My meat-hero, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, captures the essence of cooking a perfect steak. He says all the important work is done before you even walk into the butcher shop. A quality steak is delicious with just salt and heat. A crummy steak is difficult to fix.
So step one is buying a good steak. Visit your city’s best butchers and try a steak from each one until you find the one that makes you shiver and sigh with delight. I prefer ribeye (aka rib steak) which has the perfect combination of fat, chew and flavour. In Toronto, we buy steaks from Olliffe, Stock in Trade and Cumbraes. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Hell yes.
It’s great to cook it outdoors on the barbecue (charcoal is more fun; gas is quicker) but if you’d rather cook that steak perfectly indoors, a sturdy cast-iron pan on the stove is just as good.
- 1 great steak
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Make yourself a martini or a manhattan.
- Pat steak dry with paper towel. Sprinkle both sides of the steak with lots of salt (at least 1 tbsp of kosher salt). Season with pepper.
- Heat the barbecue or cast-iron pan to high, and let it get good and hot.
- Put the steak on the grill or in the pan and leave it alone for 3 whole minutes. Sip your drink. Flip the steak and leave it again for another 3 min. Depending on steak, it is now cooked to 'rare'. Want it medium-rare? Cook another 3 min. Medium? Add another 3 on top of that.
- Now for the most important bit: transfer the steak to a platter and let it rest for 10 min. No need to cover it, just keep it out of any direct drafts.
- Slice into ½-inch pieces and serve.