The Perfect Steak

  • 250g Scotch fillet or rump steak (per person)
  • 1/2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • flake salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp buffalo butter

The Perfect Steak

Buy good-quality, fresh steak and aim for at least 200g–250g per person. Aged steak is really important because the hanging process tenderises and develops the flavour. Your cut should be firm to the touch, cherry-red in colour and have good, even marbling. You don’t want to see big clumps of fat. Pat the steak with a paper towel to dry it so the steak sears in the pan rather than stews. Bring the meat to room temperature before cooking. Liberally coat the steak on both sides with oil and season with flake salt and ground black pepper 5 minutes before cooking. Preheat the oven to 190°C, then heat a cast-iron pan on the stovetop to a high heat. Test the heat by placing a drop of water in the pan; the water should bounce around before evaporating. Place the steak in the pan and sear on all sides until
 the Maillard reaction occurs (this is often referred to as caramelising but it’s the browning of the meat). If cooking multiple pieces of steak, leave space between them so they’re not crowded in the pan. This ensures the steak cooks evenly and also prevents the meat from steaming and stewing instead of searing. Don’t prod the steak while searing; steak needs a few minutes of uninterrupted contact with the pan before it can properly sear and the Maillard reaction can occur. Depending on the thickness of the steak, this takes roughly
 1 minute each side. If the steak can move and doesn’t feel stuck, it’s ready to be turned over. Once you’ve turned the steak, add the butter to the pan and, when melted, spoon the butter over the steak. Take the pan off the heat once the steak is seared and place in the oven to pan-roast. Using a good meat thermometer, check the internal temperature of the steak. For the perfect medium-rare steak, remove it from the oven once it has reached 60°C or as soon as the juices appear. The steak should feel soft when pressed. If you prefer medium or well done, continue to cook. At medium your steak should feel bouncy and red juices will start to seep from the steak. At well done, the steak will feel firm and the juice will be pooled on the surface. Place the steak on a rack, cover loosely with tinfoil and place on a bench for 5–10 minutes to rest before serving so the meat relaxes and reabsorbs its juices, ensuring it’s juicy and tender. The thicker the steak, the longer it should rest. Serve with homemade chips, green salad and Béarnaise sauce. Link to Bearnaise sauce recipe. If you serve your steak sliced, use a sharp knife and cut across the grain.