Friday, April 15, 2011

The only way to cook a steak

It's easy enough to claim perfection in the privacy of your own home, so the boast of nailing the perfect roast beef is simple enough should you wish to master this impressive but basic technique. Grilling a steak truly is a bit of an art in that the timing can be so critical to the point where abject failure is only a minute or two away.

Choose your meat wisely, as the meat is absolutely the most important part of the process and must be able to stand alone. I'd plump for a ribeye pretty much every time, but it is on the pricey side, and if you don't know where to start the trimming process it is easy enough to end up with too much fat in there too. Sirloin is a terrific and slightly cheaper option, but for flavour I love the rump which is completely is under-rated I feel.

Where I'm headed with this is simple. I'm not cutting individual portions and attempting to get a wonderful crust all over while keeping the cooking temperature on the inside just how we like it. All this at home, smoke, pans, grills, fire, hot = fire brigade call out. At work when I cook beef in this fashion, I'm getting my grill ridiculously hot – close to 1000 degrees, and I'm not able or prepared to do that at home. My perfect steak is cooked as a whole joint, then sliced to reveal the tender insides as and when you're ready to eat. This way you won't have a charred exterior all the way round, but you certainly won't run as much a risk of over-cooking your dinner.

Serves 4 of your very closest friends

It is always better to use a bigger joint than you think you need. If the beef is too lean, ask the butcher to tie some extra fat over the joint. Roasting joints are rib of beef, sirloin or topside. Calculate the cooking time at 12 minutes per 450g for very rare, 15 minutes for rare and 20 for well done on the bone. For a joint off the bone, allow 15, 20 and 25 minutes respectively. 

About a 1kg piece of ribeye joint
Crystal salt, ground black pepper and dry mustard powder 

If there is any exterior fat on the meat, score it with a sharp knife and rub it well with salt, pepper and dry mustard powder. 

Preheat the oven to 230C/gas 8. Place the joint into a hot roasting pan and cook for 15 minutes (20 if the joint is over 2.75kg), then turn the heat down to 160C/gas 3. 

Roast at this temperature for the remainder of the cooking time, I would say a 1kg piece needs no more than another 20 minutes for a rare end result. 

Remove and allow to rest for a final 10 minutes on a warm plate before carving and devouring as we did last night...