to allow the alcohol to evaporate.
- Add the wine, cook for a further 2-3 minutes to allow the alcohol to evaporate and reduce the acidity.
- Add the chicken stock pot and the tomato juice (with gravy browning if using) Bring slowly to the boil to allow the chicken stock pot to dissolve, then add the tarragon and simmer for 5 minutes. Next, add in the parsley and diced tomato, shaking the pan to mix everything in well.
Italian lemon Posset
This is an Italian classic, and is great for a dinner party – as it can be made in the morning.
You could crush up biscuits of your choice and put in the bottom of the glass. A classic Italian version would be an amaretti and serve a glass of amaretto on the side!
Ingredients: Serves 2
- · 300ml of double cream
- · 60g caster sugar
- · 1 juicy lemon
- 1. Squeeze the lemon
- 2. Bring the cream and sugar to the boil (careful it should just boil but not boil over). Once you see it boil – stay there and boil for exactly 3 minutes.
- 3. Take the pan off the heat and whisk in the lemon juice
- 4. Strain this into a jug and leave to cool for 20minutes.
- 5. If you wish to put a crumbled biscuit in the bottom of the receptacle – this is the time to do it. If not gently pour the cream into the glasses.
- 6. Refrigerate for 6 hours minimum.
- Serve with edible flowers.