How to Cook the Perfect Steak - by Marcus Leach
Juicy, tender and full of flavour, a good steak takes some beating. However, get the cooking wrong and you can be left with a piece of meat as tough as leather. It might seem like a pretty simple thing to do, and once you know how, it really is, but this handy guide is a great starting point.
For me the process starts with the buying of the meat, which is always from a butcher for me. There is simply no comparison between a great grass-fed steak from the butcher, that has been dry-aged to maximise flavour, and those on offer at most supermarkets. It’s well worth the time and effort in sourcing a good piece of meat to start off with. After that the cooking is simply a case of bringing out the best of the produce.
- Remove the steak from the fridge a good few hours before you want to cook it, really important that it is at room temperature.
- Pat the steak dry to ensure there is no moisture, never a problem when buying a decent dry-aged steak from the butchers in my experience, but some shop bought ones (if that's the route you have gone down) can be a little wet.
- Get a griddle or cast iron pan up to maximum heat. I usually have mine over the hottest ring on the gas hob and let it sit for at least ten minutes until it is sizzles.
- Lightly season your steak with a pinch of sea salt flakes and cracked black pepper.
- Place in the searing hot pan and cook. Personally I don't buy into the regular turning of the steak, opting instead to cook it on one side, turn, cook it on the other and remove to allow it to rest.
- With the above in mind cook on one side for between 2-4 minutes, depending how you like your steak cooked, before turning and cooking for the same amount on the other side*.
- Remove from the pan and place on a warm plate or board and allow to rest for five minutes (can rest in a very low temperature oven).
- Serve with your choice of sides. Personally I love a piece of bone marrow and steamed green beans with mine. Simple but it's all about the meat.
*It's difficult to give exact times, as it depends on a few variables, such as thickness of steak and also if it is on the bone or not. However, I am a fan of rare beef, so less is more for me. A general rule of thumb is that the firmer the steak is to the touch the more well done it is.