Cooking Perfect Steak
There is not a lot out there that beats cooking perfect steak, local, grass-fed, well aged. All sounds very easy and when you look at the basics it is. Unfortunately over the last few decades meat has become the realm of supermarket and so many local butchers have gone by the way side. The meat in supermarkets does not compare to the meat you buy from a good butcher, supermarket meat on the whole is grain fed, fed growth hormones, steroids and antibiotics and never sees a blade of grass.
When your butcher tells you not only where your meat is from but how it is raised and how it has been treated after slaughter then you know the meat is good, for many knowing the provenance of the food they eat is becoming more important all the time. There is simply no way that the mass factory farming of meat is sustainable going forward. Eating locally sourced, grass fed and free range is the only way we can carry on eating meat, and to eat good meat well sourced less. I will happily pay more for good quality and eat less of it. I am very fortunate to live where I do and to know the people I do be they farmers, butchers or producers.
Recently and old school friend who has now been a butcher for 30 years offered me some T-Bone steaks, Mark is the owner of Palfreys butchers in Newport. Mark has many awards to his name and has carried on the excellent tradition of traditional butchery at Palfreys.
I visited Mark and collected some fantastic 55 day aged Longhorn cross Hereford T-Bone steaks. As you can see in the image below the colouring and marbling of the meat is fantastic and as it should be not the bright red you see at the supermarket.
When it comes to cooking perfect steak of this quality there is no messing about. The steak is removed from the fridge and all packaging removed to allow the meat to bloom and get to room temperature, never ever place a steak straight from the fridge on to a hot griddle or grill. Around twenty minutes will have the meat ready for cooking. Seasoning is purely salt, i never season with pepper as the heat i cook at purely burns the pepper leaving an acrid taste, season with pepper after cooking. Preheat your griddle or pan, I use a cast iron griddle and use this whether cooking in the house or when using the wood oven.
I use what has now become known as the Heston method for cooking perfect steak, with the griddle smoking hot place the steak down away from you, the heat will sear the meat instantly and seal it. if the pan or griddle is not hot enough when you go to lift the steak to turn it it will stick to the pan, I do not use oil when cooking steak of this quality the natural fat in and on the steak does the basting for me. After 20 seconds turn the steak and continue turning every 20 seconds, I use a meat thermometer for all my meat cooking and for a medium rare steak I remove the steak when it reaches an internal temperature of 50c and place on a grill rack next to the cooker and rest for at least the time I have cooked the meat for. If you do not have a meat thermometer I highly suggest that you get one. If you like your steak rare the internal temperature to remove the meat at should be 47c for medium aim for 55c, I will not give temperatures for well done as to me that is ruining good meat. After the meat is rested serve with triple cooked chips and a good béarnaise sauce, you can of course have a sauce of your choice be it Diane, mushroom or peppercorn I like to keep it simple and classic.
As I say cooking is not difficult and when you have fantastic produce you do not need twenty processes and 30 ingredients to get the best from it, keep it simple. Support your local butchers and farmers and eat meat of a far higher quality than mass-produced supermarket produce.
Any questions please do not hesitate to leave a comment and I will get back to you. Enjoy your meat and live happy.