Ask The Expert – Steak

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We asked Craft Butcher’s Chef Adrian to give us the lowdown when it comes to cooking the ultimate steak. Here are his top tips.

 

WHAT YOU NEED
To barbecue steak and to get great results, make sure you have the following equipment ready:

-A charcoal or gas barbecue for cooking the steak.

-Long tongs for turning your steak. This keeps your hands a safe distance away from the barbecue.

-An oil bowl and a pastry brush for brushing your steak with oil before placing it on the barbecue.

-A large plate for resting the cooked steak before serving.

 

HOW TO BARBECUE STEAK
Follow these simple steps for cooking steak on the barbecue and you’ll impress your family and friends with tender, juicy meat that’s full of flavour and cooked to perfection.

-Preheat a barbecue grill on medium-high heat. Brush both sides of the steak with olive oil to prevent it from sticking to the barbecue. This is better than brushing the barbecue, as it prevents the oil from burning. Excess oil can create smoke and cause flare-ups on the barbecue.

-Wait until just before cooking to season your steak, as salt draws out the flavoursome juices from the meat, making it tough. Season one side with salt and pepper; season the other side just before turning over.

-Cook the steak on the barbecue, using the tongs to turn the steak, until cooked to your liking. Cooking times vary depending on the thickness. Turn steak once only during cooking – any more than that and the juices escape, which can make the meat tough.

-After cooking, transfer the steak to a plate and cover with foil. Set aside for 5 minutes to rest. Heat pushes the juices to the centre of the steak. Resting it after cooking allows the meat to relax, and the juices then distribute evenly throughout the steak, making it succulent and tender.

 

HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOUR STEAK IS DONE
The time needed to cook a steak varies depending on its thickness, and how you like it. Don’t be tempted to cut into a steak to see if it’s done. This allows the precious juices to escape, making the meat tough. Instead, press the centre of the steak with the back of your tongs or finger – if it’s medium the meat will spring back. Use this guide for cooking times and to tell when it’s ready.

 

For steak 2-3cm-thick:

Rare – 2-3 minutes each side
Medium – 4-5 minutes each side
Well done – 5-6 minutes each side

 

Pressing test

Rare – soft
Medium – slightly firmer and springy
Well done – very firm with no spring

 

BEST BARBECUE CUTS

The best cuts of beef steak to use for barbecuing are fillet, T-bone, rump, striploin. Look for cuts with a bit of fat as this gives flavour to the steak when cooking. You can cut it off once cooked.

 

STEAK MARINADES

Steak marinades usually contain 1-2 tablespoons of acidic liquids, such as wine, vinegar and citrus juice, per cup of marinade (any more acid can dry out your steak). These recipes will marinate four beef steaks. To make them, combine the ingredients in a bowl, add the steaks and turn to coat, then cover and place in the fridge to marinate before barbecuing.

 

Soy, Sweet Chilli & Ginger Marinade
4tbsps dark soy sauce, 5tbsps sweet chilli sauce, 2 garlic cloves crushed, 2tsp grated fresh ginger, 1tsp Chinese five spice: marinate for 4 hours or overnight.

 

Thyme & Lemon Marinade
4tbsps olive oil, 3tbsps fresh lemon juice, 2 garlic cloves crushed, 2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves: marinate for up to 2 hours.

 

Indian Curry Marinade
4tbsps olive oil, 2tbsps mild curry powder, and 2tbsps chopped fresh coriander: marinate for 2-4 hours.

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