Ollie Dabbous’ tips for cooking the perfect steak

Buy the best you can. There is very little value-adding you can do to steak other than cooking and seasoning it well, so the quality of the product is crucial.

LMDC hampers have selected some great Irish sirloin this week. Ireland is famed for its lush sweet grass, a result of it’s mild temperate climate, plentiful rain and rich soils.  As grass fed beef it’s naturally high in levels of vitamin E, iron, zinc and selenium. It’s also high in Omega 6 fats (the good ones), and low in Omega 3 fats (the bad ones).

Always bring to room temperature and allow to air-dry before cooking. Steak in the fridge is approximately 4°C.

Cooking it to rare / med rare is a core temp of 50-55°C. By bringing it up to room temperature, you are effectively bringing the steak from 4°C to 20°C, which equates to about one third of the cooking! This also allows the heat from frying to penetrate more evenly.

Season well with fine salt before cooking. The thicker the steam, the more salt needed. You can probably be more generous than you think for steaks.

When colouring, do so on all sides in a neutral cooking oil rather than olive oil, which can burn and become bitter, rotating the meat regularly to cook it evenly.

Repeat the process until you have built up a nice golden crust. A lot of the fat will render in this time from cuts such as ribeye or well marbled beef.

For the sirloin, colouring it twice on both sides and once on the fat side will be enough cooking. It will only need to be in the pan for 3-4 mins. If you want to add butter, garlic, herbs or black pepper to flavour the meat, then do so at the very end.

Rest for 10 mins on a plate, covered loosely with foil, not tightly or it will steam, lose the crust and continue to cook. Resting allows the meat to relax and tenderise. Do not rest steaks too long or they will lose their juiciness, too little and they will still be tough and bleed when carved.

Rub with some rosemary or fresh thyme if desired, then carve and season with coarse salt.


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