Have a read through the guide below and watch our videos with Executive Chef, Matt Brown, in action.
It is best (but not essential) to take the steaks out of their packaging 12 or so hours before cooking. Pat them dry with kitchen towel and place on a plate on the bottom shelf of the fridge away from other items. This will help dry out the surface ready to form a delicious crust. Take the steaks out of the fridge an hour or so before firing up the barbecue or cooking in your pan.
- TAKE THE MEAT OUT OF THE FRIDGE AT LEAST AN HOUR BEFORE YOU COOK IT, to bring it up to room temperature.
- FIRE UP THE BARBECUE Or dig out a heavy cast-iron griddle or heavy-gauge frying pan. If you’re using a barbecue we recommend lumpwood charcoal from sustainable sources, and make sure you use eco-friendly firelighters, to avoid any fuel tainting the flavour of the meat. There are three ingredients needed for a perfect steak: beef, salt and heat. Getting all three right is crucial to achieving the perfect steak.
- GET THE BARBECUE OR THE PAN REALLY, REALLY HOT You’re looking for white-hot coals on the barbecue, which will take about half an hour from lighting. With a pan, it should be painful to hold your hand too near the heat source.
- IF YOU’RE INSIDE, OPEN THE WINDOW – there will be lots of smoke.
- IF YOUR STEAK IS WET,PAT IT DRY WITH KITCHEN PAPER, otherwise it will struggle to form a delicious golden crust.
- DON’T USE ANY OIL – if you’re using a barbecue or well-seasoned cast iron griddle pan and the heat is high enough you won’t need anything – the meat won’t stick. If you’re using a heavy-gauge frying pan (preferably not non-stick) add a nugget of beef dripping to the hot pan. Or cut a small piece of fat off your steak and rub it over the pan with a pair of tongs. Oil can add a hint of flavour that doesn’t sit well with good beef.
- AT THE LAST MINUTE, SEASON YOUR STEAK well with Maldon sea salt, probably more than you think sensible – it will help build up a delicious salty crust.
- STICK THE STEAK ON Leave it for a minute or so, then turn and move regularly. You’re after an even dark crust, not black criss-cross bar marks. If the heat is as fierce as our charcoal grill at Hawksmoor you may need to turn every 30 seconds to avoid burning. Don’t overcrowd the grill or pan – make sure there’s plenty of space between each steak. For large, thicker Prime Ribs – sear the meat all over till golden brown then transfer to a hot oven (200ºC/180ºC Fan), turning halfway through cooking – we recommend cooking Prime Rib to Medium (18-25 minutes).
- RENDER THE FAT Leave If there is a layer of fat on the side of your steak, hold it up vertically with tongs to render and crisp.
- TO CHECK IF YOUR STEAK IS COOKED we recommend a temperature probe, which our grill chefs use to ensure every steak is perfect. At the end of cooking, the internal temperature should be at the bottom end of the range and towards the top end once rested.
— rare 45°c to 50°c
— medium rare 50°c to 55°c
— medium 55°c to 60°c
— medium well 60°c to 65°c
— well 65°c to 70°c
- REST YOUR STEAK, ideally on a rack. As long as it took to cook is a good rule of thumb, a bit less for large sharing cuts. Serve on hot plates.
- CRACK OPEN A BOTTLE OF GOOD RED WINE Eat, drink and be merry.