The Per­fect Steak

Savour - - SCRUMPTIOUS SUMMER RECIPES - From The Salt Book

Know­ing that salt draws mois­ture from food, this method of pre­par­ing steak may seem coun­ter­in­tu­itive if we want our meat to be moist and juicy. But work it does, par­tic­u­larly on cheaper cuts, which are likely to be a lit­tle less ten­der.

Here’s how it works. The salt will draw some of the mois­ture from the meat; that mois­ture dis­solves some of the salt, and then os­mo­sis draws that salted wa­ter back into the meat, in an at­tempt to even out the quan­ti­ties of both mois­ture and salt. When the salt is ab­sorbed into the meat, it be­gins to de­na­ture the pro­tein cells, un­wind­ing their reg­u­lar struc­ture so that they be­come like lit­tle bird’s nests. And when the heat of the cook­ing be­gins to liq­uefy that fat within the mus­cle and to heat up the mois­ture within the cells, the pro­teins trap all of that flavour­ful good­ness within the meat. Which re­sults in…

You will need to pre­pare the meat at least 1 1/2 hours be­fore serv­ing. Cover the sur­face of a plate with salt, and place the steak on top of it. Cover the top sur­face of the steak with salt so that the meat can­not be seen. Let this stand for an hour. Heat a heavy cast-iron fry­ing pan so that it is very hot. Mean­while, brush all of the salt from the steak and pat very dry with pa­per tow­els. Pour a lit­tle oil into the fry­ing pan and as it heats to smok­ing point, grind a lit­tle fresh black pep­per over the steak. Care­fully place the steak into the pan and cook with­out touch­ing for 4 min­utes. Turn the steak and cook for an­other 3 min­utes. Turn down the heat, take the steak from the pan, put it on a plate and cover loosely with foil to rest. Pour a small splash of red wine into the pan and scrape with a spat­ula to deglaze. Add an equal splash of beef stock and stir whilst re­duc­ing. When it is re­duced by half, turn off the heat and add a small knob of but­ter, in­cor­po­rat­ing it by mak­ing gen­tle waves in the sauce with the spat­ula. Trans­fer the steak to a serv­ing plate, pour­ing any re­main­ing juices back into the sauce. Add a fi­nal twist of black pep­per to the sauce and pour over the steak. Serve with a sim­ple green salad.

NOTE

It is im­por­tant that you only use coarse sea salt for this recipe, and that the salt is brushed off com­pletely and the steak pat­ted thor­oughly dry be­fore cook­ing, oth­er­wise the fin­ished meat may be­come too salty.

Steak, prefer­ably sir­loin coarse salt red wine beef stock but­ter cracked black pep­per

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