Fine on its own (with some salt, pepper and a dollop of peppercorn sauce) or even better as part of a meal (ideally with thick cut chips and some green veg on the side). It goes without saying that we’re big fans of steak at Douglas Willis. Not only do we sell a lot of steak, from our shops in Cwmbran and via our online store, but we eat a fair bit of it, too. We even have our very own development chef, Manuel Monzon, that spends some of his time devising new and exciting ways of cooking and presenting steak in all its forms.
Part of the appeal with steak is its flavour and versatility. Not only does it taste great, it goes with pretty much everything and can be served in a multitude of ways. However, if you’re not sure how to cook it properly, the plumpest, juiciest of steaks can lose all of its flavour and quickly be rendered inedible. Trust us, there’s a bit more to it than just tossing it into a pan and turning the heat up… To save you from a kitchen calamity and to ensure that your delicious cut of beef doesn’t go to waste, we’re going to run through how to prepare, cook and serve the perfect steak.
When it comes to cooking the perfect steak, preparation is key, as is the cut of steak you choose. There are also a number of different ways that steak can be cooked: – Pan fried – Grilled – Sous vide – Sear roasting – Broiling
For the sake of this blog, we’re going to focus on pan-frying steak. Not only is pan-frying one of more straight-forward ways of cooking steak, it also yields the best results, in our view.
Choosing the right cut of steak arguably comes down to personal taste, however in our view the best cut for frying at home has to be one that is tender. The most tender pieces of steak tend to originate from the rib or loin sections of the cow.
These include: – Rib-eye – T-bone – Filet mignon – Tenderloin – Sirloin The thickness of the steak is also a consideration. If the meat is too thick, the outside of the cut will likely burn before the inside is cooked through (even if you like it rare or medium rare). And even though the marbling (i.e. fat content) of the steak will add to the flavour, an increased fat content also makes for a less tender piece of meat.
With this in mind, we’re going to suggest that the best piece of steak to cook at home is sirloin. Lean, tender and around 2.5 cm thick, not only is sirloin ideal for pan frying, it’s also very affordable.
As mentioned already, preparation is key. So, before you reach for your best pan, make sure you do the following first: – Allow the meat to rest at room temperature for approximately 1 hour before cooking, so that the heat from the pan can penetrate the middle more effectively; – After an hour, rub the steak with a good helping of olive oil, salt and pepper; – Make sure your pan is super-hot before cooking, so that the meat caramelises properly on the outside.
Next comes the fun part. How long you cook your steak for all comes down to personal taste. If you like your steak rare, cook each side for 2-3 minutes; 4 minutes each side for medium; and 6 minutes for well done. Once the pan is at temperature, cook your steak evenly on each side, turning only once. Immediately after cooking, remove the meat from the pan and allow it to rest for a few minutes.
As mentioned previously, steak can be enjoyed on its own or as part of a meal. However, we’re guessing you’re going to want to make the most of it, so consider eating your steak with one of the following accompaniments:
Thick cut chips (double or triple fried)
Garlic butter mushrooms
Steamed asparagus and sautéed potatoes
Balsamic roasted baby carrots and sprouts
Rosemary roast potatoes
Sweet potato fries