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How to cook the Perfect Medium Rare Steak

James Smith, "The Tattooed Butcher", takes you through the simple steps to cooking the perfect medium rare steak. He's used scotch fillet, but these instructions are also perfect for 1 inch thick sirloin steak, Tomahawk steak, or fillet steak.

Tips and tricks

Cooking the perfect steak doesn't have to be difficult, but there are a few guidelines to keep in mind if you want to get it right every time.

Buying the right steak

You want to ensure that you're buying a quality product, keep a look out for the Quality Mark sticker- it's a guarantee of tender, juicy steak. Also, don't skimp out on buying good quality meat! This is a huge part of "cooking the perfect steak". If you need some help then talk to your local butcher! They will be more than willing to point you in the right direction.

Before cooking

Remove steak from the fridge 1 hour before you cook, you want the meat to almost reach room temperature before you cook it. If you try to cook a steak while it's still cold, the heat would penetrate the middle of the meat as efficiently as it would when the steak is at room temperature. This results in an uneven cook.

Salting the steak at least 40 minutes before cooking is also essential. Salt is important for far more than seasoning, it helps to draw out the protein-rich juice that dries on the surface during cooking, creating a crisp, deeply seasoned crust. You can learn more about that here.

You also want to make sure that your pan, barbecue, or oven is piping hot before you begin cooking – this will help to caramelise the meat, and is essential for a delicious crust.

During cooking

Make sure that you're keeping an eye on the internal temperature of your steak. If you've got a meat thermometer I recommend using it, if not, you can test it's doneness using the touch test. For medium-rare, you're looking for a soft and springy steak that is moist, has a light red internal colour, and pink juices. An internal temperature of 55-57°C or 130-135°F will get you there.

I also like to turn my steak every minute or so to ensure that I get an even cook, but different chefs have different opinions on this.

After cooking

It's important to let your steak rest after cooking it, otherwise you risk ruining all that good work. Aim for at least 5 minutes. At this point you can rub in a little extra virgin olive oil or butter, and then slice against the grain and drizzle the pan juices on top!

How to cook the perfect steak

  1. Remove steak from the fridge 1 hour before you cook, you want the meat to almost reach room temperature before you cook it.
  2. Heat your oven to 220°C on fan bake.
  3. Cover the steak in olive oil then apply a generous amount of salt and cracked black pepper to each side.
  4. Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Heat a fry pan or skillet with butter on high, wait for the butter to go golden brown then add thyme.
  6. Remove the steak from the oven and cook each side on the pan or skillet for 90 seconds. The aim is to get the steak to an internal temperature of roughly 130-135°F (or 55-57°C), if you like your steak slightly more done or a bit rarer then add or reduce your internal temp by 5-10°F.
  7. Remove your steak and rest for 5 minutes before slicing across the grain to serve, drizzling the pan juices on top. The resting process is very important, it lets the steak muscle relax from all that extreme heat you just put it through so don't rush this process just because you have hungry guests!

I've included these steps, and all the ingredients you'll need in the recipe link below.

Posted by James Smith "The Tattooed Butcher"

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