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Gemma Stoddart's Top 5 Steak Tips

Gemma Stoddart08 June 2017

We asked Gemma Stoddart, host of our Steak: Butchery and Cookery class for her top tips on how to cook the perfect steak. A good steak should speak for itself so Gemma’s advice is to keep things simple for a real fast food supper.

1. Choose a cut

First, choose your steak (for my class I like to use sirloin), look for a well-aged piece of meat, cut to an even thickness and nicely marbled with fat. Rub or brush on a little oil over your steak before you cook it.

2. Know when to season

The jury is out on when to season a steak, but I prefer to season my steak generously after cooking. Adding salt beforehand encourages the meat’s juices to escape making for dry eating.

3. Use the right pan

Heat a robust, thick-based frying pan or griddle – don’t add any oil. When the pan’s smoking hot, add your steak – it should be at room temperature (cold meat impedes cooking).

4. Cook to your liking

The time it takes to cook your steak will depend on its weight and thickness. For a medium rare sirloin steak, (about 2cm thick) cook for about 3 minutes on each side. You want it to be caramelising nicely before you flip it. The best way to test if your steak is cooked is to prod it gently with your fingers. A rare steak will feel soft, medium-rare will have a little bounce and well-done will be firm to the touch. With experience, you’ll find it easier to judge when your steak is done to your liking.

5. Leave to rest

Leave your steak to rest on a warm plate for at least five minutes to allow the juices to settle and the meat to relax before serving. In summer, I like to eat my steak with a simple green salad or grilled asparagus and a piquant chimichurri or peppercorn sauce.