Dial H: Steaks, the pro­fes­sional chef’s way

Cook­ing high qual­ity beef isn’t that hard, says An­drew Jones, if you fol­low th­ese steps

EDP Norfolk - - INSIDE - the­di­al­house.org.uk farm­yardrestau­rant.com

My per­fect steak is juicy and medium rare in the mid­dle with a savoury, seared, caramelised crust. One of the things I get asked the most is how to do that at home with­out the in­tense heat of a pro­fes­sional kitchen at your dis­posal. If you fol­low a few key steps, you’ll soon be cook­ing a steak that any chef would be proud of.

1 Get the right meat. Go to your lo­cal butcher and ask for a rec­om­men­da­tion. They’re the ex­perts. What I want is not nec­es­sar­ily the most ex­pen­sive or ten­der, (I’d take bavette over fil­let any day) but the tasti­est. There are two things that dic­tate how well a steak will cook and taste, mar­bling and dry age­ing. Mar­bling is the fine lines of fat run­ning through the eye of the meat which will melt and give you flavour and tex­ture. Dry aged meat is great to cook; less mois­ture is lost in the pan, mean­ing the pan stays hot­ter and you get more carameli­sa­tion. We love Graves in Bris­ton be­cause their beef comes from their own cows and is hung and cut be­hind the shop. Prove­nance is vi­tal to me. If you’re feel­ing fancy get a whole ‘Cote de Boeuf’. We serve it for two to share at Farm­yard; it al­ways feels a bit spe­cial.

2 Ideally let your meat come up to room temp be­fore you cook it so that the heat trans­fers more ef­fi­ciently and get the pan as hot as you can – if in doubt leave it for an­other minute or so.

3 Oil the meat, not the pan, and sea­son re­ally gen­er­ously, I like to use sea salt, black pep­per and ex­tra vir­gin rape­seed. Cold pressed ex­tra vir­gin rape­seed oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil and less acid­ity mean­ing it gives off less smoke and has a nutty, but­tery flavour, it’s also lo­cal – just look around you.

4 Open all the doors and win­dows and get a tea towel ready for to waft smoke away from the alarm – you’re go­ing to cre­ate smoke – if you don’t then you’re not do­ing it right.

5 Cook each steak in­di­vid­u­ally; if you over­crowd the pan it will cool down and you won’t get that sear. Turn ev­ery 1½ -2 min­utes so it cooks evenly. A good way to test your steak is to touch your thumb and a fin­ger lightly to­gether and press the fleshy bit where your thumb joins your palm. Touch­ing your thumb and first fin­ger will show you what a rare steak feels like when you press. For medium-rare your thumb and mid­dle fin­ger. For medium touch your ring fin­ger to­gether with your thumb and for well done your lit­tle fin­ger.

6 The most im­por­tant step is rest­ing your steak! I can’t stress this enough, al­low­ing the meat to re­lax and the in­ter­nal tem­per­a­ture to even out will en­hance your eat­ing plea­sure im­mea­sur­ably. Take it out of the pan and put it on a cold plate; keep the cook­ing pan and al­low it to go cold. Al­low your steak to rest for at least half the time it’s cooked for, as a min­i­mum.

7 In the pan that you cooked your steak in add some but­ter, a crushed clove of gar­lic and some fresh thyme. When the but­ter is foam­ing and be­gin­ning to turn a light golden brown put your steaks back in and baste them with the golden but­ter.

8 When your meat has re warmed (but be­fore it starts cook­ing) take it out and carve it onto your plate.

ABOVE:How good is your steak?

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