How to cook steak for a special treat
When I go out to eat, if I’m feeling dog-tired, I might order steak – I find it really perks me up on a my-kids-have-been-too-noisy-I-can’t-cope kind of day. The immediacy of the effect is probably more psychological than anything to do with the high iron levels in red meat. (Sadly, the mineral just doesn’t affect energy levels that fast.) But still, who cares if the dish makes you feel better?
And yet I’ve never cooked steak at home. I’m just too worried about screwing up something that’s such a luxury.
But I would love to be able to say, ‘I can cook a mean steak’, and to have it as a standby birthday meal if we can’t make it out for dinner. After all, it’s cooked fast – which means I can include it as a 30-minute Healthier Mummy challenge dish – and it’s a great source of protein, zinc and B-vitamins as well as iron so is nutritious too. You just have to watch out for the sauces you serve it up with, how much fat it’s cooked with, and of course that you don’t gorge on red meat too often.
With all this in mind, I was really pleased when we tackled steak during my Cooking with Confidence course at Leiths School of Food and Wine in west London, an evening class course tackling a variety of cooking over six weeks, including choux pastry and pasta-making.
Of course, now that I’ve cooked steak once, I can tell you that it’s really not all that hard. It’s all in the timing and the oven temperature, and of course your confidence with a great hunk of (expensive) meat. I’m sure I could have managed it solo. But I’m still pleased that my steak initiation was under a chef’s watchful eye.
This particular steak was a rib eye – so yep, probably the fattiest, and there are leaner cuts that you might prefer, like sirloin. But my chef tutors said this is their preferred cut because it has the most flavour.
Ahem, the recipe below called for rather a lot of fat and oil, as you can see in this picture below.
But my goodness, it was fab. I would definitely stick to it as a very occasional treat though.
Also bear in mind that this recipe is for a really large cut for two to three people that you slice to serve.
Seared rib eye steak recipe
Recipe courtesy of Leiths School of Food and Wine
1 bone rib eye steak (about 600g)
2 tablespoons oil
30g unsalted butter
1 clove garlic
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 200°C/ gas mark 6.
To prepare the steak, cut the garlic clove in half and rub over the surface of the steak. Brush with some oil and season with pepper. Leave to come up to room temperature.
Heat the remaining oil with the unsalted butter in an ovenproof frying pan with a heavy base, until it’s very hot. Season the steak with salt and sear for three mins on each side, basting with the oil and butter as it cooks.
Place the frying pan in the oven and cook the steak for five minutes, before turning it over and cooking for another five minutes. Baste again. This steak will end up cooked medium-rare as in the picture.
Allow the steak to rest in a warm place, uncovered, for 1o t0 20 minutes before carving.
Carve the meat into thickish slices across the grain of the meat, and serve with chimichurri sauce as in the photo, traditionally served with steaks in Argentina.
Disclosure: I was given a free Cooking with Confidence course at Leiths School of Food and Wine for review purposes. For more information on their cooking courses, please click on the link.
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