I’m hinted once or twice before that I’m a big fan of reality cooking television shows. In particular, Masterchef US and Top Chef are my favourites. Of course, the drama is entertaining, but I find that I often pick up a tip or two from watching these shows. Tips which I remember and try to use when time allows me the privilege of cooking.
So, in the recent episode of Masterchef, one of the ‘pressure tests’ was to cook a sirloin steak. I listened really hard as Gordan Ramsay judged the steak outcome and explained how to cook a steak well. Ultimately, it boils down to practice and more practice, but now that I knew what to look out for, I was really keen to see if I could master the technique of cooking steak for myself.
Different recipes called for different types of cooking methods. Some just stick to a pan fry method, while others incorporate the oven as well. Honestly, I don’t know the different it makes. Ultimately, I used the pan frying method as the cut of the steak that I had bought was not very thick.
1 Sirloin Steak
1. Season the steak generously with pepper and salt. We lose about 20% of the seasoning when we dump it onto the hot pan, so don’t worry about putting too much.
2. Heat up the pan with some olive oil in it. You want to make sure that the pan is really hot before you put the steak in it. This is so that you can get a really good sear on the steak which is very important.
3. When the pan is hot enough, put the steak in and wait for about 2 minutes (this is for a medium steak). Then, turn the steak on the other side. You should have a good sear on the steak when you flip sides.
4. Melt the butter and add the thyme into the pan. Use the melted butter to baste the steak so as to keep it moist and prevent it from drying out. Keep doing this for the next two minutes
5. Lastly, using a pair of tongs, take the steak and render the fatty side of the steak, using the side of the pan to help you prop the steak up. Continue basting with the butter and you will see the fats start to sizzle and caramelize into a rich, golden brown texture.
6. Serve the steak on a plate. Slice into pieces if you so desire. Use the leftover juices to cook the mushrooms – this step is optional, but I love mushrooms, so I included them in.
7. Pour the mushrooms over the steak. Garnish with herbs.
Notes: definitely need more practice to get the steak cooked evenly on both sides. The basting of the steak was really important to keep the steak moist. I think this is the crucial step of cooking the steak. The second crucial step is the rendering of the fat – now I finally understood why people rave about having a fatty steak…