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Your Steak Secrets

Gratin with Steak

A tender, juicy steak is one of my favourite things to eat. A friend recently attempted to bribe me with a steak (he did Something Terrible, and was hoping to buy silence), and it would have been successful if Shanahan’s had been open.  It’s one of those things, however, that I’ve never really got the hang of cooking myself.  It’s nice to have certain things that you only eat in restaurants; for me it’s lasagne and those super-cheffy dishes that involve reductions and drizzles and beds of celeriac something or other (frankly not bothered to do that kind of stuff at home).   If I was loaded, I would be happy to only eat steak in good restaurants, but unfortunately the price of restaurant steak is pretty high.  I’m fine with doing a minute steak for a sandwich or something like that, but am nervous of trying to cook quality fillets myself, in the fear that I will overcook and hence RUIN them.

According to the Guardian’s Word of Mouth blog yesterday, I am making the same mistake that many home cooks do: searing my steak to ‘lock in’ the juices.  Apparently this does not work, and a slower-cooked, unseared steak will be juicier.   Of course there is a ‘but’, there always is: the seared steak will be slightly drier but will have the delicious charred crust that is such an integral part of the pleasure of steak.  The Word of Mouth piece has loads of advice in the comments, and I will give them all a try with some steak from my butchers over the next while.

Do you do a mean steak?  What are your cooking secrets? And what cuts are the best?


  1. Heres a dish i do based on a recipe i found by Gordon Ramsay.
    It make the best tasting steak ever.
    Not very practical or economical is Heston Blumenthals steak which sounds pretty good.

  2. I usually use sirloin as fillet is too expensive to cook wrongly! I typically rub the steak in balsamic, olive oil, salt, black pepper and steak seasoning.and put in the fridge for half an hour. Then heat a griddle pan quite hot and put on the steak for a minute each side, reduce heat to medium and cook for a further 3 minutes each side. Works like a dream. The other half seals it as above but then pops it into the oven. It comes out a little more tender and grainy.

    Am dying to try the Hereford dry aged steaks that Superquinn sell. Might pop them in the basket this weekend.

  3. Mmmm, sounds great Gerry. Does that give you a rare, medium or well done steak? Has to be medium rare for me.

  4. It’s 75% quality of meat and 25% cooking method for me. Not much one can do to improve a rubbery red hunk of rubbish! Fallon & Byrne’s aged striploins are the tastiest I’ve had so far – simply seasoned and cooked for about 3 mins per side on a very hot griddle pan.

  5. I always prefer medium steakes.
    And you shouldn’t go for a “well done” in a restaurant. Never!
    I think rib eye and sirloin are always a winner in terms of delicious steakes.
    I grilled them, both sides, for 5-6 minutes, and just at the end I put some seasalt, freshly grounded. Very tasty!

  6. I take the steaks out of the fridge and marinate in oill, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, while leaving them warm up to room temperature. I heat an iron skillet until it’s red hot, and for striploin or sirloin, I fry my steak for about 1.5-2 minutes on each side. To me the key ingredients are letting the steak warm up a little, using an iron skillet that’s properly hot and finally, letting the steak rest for a few mins before eating.

  7. @Joanne,
    Try to put salt in the end, because salt tend to suck the natural juice from any steak.

  8. You can’t beat a good old T-bone cooked and salted on a skillet.

    Gleesons Butchers, The Square in Tallaght do 2 x T-Bones for €9.99.

    We recently found a wholsesale butchers in Ballymount who do a pretty big T-bone for €7.00 each.