No matter what type of beef you prefer, whether you like a thrifty cut such as skirt or traditional and tasty filet mignon, you need to cook the meat with care and attention. A couple of minutes can be the difference between a rare piece of steak and one that is well-done. The difference is huge. Because of this, I have put together some top tips on cooking the perfect steak.
Tips on choosing steak
• You should look for a piece of steak with a good layer of fat. This is essential in terms of flavour.
• Choose beef boasting a deep red colour.
• The age of the steak is vital. I always recommend going for anything that has been hung from three weeks to five weeks. This will ensure that the meat is tender and full of flavour.
Tips on how to cook steak
How do you like your steak cooked? Generally steak can be separated into five different categories, which are as follows – blue, rare, medium-rare, medium and well-done. Let’s take a look at each one in further detail…
• Blue – The steak will be just warm and will still be dark in colour, almost purple. To achieve blue steak you should cook it for about a minute and a half either side.
• Rare – Rare steak feels soft and spongy. It will have some juice flowing and will be dark red in colour. You should cook the steak for approximately two minutes and a quarter on each side.
• Medium-rare – When contrasted with rare steak, medium-rare will be pinker in colour, with a little bit of juice flowing. This is a popular choice amongst people that order steak in Hong Kong. To achieve this you should cook the meat for three and a quarter minutes on each side.
• Medium – There will be hardly any juice flowing with a medium cook steak and the meat will be pale pink in the middle. To achieve this you should cook the meat for four and a half minutes on each side.
• Well-done – Finally, a piece of well-done meat should only contain a trace of pink and no juices, yet this does not mean that it should be dry. Cook the steak for approximately five minutes on either side.
Please note that the timings I have provided are based on a three and a half cm cut of steak.
Some of the most common mistakes made
- It’s going to get cold – It’s not! You need to give the steak time to rest, whether it’s for breakfast or dinner. You shouldn’t cut into it straight away.
- Out of the fridge, into the frying pan – You run the risk of an undercooked steak if you take it straight from the fridge and place it into the frying pan. Instead, plan ahead and take the meat out of the fridge in advance.
- Buying from a supermarket – You should always purchase your meat from a butcher. They can introduce you to the best cuts and provide you with advice on how to cook the piece of steak you are purchasing.