We LOVE steak! Just the thought of a good grilled sizzling juicy steak makes us dribble almost instantly. Between the both of us, I must confess that I’m a tad more obsessed with steak or beef in general compared to Mel. Before she met me, she could never have a home cooked steak without some kind of sauce with it or having it heavily marinated prior to cooking. However, I hate to boast but the truth was I blew her mind off when she first tried my steak, and it did not need any sauce!
The secret? I spent years, as an amateur cook (still am) experimenting, finding the right amount of seasonings and exploring different methods in cooking a perfect steak, merely with basic home equipment. I remember on my first attempt, when I was 17, I ended up with a wet soggy, ugly and overcooked steak. Indeed, it tasted as horrifying as described. Since then, I have been profusely reading up on steak recipes online, watching a lot of Youtube videos, learning many different techniques and went through a whole lot of trial and error using our famous Woolies supermarket discounted meats before eventually playing with an expensive cut!
Today, we took a short trip to our favourite butcher, Cannings Free Range Butcher, and we purchased one of our favourite cuts -a magnificent-6-cm-thick-ribeye (750 grams of goodness). Why a ribeye? It is rich in flavour, tender and have a nice juicy texture. Most of all, you have a bone to hold onto at the end, especially when licking the final bits! Don’t like bone? Grab a scotch fillet. Want more bone to impress the crowd? Tomahawk!
Firstly, get a paper towel and pat the meat dry to remove moisture.
Next, season with generous amount of salt and pepper (seriously, a lot for such a thick steak!), together with other spices and herbs of your choice (we use grounded cumin and allspice frequently for our steak rubs), and make sure to season the sides of the meat as well! If meat has been refrigerated, take it out and let it sit out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. This allows the meat to be cooked evenly.
We would highly recommend investing on a thermometer for the best result, in particularly for thicker cuts like the ribeye. If you choose to eyeball it, it will take a lot more experience. Just keep trying! You will need to know your meat cut sizes and their cooking time very well, and also be familiar with your ovens and stoves.
We usually reverse-sear oven if its >1.5 inches (4cm), anything lower than that, pan-searing is sufficient. FYI, thinner the steak, harder to get the degree of doneness right.
Leave in oven (preheated at 135°C) till internal temperature reaches 46°C. For this cut, it took about 40 minutes. When it reaches 43°C, get ready by heating the cast iron pan roaring smoking hot! At this point in time, it involves patiently waiting and staring at the thermometer. Once it hits our magic number 46, out it comes! Time to make the sizzling crust! Oh! Remember to be very careful! The pan would be really really hot, so try not to be too frightened by the sizzling sound, try to lay the steak into the pan away from yourself.
Don’t move the steak as it sears, you want a nice hard brown crust. Pop the butter in along with the herbs (Oh, we like to use our home grown rosemary right outside from our herb garden).
After searing, place your lovely ribeye steak on a plate and don’t touch it. Let it rest! I know it’s very tempting to chomp that whilst it’s hot. Please! Give it at least a 10 minutes nap time. Trust us. FYI the internal temperature can increase 5-10°C while resting after that seriously hot searing processes. The ideal temperature to achieve is 55°C for a perfect medium-rare steak.
While letting the steak rest, we deglazed the sticky brown bits (fond) on the bottom of the pan to make a pan-sauce with the help of onions and mushrooms, which were later on served as a side. To be on the good healthy side, we had some salad to ‘balance‘ our diet.
The serving for this thick steak is for two or one serious hungry-dinosaur.
Nevertheless, there are still more things to learn on making a great steak, maybe someday we will start dry-aging, or get ourselves a Weber or a kitchen blow torch?