Mastering Steak and Sides
Chef Jason, will share his knowledge of what to look for when buying steak, the different cuts of meat, ways to cook steak, the right oils to use as well as optimum cooking times and temperatures.
He will teach you how to produce two types of sauce and a variety of sides
1/ Buying your beef aged or hung. Your local butcher will always appreciate a customer who asks for the best. They will also guide you on cooking many of the cuts.
2/ Always take the cuts of beef out of the fridge and loosely cover – not with cling film. Your beef should be at room temperature before you start cooking. This relaxes the meat and when cooked there is less blood oozing from the meat. When cooking a rare steak also it means we do not have a cold bloody centre.
3/ Dry the meat on kitchen paper – never wash in water – Washing spreads bacteria and also makes the meat mushy. A terrible practice!
4/ Don’t be afraid of the cheaper cuts such as Ox Cheek, Skirt and Tongue – they are full of flavour and just need longer cooking. That results in fantastic extra portions of yummy stock.
5/ Rather than oiling the pan, brush the steak with oil to prevent it sticking.
6/ After cooking, always rest the steak, loosely cover for 2-3 minutes – for thicker cuts leave longer but you want to make sure it’s not getting cold!
Timings Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat before adding the steak (this seals the surface, trapping in juices).
Cook a 2cm-thick piece of steak for 2-3 minutes each side for rare, 4 minutes each side for medium, and 5-6 minutes each side for well-done.
Turn the steak only once, otherwise it will dry out. Always use tongs to handle steak as they won’t pierce the meat, allowing the juices to escape.
To test if your steak is done, press the centre with the back of the tongs. The steak will feel soft if it’s rare, slightly firmer and springy when it’s medium and very firm when it’s well-done.
To cook on the stove top – pan seared or fried
Best cuts for this method are trimmed rump steak; sirloin steak; hanger steak; fillet steak.
Kit – A heavy based fry pan or griddle pan – spatula to turn with – plate with salt and black pepper – bottle of peanut oil or pomace oil.
Heat the pan until very hot – rub the steak with oil press into the salt and pepper.
Place into the hot pan cook as per timing for rare medium etc.
Take from pan and rest
Grilling & Barbecuing
All steaks can be cooked under the grill or on the barbecue – Grilling steaks works well for T Bone – the bone adds flavour and stops the steak from shrinking, barbecuing gives a unique flavour and is a real treat. Again, follow the list of timings and relax the meat after cooking.
Braised Short Rib
A great cut of meat very chunky and when cooked slowly is rather awesome, I prefer to keep this as simple as possible letting the rib tell its own story.
Take a deep sided pan rub the rib with oil preferable peanut oil.
Heat the pan to medium high, then add the meat searing until golden. To braise means to just cover in liquid, then cover the pan with a greaseproof paper and then tin foil. Place in a hot oven for 2.5-3 hours.
You can simply cover in water with a few added spices, Star Anise is a favourite at Food Sorcery. Alternatively take equal parts beef stock and beer – lager or a good strong dark ale to suit your taste.
After the 3 hours, the meat will fall from the bone – the liquid is a delicious stock so save any leftovers and freeze and use another day!
Serve this wonderful cut in a big bowl with creamy mash potato, caramelized onions and lots of the yummy sauce.
Fillet Steak or Fillet Barrel
A fillet steak is the portion for one person, circa 200g and sliced into a thick piece. The barrel is the whole evenly sized piece from the animal that you might cook for a roast/ dinner to share. The fillet has the least fat, so you need to be a little careful not to dry it out – you can serve as rare as you like. You can cook the steak just in the pan, however you might like to seal in the pan and then finish in the oven. Cooking the barrel is the same process but will take longer in the oven.
Allow steak to get to room temperature and pat dry with kitchen paper, heat oven to 180degrees.
Heat pan till searing hot, brush steak with a little butter and salt and using tongs place in pan for 1.5 minutes each side. This is long enough to give some colour. This is a smoky process, so extractors on full!
If your pan is oven proof, place whole pan into the oven, or transfer to an oven tray and place in oven for 5 minutes for medium rare. Remove, loosely cover and rest for 5-6 minutes before serving – if you can, rest on a rack, above the hot pan rather than in the hot pan. You can brush with butter, while it is resting…season with sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper before serving.
Sauces and sides
Béarnaise sauce when mastered opens up a lot of great sauces including hollandaise for our brunch dishes etc.
Red wine sauce or alcohol based sauces are great way to use the stock etc
Follow this step-by-step recipe for how to make one of the French classics, béarnaise sauce.
Ingredients – Serves 4:
- 300g/10½oz butter
- 4 tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 4 shallots, chopped
- 3 tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon, plus 2 tbsp. whole tarragon leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 free-range egg yolks
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1. Clarify the butter by melting it in a small, heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. When the butter is foaming, remove the pan from the heat and leave it to stand for a few minutes so that the white solids sink to the bottom of the pan. Sieve the butter through a fine sieve and discard the solids.
- 2. Pour the vinegar into a non-reactive saucepan. Add the shallots, chopped tarragon and salt, to taste. Heat gently over a medium heat until the volume of liquid has reduced by more than half. Strain and set aside until completely cooled.
- 3. Lightly beat egg yolks with one teaspoon of water. Stir the egg yolk mixture into the cooled vinegar, then add the lemon juice.
- 4. Pour the mixture into a bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water (do not allow base of the bowl to touch the water). Whisk constantly until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon and has increased in volume.
- 5. Remove the bowl from the heat and slowly pour in the clarified butter in a steady stream, whisking continuously, until the mixture is thick and smooth. Fold in the tarragon leaves and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Shallot vinegar butter sauce
This classic French sauce starts by simmering shallots in a mixture of white wine and vinegar until the pot is very nearly dry.
Ingredients – serves 2-4:
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper, or to taste
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces and chilled
- 1. Boil wine, vinegar, and shallot in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until liquid is syrupy and reduced to 2 to 3 tablespoons, about 5 minutes. Add cream, salt, and white pepper and boil 1 minute. Reduce heat to moderately low and add a few tablespoons butter, whisking constantly. Add remaining butter a few pieces at a time, whisking constantly and adding new pieces before previous ones have completely liquefied (the sauce should maintain consistency of hollandaise), lifting pan from heat occasionally to cool mixture.
- 2. Remove from heat, then season to taste with salt and pepper and pour sauce through a medium-mesh sieve into a sauceboat, pressing on and then discarding shallot. Serve immediately.
Wine mixture can be reduced, and cream and seasoning added, up to 1 hour ahead. Boil cream 1 minute before adding butter.
Café de Paris Butter
Ingredients – serves 4:
- 150g butter, unsalted and softened
- 2tbsp diced shallot, sauteed
- 1clove of garlic, crushed
- 2 anchovy fillets
- 1tsp lemon juice
- 1tsp Worcestshire sauce
- 1tsp Dijon mustard
- 1tsp curry powder
- ½ tsp paprika sweet
- 1tsp tarragon
- 1tsp chives
- 1tsp parsley
- Place ingredients in a food processor, blitz to combine.
- Place on cling film and roughly shape into a 20cm / 8″ log using spatulas or butter knives.
- Roll up, then twist ends tightly. As you tighten the ends, the butter will shape into a neat, firm log.
- Tie ends if needed to keep the shape. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until firm.
To use – Slice into 0.7cm (1/3″) slices, then let them soften to room temperature (so they melt easier). Place on hot steak so it melts – I use 2 slices each steak.
Leftovers – fridge 3 days or freeze 2 months (pre sliced for ease of use).
Pont Neuf potatoes
A fantastic Parisian potato dish. Named after the nine bridges of the Seine River.
Ingredients – Serves 2:
- 500g of Maris piper potatoes or waxy potatoes peeled and cut into thick oblong chips
- 100g of clarified butter
- Salt pepper to taste
1/ Heat a heavy frying pan, add the butter and once bubbling, add the potatoes cook until golden.
2/ Place the pan in a hot oven or transfer the potatoes to an oven tray.
3/ Place in a hot oven 180 degrees for 20 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife
Serve with steak béarnaise sauce and salad.
Cookery Classes at the Cookery School Manchester
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From novice to expert, healthy to gourmet, we’ve got classes to suit all and can adapt to dietary or allergy requirements on request.
Food Sorcery Cookery and Barista School, Didsbury, with views over the river, easy transport links and a Hotel, pool & gym onsite, it’s the perfect place to have fun with food, learn tips and tricks from experts and to gain cooking confidence.