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How to season and cook steak

Understanding Spices

Having guests over for dinner? Steak is always a winner. A juicy, perfectly cooked steak is a luxury that most of us usually only enjoy at a restaurant. But steaks are pretty straightforward to cook, and shouldn’t be intimidating at all. Plus, serving up the perfect home cooked steak can make you look like a total pro.

Different types of steak

Before you get cooking, it’s important to know what the different cuts of steak are. By definition, a steak is a slice of meat generally cut from the muscle fibres of an animal (most usually beef). Steaks come in a variety of cuts and price points, some of the most common ones being tenderloin (fillet steak), Sirloin, T-bone, ribeye, flank steak and skirt steak.

Before cooking

Although seasoning is key, steaks don’t actually need too much. Salt is one of the ingredients you shouldn’t shy away from when seasoning steaks. A good quality salt like Sel Gris or a sea salt is always best, as the size of its crystals is perfect for drawing out the moisture from meat. Both sides of the steak should be coated with salt, plus freshly ground black peppercorns. Don’t be afraid to use salt generously! If you do want to add a little more than just salt, then try rubbing in pepper, garlic powder, paprika or chilli powder. Before frying, brush the steak all over with a generous glug of olive oil.

Flank and skirt steaks take well to marinades. Some of the most popular marinades use ingredients like dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and Worcestershire sauce. Add in fresh or dried herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano and marjoram for extra flavour and aroma.

How to cook

  1. Heat your pan or griddle so that it is hot. If you’re grilling your steak, make sure your grill is clean and give it a brush with cooking oil so that the steak doesn’t stick.
  1. Make sure your steak is at room temperature before you place it in the pan, otherwise the inside will take longer to cook. It’s important not to cook more than two steaks at a time, and keep them spaced apart. Overcrowding the pan will cause the temperature to drop and you won’t get a nice, caramelised outside.

Remember to turn the steak every minute for an even cook. As a rule of thumb, here’s how long you should cook steak for, based on a 2cm – 3cm thick steak:

  • Rare: 1 minute on each side
  • Medium rare: 2 minutes on each side
  • Medium: 3 minutes on each side
  • Medium well: 4 minutes on each side
  • Well done: 6 minutes on each side
  1. Before serving, leave the steak to rest for around 2 minutes to let the juices soak back into the steak. To add even more flavour, you can also rub some butter over the steak and let it soak in.
  1. Up the ante by serving steaks with a range of sauces. Here are some simple yet delicious sauces you can make in under 25 minutes:
  • Salsa verde
  • Black bean & sesame sauce
  • Chimichurri
  • Red wine sauce
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Blue cheese sauce

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