The cold weather's been making me nostalgic, so tonight I made striploin steak with blue cheese sauce, asparagus and tomatoes. Though there were no wagons or racially insensitive costumes involved.
Below I'll outline what is the absolute best method of cooking steak I have come across, which S picked up from Tim Ferris' book The 4 Hour Body.
Firstly, get the best possible cut of meat you can afford. I know that sounds very Jamie Oliver, but it really is true. Spending even an extra euro will make such a difference.
If you can, go to a butcher and choose your own piece of meat, tell him/her how thick you want it cut.
I think fillet is the best cut of steak, hands down. However, it can be expensive. In that case, striploin is your guy. It's a great cut of steak for frying. It's generally lean, with just enough fat to give the meat some flavour. Ribeye is also a good cut, but tends to have a lot of fat running through it.
I got two gorgeous slices of striploin at Bresnan's in The English Market- they've been trading there since 1898! It was about €13, but in my defence they were very thick slices- easily an inch. Plus, it's not the kind of thing you're going to make every day.
Pretty much the whole meal was purchased in The English Market, apart from the cream. The asparagus and tomatoes came from Superfruit, and the Cashel Blue cheese I used for the sauce was from On The Pig's Back.
Pro-Tip: The meat should be fully at room temperature before cooking. Take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you start.
1 Slice of Striploin Steak per person
Sea salt & Pepper
5 Spears of Asparagus per person
1 bunch of cherry tomatoes on the vine (about 4 per person)
50ml Double Cream
50g Blue Cheese- I used Cashel Blue but Roquefort would work too
1 White Onion, chopped into rings or long pieces
1. Preheat the oven to about 220/430 degrees.
2. In a roasting tin, place the tomatoes and asparagus. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Put them into the oven.
3. Get out your frying pan and put it on a high heat. I use a heavy-bottom cast iron pan as this stays evenly hot. Allow the pan to heat but don't put any oil in it.
4. Pat the steak dry with some paper towel. This sounds weird, but it will make a difference. What you are doing is drying the moisture off the surface the steak so it won't steam once it hits the pan.
5. Season the steak with sea salt, pepper and olive oil. Put it on both sides and massage it in little bit.
6. As soon as the pan is very hot, drop your piece of steak onto it. Let it sit in the same place for 2 minutes (time it, seriously!) and don't move it around the pan. Because you have oiled the steak, it shouldn't stick to even an average quality pan.
7. After two minutes, flip it over and do the same to the other side. It should look a little something like this:
8. Give it another two minutes on the second side, and then you can use tongs to turn it on its pink edge for about 30 seconds. This will caramalise all the edges.
8a. If you're doing another slice of steak, repeat the process- 2 minutes on either side. Don't wash the steak pan, you'll need it for the sauce.
9. Turn the oven down to about 100/220 degrees.
10. Place the steak on some tinfoil on an oven tray. I like to fold up the edges of the tinfoil to create a little box to catch any juices which may run off. You can add these to the sauce later. If you have a meat thermometer stick it into the centre of one of the slices.
10a. For a medium steak I like to let the internal temperature get to about 58-60C (140F) degrees. This takes about 15 minutes. Add another 5 minutes if you would like it well done.
11. Now, get to work on your sauce. Using the steak pan, add a little more oil if needed and begin to fry off the onions.
12. Once the onions have begun to soften, add the cream. Stir. Crumble in the blue cheese and allow to simmer over a low heat, stirring occasionally. Once the sauce has reached a desired thickness (about 5 minutes), take it off the heat. It should look something like this:
11. Once your thermometer beeps (or 15 minutes has passed, you cretin!) then it's time to get that meat out of the oven. Here's what my medium steak looks like:
Pro Tip: Make sure to let the steak stand for five minutes before you cut into it, this will stop all the juices from escaping immediately.
12. The asparagus and tomatoes can come out now too. The tomatoes should be bursting from their skin and the asparagus should be on the softer side of al dente.
13. Dish out the steak and vegetables.
14. Put the cheese sauce back on the hob (you probably don't even have to turn the ring back on, the residual heat should be enough), and add in any delicious meat juices which were collected in the tinfoil.
15. Stir and allow to blend, then you can devour.