how to: steak

mainpictureThere are perks to being friends with an honest-to-goodness trained-to-the-hilt chef-in-waiting. More so when said friend is working in a bistro and has a firm handle on the most important meal of all - steak. Chef Lex (as he is fondly known) & I have been friends since before he was any good at cooking. And so, when I got the message saying "Dinner. 7pm. Just come." I was in, no questions asked. Part for the promise of catchups, and part for the promise of meals-unknown.

My dining companions on the night included the ever-hilarious Alarice Thio (currently touring Asia, so get out to see her if you can) and her ex-flattie. And whilst Lex fired up his convection stovetop (in the figurative sense, of course), we dug into so pre-dinner mussels.

mussels in white wine

And, while we chowed down on the mussels, scooping them out of their shells with our fingers and trying not to drip all over the place, Chef Lex got to work on the steak. He's kindly filled me in on how it's done and oh-my-goodness. Best. Steak. Ever.

how to: steak


The best steak you can buy
Salt & Pepper


start with steak

1. Start with the best steak you can buy. Sliced somewhere between 2cm and 4cm thick for best results. Chef Lex notes that any steak less than 2cm thick shouldn't be cooked using this technique.

line em up, pat em dry!

2. Line your babies up on a couple of layers of absorbent kitchen towel and then cover with another couple of layers. Pat the steaks dry of any excess moisture. This is particularly important where the steaks have been frozen then defrosted.

seasoning the steak

3. Salt & Pepper the top of the steak to your liking then stick them, seasoned side down, in a very hot pan. As that side sears, salt & pepper the other side and flip. Now quickly sear the sides and set your steak to rest on a foil-covered oven tray while you sear the rest of them.

{Note: this tends to get a little messy what with all the beef fat spitting everywhere and causing a ruckus. So Chef Lex covers the remaining plates of his stovetop & also his splashback with foil for ease of cleaning)

post-searing, pre-ovening

4. Once all your steaks are seared, pop them in a 220C oven for 4 minutes. At 4 min, check to see how well your steaks are done by pressing down on them. They'll continue to cook once you've removed them, so err on the side of slightly under, rather than slightly over. If the meat still feels soft & mushy, it'll need another couple of minutes.

5. Pull them out and rest for at least 10 minutes. Rest up to 15 minutes if your steaks are closer to the 4cm thick side of things.

iron, baby!

6. So these steaks? Served with a pat of anchovy butter (oh! swoon! die!), a healthy ladle of mash (ditto above) and some greens tossed in balsamic & olive oil to balance the lot out. Tell me you aren't feeling like steak by now and I'll dub you head vegetarian.

11 bites more:

Betty said...

Ooh yes, I definitely feel like steak now!

Stephcookie said...

This is why I hardly order steak at a restaurant anymore, it's so easy to do cook one! Mmm ditto on the swooning and dying for the anchovy butter :)

Belle@OohLook said...

The foil-covered stove is a good idea. It reminds me of my mum - her stove and splashback are permanently covered with foil to save on cleaning! And yes, I feel like steak now.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I should send this to a friend who steak fiend!

Yas said...

steak! *faint*

Howard said...

I've only just started the 'putting it in the oven' process, they taste heaps better!

Anonymous said...

Hee hee I am in looovveee ^^! Steak, I found, is always hard to photo well but yours mmmmmmmmm. Always make sure you got a nice big THICK NY type of cut with decent marbling YUMMM ^^! and hmm you rest yours for such a long time :S don't they go cold by then?

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

It must be all in the timing. It's great to have a method you can be sure of.

Simon said...

Looks like you have decent cuts of meat for this meal (rib eye)?

Thanks for the cooking tips to maximise the steakaliciousness :)

lex said...

stick them back into a smoking pan after resting 30 seconds on each side to reheat them; and add a sexy caramelisation and ever so slight crisp outside to it.

chef lex ;)

shez said...

Belle: And *bam* the feeling hit me again, just then.

Stephcookie: Ohhh anchovy butter. So salty and buttery... *drool*

Belle: I'm such a kitchen clean-freak that I'd have to do the same. Hot oil stains and stainless steel are no-one's idea of fun.

Lorraine: I hope they like it!

Yas: Ahh! Wake up! (I hope you didn't hit your head on anything on the way down...)

Howard: Oh I know right? So so tender.

FFichiban: see Lex's comment below you & above me!

Arwen: That, and the cut of meat. Thick slabs of meat rock.

Simon: No worries dude. And yes. I think it was.

lex: You're the best... sexy caramelisation forthewin!

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