04 January 2010

How do you cook your steak?

I love steak. LOVE steak. But, after god knows how many years of lazy cooking, I'm still not convinced I know the best way to cook steak. From what I understand, there seem to be two camps of steak - cooking: either
  1. 'Love' the steak - low heat and red wine (don't even let it simmer - just very gently cook); or
  2. Let the steak know who's boss - sear hard on both sides
As such, this is my first bleg: please tell me how you cook your steak - and if you think it works well! My current method (based on that espoused by Jamie Oliver in his School Kitchen series) involves a derivation of the latter method (he suggests a harder sear, but I just can't bring myself to do it!).

Steak a la LC

Steak (well duh... I like a small but thick porterhouse - preferably grass fed)
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp crushed garlic
pinch salt
pepper to taste (i.e. none at all, in my case)

frying pan
Aluminium foil
Oven glove
  1. Heat 1 Tbsp butter in pan until melted (not browned!) - keep the heat low until immediately before you add the steak.
  2. Season both sides of the steak (the salt draws the moisture to the surface and stops it burning - clever, no? The pepper just makes it taste funny - hence why I omit...)
  3. Smear both sides of the steak with crushed garlic.
  4. Turn up the heat in the pan until the butter starts to brown and sizzle, then add the steak.
  5. Cook for equal time (on medium heat) on each side - for a medium rare steak, I find 2 minutes a side generally suffices. The timing starts as soon as the steak starts to sizzle.
  6. Rub the remaining butter over the surface of the steak and rest (cover with aluminium foil and oven glove) for 8-10 minutes before serving.
This, served with salad, is one of the easiest meals I can think of to make! Minimal ingredients, minimal washing up - minimal effort - and YUMMY!

A tip (this time courtesy of Iron Chef!) - how to tell how well done your steak is (without having to cut into it):
  1. Rare feels like your cheek
  2. Medium rare feels like your earlobe
  3. Medium feels like the side of your nose
  4. Well done feels like the tip of your nose
You really do need to touch your steak to see if it's done to your liking (don't worry, it's thick and has a high heat transfer coefficient - you won't burn yourself!) - use the back of your (clean) fingers so that (a) if it is a little hot, you won't do yourself any damage (the back of your fingers are less sensitive to heat than the tips), and (b) you can then use your hands without getting greasy fingerprints all over everything.

So tell me: how do you do your steak?

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