How to Cook the Perfect Steak – nothing says ‘I love you’ better!

Known as ‘Steak Girl’, I do eat a lot of the stuff and knowing how to cook a good one is an essential bit of foodie knowledge. To me. nothing says ‘I Love You’ better than a perfect and lovingly cooked steak in the comfort of your own home. So, with Valentines day on the horizon and the mere thought of hundreds of couples squashed into restaurants on 2 seater tables with a rose on each making me shudder, I decided to share some tips from the experts for those that share my sentiments. 

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Yesterday I spent a couple of hours in the Kitchen at Edinburgh’s ‘Steak’ Restaurant in Picardy Place with Chef Kyle Boland, learning how to perfect the art.  I was expecting a similar steak cooking method to my tried and many times tested one (bring the steak to room temperature, brush with oil, season with black pepper then place on a very hot griddle to sear for the required amount of time and leave to rest for a few minutes, voila!), I couldn’t have been more wrong and now can’t wait to try out some of his tips (especially the butter, sage and garlic fried and basted one). 

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We started off by preparing some of the meat (they can serve almost 200 steaks on a busy night so this needs to be done in advance), cutting off the silver skin and general knife skills. I was particularly envious of their drawers full of different steaks prepared ready.

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Here are some of Kyle’s top tips:

Take the meat out of the fridge at least a couple of hours before you plan to cook it – this relaxes the meat and ensures it cooks more evenly

Season the steak well with salt and pepper (no oil as this creates a layer of fat that can hinder the enzymes and sugars caramelising properly)

Cook the meat over the griddle first one way, and then when ready to turn, place the meat in the opposite direction – this ensures an even cooking

Halfway though cooking – brush a glaze over your steaks – he wouldn’t tell me what was in theirs as it’s their own special recipe but there’s plenty of recipes available on  the internet

Once cooked it’s important to leave your steak to relax  in a warmish area for up to 5 minutes before serving. I like mine blue which can mean that the steak isn’t very warm after such a short cooking process and resting time so he suggested wrapping the steak in tin foil and if required, giving it another quick flash after the resting time.

Always cut your meat against the grain – this will ensure it is nice and tender.

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He went on to show me a lovely way of pan frying a steak in butter, that was sooooo good, and gave such a wonderfully nutty/herby flavour that I’m going to have to try it out pronto! 

Place your seasoned steak in a dry/hot pan and allow it to start caramelising (you will see that when the steak begins to cook the meat starts to plump up), then turn over

Add in a few knobs of butter, some sprigs of thyme and a peeled clove of garlic and as the butter starts to foam start basting the steak. This is best done by tilting the pan slightly and allowing the butter to pool and then it’s easy, using a spoon, to keep basting. This constant motion also prevents the butter from overcooking.

Continue this process until you’ve fully caramelised the outside of your steak and leave to rest.

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My mouth is watering remembering the taste of this, with a nice big portobello mushroom and some fries – oh my! 

Kyle also suggested either a classic Bearnaise or a gremolata (garlic, parsley, lemon zest and juice, seasoning and olive oil) if you like a sauce with your steak.

Everyone has a preferred cut of steak and way of cooking it so I won’t bore you with those cooking details, especially as these will vary depending on the thickness of your steak anyway but if you’re looking to impress someone – hopefully these tips will help! 

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 A huge thank you to all at Steak – it was a wonderful experience and also a massive thank you to Darren, from Fiona Mckean Photography who took the mouthwatering images

Now I just want to go and spend more time with Chefs in their kitchens! 


For more information about Steak Restaurant

14 Picardy Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3JT TEL: 0131 556 1289

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4 Responses to “How to Cook the Perfect Steak – nothing says ‘I love you’ better!”

  1. Neil
    April 10, 2014 at 11:34 pm #

    Interesting feature. We cook steaks a lot but didn’t know about bringing to room temperature first.

    • Nadine
      April 22, 2014 at 11:41 am #

      we always do that – sometimes if we need to do it quickly they go on the radiator or in a bowl of warm water (sealed)

  2. Alison McHarg
    February 13, 2016 at 3:23 pm #

    Great writing Nadine – hope your Valentine’s day is passed with the enjoyment of at least one steak!

    • Nadine
      February 15, 2016 at 11:29 am #

      Thanks Alison, I had a steak out on Saturday night so I certainly didn’t go without :o)

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