This, I must confess, is one man’s idea on how to cook a perfect steak – but it is from a man who knows. Laurent Vernet, master meat-taster and Marketing Manager for Quality Meat Scotland. These tips are ‘borrowed’ from this article. (Photo from Flickr)
Use the right pan:
For juicy cuts, use a griddle. For dryer steaks, use a flat pan. If you place a juicy steak on a flat pan, the liquid will boil and ruin taste and texture. If you put a dry steak on a griddle, you’ll make it even dryer. If you’re not sure which category your steak fits into, ask your butcher. Alternatively, go by the rule that the more marbling, the more juice.
Get your temperatures right:
Your pan needs to be very hot. Top chefs think nothing of heating the pan five to ten minutes before putting the steak anywhere near it. The steak itself should ideally be room temperature. If it’s too chilled, the meat fibres will contract together and produce a massive release of juice, potentially drying out your steak.
Cooking your meat:
Steaks can be trimmed of fat before or after cooking. The latter option adds a little more flavour. Lightly coat the steak with oil before placing on your pan/griddle and allow the meat to cook until the desired amount of browning occurs. Go by the rule of two-and-a-half minutes each side for rare; 3-4 minutes each side for medium rare; 4 for medium; 5 for medium well; and 6 for well done. If using a griddle, rotate the steak 45 degrees while cooking for a criss-cross effect.
Bone or no bone?
Some butchers say steaks best retain their flavour when cooked on the bone, but there’s no evidence or logic to suggest this is true. Since butchers have to pay to dispose of bones, they may have an ulterior motive. That said, bones are always good for stock or soup.