During the warmer months, hubby and I have bbq steak on a regular basis. We love it, and for me, it is truly the taste of summer. Even though Sydney is only 1 week into spring, it feels like it has been summer for weeks.
Hubby has always cooked steak according to the way we were both taught by our fathers:
- heat up the bbq;
- cook steak until the blood comes through then flip once only;
- keep cooking until your gut tells you its ready / your wife tells you the potatoes are done / the beer bottle is empty; then
- eat and enjoy!
According to Heston Blumenthal, however, the rules for cooking the perfect steak are:
- let it sit on a rack in the fridge uncovered for 2 days (!!);
- let it return to room temperature for 2 hours before cooking;
- cook on the hottest pan (or bbq) you can manage;
- when on the heat, flip the steak every 15 second (!!!); then
- allow the cooked steak to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Suffice to say, we were pretty skeptical about some of these steps! However, we decided to give this technique a go, just in case it really did result in a perfect steak (it didn’t!)
The rationale behind letting it sit uncovered is to age the meat. I did it…but for me, the steak didn’t look nicely aged, it looked… just old. And dry. And unappealing.
Flipping a steak more than once is supposed to be an absolute sin, so we were pretty doubtful about flipping it every 15 seconds!
It certainly cooked a lot faster than normal. This is because both sides stayed hot, rather than one side cooling down. The steak ended up a little more well-done than we would normally prefer, as it cooked so quickly.
I cooked half a cauliflower, blended it up with some evaporated milk, salt and garlic, then passed it through a sieve to make sure it was as smooth as possible.
Finally, I put together a rocket and parmesan salad. I made a dressing of garlic, spring onion and lemon peel, which I cooked in oil. I strained the oil and added some lemon juice and tossed the dressing and some parmesan through the leaves.
This dressing was also based on Heston’s steak recipe. Honestly, it was probably the best part of the meal.
When the steak had rested, I put some cauliflower puree on the plate, placed a steak on top, added a generous pile of salad and finished it with some extra parmesan. It looked pretty stunning, and I realised that I had inadvertently created an awesome low-carb meal!
The salad was great, and the cauliflower puree was divine. The acidity of the salad cut through the richness of the steak, and the puree had a lovely creamy texture, yet it was actually pretty low fat. Hubby told me that his favourite part of the meal was when he had a forkful of puree with some of the parmesan. Cauliflower and cheese – yum!!
Hubby usually cooks steaks to perfection, but we both agreed that this steak was a little tough and a little dry. Whether it was the aging, the flipping or being ‘well-done’ rather than ‘medium-rare’, we agreed that it was not the perfect steak.
Next time, we will go back to the tried and true method.
You cannot have a steak without a glass of red!
We picked a Mudgee Huntington Estate 2007 Shiraz. It had a lovely rich, dark flavour and worked beautifully with the red meat.