Ask the ex­perts:

Our food ex­perts Fran Ab­dal­laoui and Pamela Clark share their tips on cook­ing steak.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS -

how to cook the per­fect steak

Q I’m try­ing to master the tech­nique of cook­ing the per­fect steak. Can you share a few point­ers? Mark Lum­ley, via email. It can be a bit of a chal­lenge, but once mas­tered, you can as­sume the man­tle of “king of the grill”. Be­fore you even turn on the bar­be­cue or char-grill pan, how­ever, there are some im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tions. Pur­chase steaks of even thick­ness – about 2cm-thick is ideal. If your steaks are frozen, de­frost them in the re­frig­er­a­tor for 24 hours or un­til thawed and then pat dry with kitchen pa­per to mop up any ex­cess mois­ture. Take the steaks out of the re­frig­er­a­tor 20-30 min­utes be­fore you cook them. This raises the tem­per­a­ture of the steak, al­low­ing them to cook more evenly, which stops the meat tight­en­ing, giv­ing you a more ten­der re­sult. If you are us­ing a char-grill pan or fry­pan, it should have a heavy base. Just prior to cook­ing, brush the steaks with olive oil and sea­son with sea salt flakes and freshly ground pep­per. Don’t oil the bar­be­cue as it will burn and smoke.

Cook­ing the steaks

Pre­heat the pan or bar­be­cue on high heat for about 5 min­utes be­fore adding the meat. This en­sures max­i­mum flavour – the steak should siz­zle on con­tact. Don’t over­crowd the pan, as this re­duces the heat and the meat will start to stew. Cook the first side for about 3 min­utes or un­til browned and a nice crust has de­vel­oped. You should see mois­ture (blood) rise to the sur­face. Turn the steak and cook on the sec­ond side un­til done as de­sired (to achieve cross-hatch char marks, turn the meat 45 de­grees half­way through the cook­ing time on one side). Know­ing when your steak is ready to be re­moved from the heat is the key to a per­fectly cooked steak. Use ei­ther a meat ther­mome­ter to check the in­ter­nal tem­per­a­ture or the back of your tongs to press the cen­tre of the steak. For a 2cmthick steak, here are the guide­lines: Rare Cook on the first side un­til mois­ture is vis­i­ble on the top; turn only once (about 2 min­utes on each side). Cook un­til steak feels very soft when pressed. In­ter­nal tem­per­a­ture should be 55°C-60°C. Medium Cook on first side un­til mois­ture is pool­ing on top sur­face; turn only once. Cook on the sec­ond side un­til the steak feels springy when pressed (ap­prox­i­mately 4 min­utes on each side). The in­ter­nal tem­per­a­ture should be 65°C-700C. Well done Cook on the first side un­til mois­ture is pool­ing on the top sur­face. Turn and cook on the sec­ond side un­til mois­ture is vis­i­ble on top (about 6 min­utes each side). Re­duce heat and cook un­til steak feels very firm when pressed. In­ter­nal tem­per­a­ture should be 700C.

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