The vast majority of people have no idea how to cook the perfect steak at home. We’re not talking about any piece of beef… We mean the sort of steak you would get in a restaurant that melts in your mouth. So, we’re changing all that with a super simple guide from a professional chef on how to achieve that pro-standard steak.
The thing that will surprise most people is just how easy it is. Honestly, it’s one of the easiest things to cook! Yet people are always terrified to splash out and go for the prime cuts of beef to cook at home, instead saving steak for dining out. Well, if you only have one signature dish, this should be it.
From choosing the right cut of meat to picking out the must-have equipment and the crucial cooking process, this step-by-step guide will show you how to cook the perfect steak. Unlike our other recipes which have 7 simple ingredients. this is focused on just one perfect cut of meat and detailed technique.
1. The Perfect Steak At Home: Which Type Of Cut to Choose?
One of the most confusing things for most home cooks is which cut of meat to choose. Add in the fact that they have different names all over the world (an American’s flank steak is a Frenchman’s bavette!) and things can be a little complicated. But, there are several essential cuts you should consider…
Ribeye – This would be the choice of many professional chefs and seasoned foodies. A ribeye is packed with flavour, because of its high fat content. However, it’s slightly harder to cook well for the less experienced home cooks.
Flank / Bavette – Although the meat might not be as tender as some of the other cuts, the flavour from this steak is immense. Handled and cooked correctly, it is among the best steaks you will ever taste.
Fillet / Tenderloin – A fillet is the most lean and the best steak to cook for people starting out, although it is also the most expensive cut. It’s a little lower on the flavour side due to the low fat content, but the knife will glide through it like butter.
- Griddle pan
- Metal tongs
- Sharp knife
- The steak cut of your choosing
- Sunflower oil
- Coarse salt
- Cracked black pepper
- Fresh thyme
Make sure to take the meat out of the fridge a good 20 minutes before you actually want to cook it. This brings the steak up to room temperature, and will ensure a more even cook.
Season the steak with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little oil (sunflower is ideal for the high cooking point you will need).
Heat the chargrill pan as high as you possibly can. You want it to be smoking hot! If you don’t have a chargrill pan, we’d suggest you invest in one as they are a great tool to have in the kitchen.
An alternative is using a frying pan or an outdoor BBQ, but getting a true sear on the meat on a BBQ is much harder.
Add the meat to the pan and do not move it around or play with it. Simply leave it there. For the fillet cut we are using for this, that means 2 minutes.
After 2 minutes, flip it over and cook it on the other side for 90 seconds. We can’t stress enough how important it is to not move the meat around or shake the pan. There is absolutely no need. Leave it alone.
What you are aiming for is that wonderfully charred exterior. The deep golden brown crispness, that seals in all the flavour that the meat has in the middle.
If you are cooking an especially thick piece of meat, you may need to brown off the sides as well. You can do this by holding it in the pan using the tongs and pressing the side of the cut lightly off the pan.
At the very last second, add all of the butter to the pan. Because of the heat, this is going to bubble up and melt seriously fast.
This is where you will need to move fast.
Add the thyme and take the pan off the heat. The butter will be a wonderfully golden nutty brown and the aromas should be fantastic.
The very last stage of cooking that perfect steak is called basting. This is essentially the spooning of the juices and the butter back over the meat. Do this for about 30 seconds, adding the thyme on top of the meat too. This is going to seriously intensify the flavour of the meat.
The most common mistake that most people at home make is that they eat the steak straight away. What actually happens during the cooking process is that the meat tenses up. So, once it comes out of that hot pan you need to let it rest for 3 minutes. This allows the juices to flow back into the cut and the meat to become super tender.
Once it has rested, slice the meat. We would suggest cooking the meat medium-rare for maximum flavour and tenderness, but you can leave it in the pan longer if you prefer it more well-done.
With this technique you will get the perfect steak at home every single time. Your friends might even think you’re a professional chef… It’s that good.
Enjoy every single, juicy mouthful of your new signature dish…
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