Steak requires little cooking and therefore suits methods such as barbecuing and pan-frying.
Always allow the meat to come to room temperature before cooking. It is also important to make sure the pan or grill is very hot before beginning in order to sear the meat which gives it flavour.
Once the steak is cooked, it is imperative that it is left to rest for the same amount of time it has been cooked. This lets the juices in the meat evenly redistribute and the muscles relax, making for a more tender steak.
The cooking of meat is divided into ‘cuisson’; this is a measure of how far the meat is cooked. These are:
Rare: mostly raw in the middle, very soft to the touch.
Medium Rare: pink in the middle, a lot of juices running, still soft to the touch.
Medium: still some pink in the middle with a little blood remaining, firm to the touch.
Well done: completely cooked through, the meat will feel very firm to the touch and have less juice running.
Béarnaise: a French classic, it’s made with egg yolks, butter, shallots, white wine, vinegar and herbs (usually tarragon).
Mushroom: generally consisting of mushrooms, garlic, stock, wine and cream, this unctuous sauce is a delight.
Peppercorn (steak au poivre): steaks are rolled in crushed peppercorns, cooked as you would like them then a sauce made from shallots, butter, brandy and cream and red wine or stock is poured over.
Red wine: super simple, light and tangy, a red wine sauce or reduction usually consists of just red wine, butter, stock and shallots; sometimes garlic and herbs are added.
Bordelaise: a classic French sauce from the Bordeaux region. It is made with dry red wine, bone marrow, butter, shallots and jus.
Mustard, blue cheese and herb butter also go beautifully with steak.