The Perfect Steak Dinner?
How to cook the perfect steak
Studies have shown that lean beef can improve levels of cholesterol, while its saturated fat can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Let’s face it, though, most of us aren’t thinking about our health when we’re tucking into a steak dinner. We’re too busy taking in the unique blend of juiciness, taste and tenderness that, somehow, no other meat delivers. We’re also busy enjoying the flavoursome peppercorn sauce, crisp green salad, pillowy chips or fried onion rings – all of which you would expect to find at a top steak restaurant in Nottingham.
Steak dinners offer so much choice, whether you like yours well done, cross-hatched from the grill or almost raw. Equally, you can choose your cut, from classic boneless rib eye, tender and dense with flavour, to equally tender prime sirloin that comes from the cow’s upper middle and is well-marbled with fat. (It’s best done medium-rare.) Alternatively, maybe a fillet, the leanest of steaks, ideally served rare, is more to your taste?
There are other cuts, too, including the huge T-bone, great for sharing, the lean, rope-shaped onglet or the rump. Again very tender, this affordable cut comes from the animal’s lower back and is usually a big piece of meat.
So, how to cook the perfect steak? Frying is best – use a heavy-duty, thick-based pan, preferably one which is non-stick, and which will get hot. A skillet or heavy griddle will also work well.
If you’re doing several pieces of meat at once, don’t cram them all in – cook one or two at once.
Gordon Ramsay recommends cooking steaks in groundnut oil, with its mild taste and ability to cook at high temperatures and not burn. Only use butter in the form of a knob to give your meat a rich, creamy finish.
You can choose to oil your meat before adding it to a dry, hot pan, or heat the liquid straight in the pan. But get an even spread, and add your steak once the oil begins to separate. And don’t add meat too early – the oil should virtually be smoking first.
You may want to sprinkle a plate with salt and pepper and press the meat into this seasoning just before cooking. Just don’t season too soon.
Of course, there are numerous marinades and dressings for steaks, from balsamic vinegar to honey and mustard to a teriyaki marinade, depending on whether you want a sweet or spicy taste.
While a rare steak is red with some juice flowing, a medium-rare one is pinker, a medium piece firm with almost no juice, and pale pink in the middle. Well-done steaks have only a trace of pink but shouldn’t be dry.
For a fillet steak 3.5cms thick, cook for about two and a quarter minutes each side to enjoy rare, adding a minute for medium-rare versions, and two and a quarter per side for medium. For a sirloin steak 2cms thick, a rare dish needs a minute and a half per side, medium rare two and medium about two and a quarter.
If this sounds like too much hard work, Byron’s Brasserie at Colwick Hall, Nottingham, one of the area’s finest restaurants, serves a variety of gorgeously juicy, tasty steaks, cooked to perfection the way you love it, by experts. Book your reservation today, and let someone else do the cooking!