There’s nothing like a good steak, and if you follow a few basic principals, cooking them can be relatively easy. Everyone’s got their favourite cut and their favourite way of cooking them but we’ve always sworn by the temper-cook-rest method that works for almost all steaks and showcases the best flavours and textures that grass-fed beef can deliver.
Before cooking your steak it’s a good idea to ‘temper’ it. Around 25 mins before you intend to cook your steak, take it out of your refrigerator and let it come to room temperature on a bench. If you toss a steak straight from the fridge into a hot pan the meat will seize-up and you run the risk of burning the outside while leaving the inside raw. Tempering time also provides a good opportunity to season your steak. If you rub in some salt and pepper, as it sits, the salt will work its way into the meat, flavouring and tenderising it.
After the steak has tempered for a sufficient period, it’s time to heat up your pan or griddle. You want it to be hot! Brush the cooking surface with a small amount of high smoke-point oil and then drop in your steak of choice. It should sizzle immediately – if it doesn’t, your pan is not hot enough.
An inch thick steak will typically cook to rare/medium-rare in 4-6 minutes. A good indicator of when to turn a steak is when small blood droplets appear on the top. After turning – cook the second side for around half the time you cooked the first. How well-done you like your steak is a matter of preference. For those that like ‘em blue you may only cook for 3 or 4 minutes in total, while those who prefer well-done with very little pinkness you may cook for 7 or even 10 minutes. The general consensus is that a steak will be best appreciated, and at its most tender around medium-rare.
When it’s done, allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes or so, lightly covered. This allows the meat to relax and for the heat and juices to dissipate throughout the steak.
Scotch fillet is rich in inter and intra-muscular fat, giving it its marbled appearance – being replete with fat means it almost cooks itself – and fat is flavour! This is a juicy flavoursome cut that caramelises beautifully when cooked at high heats.
Porterhouse Sirloin is predominantly lean, with a strip of fat down one side. Arguably the quintessential steak, the Porterhouse has a favourable texture and is full of flavour.
Eye fillet comes from the beef tenderloin, and it’s just that – tender. It often rewards slightly gentler cooking because of how delicate it is (sometimes referred to as Filet Mignon – French for dainty fillet). This steak is the most subtle in flavour and so tender that you won’t need a steak knife!
Rib Eye is like the Scotch Fillet’s big brother. It’s essentially the same cut but is typically double the thickness and still has a rib attached. These steaks can be up to 700gm in weight, so require a slightly different cooking method. Because of its volume, cooking a Rib Eye in a pan can pose difficulties, so we recommend tossing it in a hot pan initially to seal it for a couple of minutes before moving it to an oven to cook for between 10-20 (depending on weight) on 180C.
Other steaks include the T-Bone (Which is the Sirloin and eye fillet with the bone in-between, great for BBQs), the Rump (can be eaten as a steak or used in salads or stir-frys) and the Flank Steak (popular in Latin and Asian cuisine).