The topic of how to cook the perfect steak has been such a highly contested topic since humans started throwing meat on the fire. Ask any individual who owns a BBQ, a frying pan or a grill and they will have an opinion on how to achieve meaty perfection. Some preach that the secret is in when (and how many times) you flip the steak and, some swear by the quality of the cut and seasonings and some claim that it’s all about letting the steak rest after cooking. Needless to say, it can be confusing at the best of times. So, we decided to get to the bottom of how to cook the perfect steak.
What really helps is the advice of a trained professional, so we enlisted Angus & Bon’s Executive Chef, Declan Carroll, to settle the score once and for all on how one can cook the perfect steak at home. It’s not the first time he’s been asked for cooking tips, having appeared on the websites of The Gold Coast Bulletin, The Daily Telegraph, The NT News, The Courier Mail and The Herald Sun. According to Declan, what’s important for him is to have a quality product to begin with – and that goes for the steak, the seasoning and the wood (if cooking over fire). For him, his preferences lie with grass-fed beef for its complex depth of flavour and he prefers a dry-aged steak, cooked off the bone, for added taste. Suppliers that he loves to source his grass-fed beef from include King Island Beef, Red Gum Creek and O’Connor’s Beef.
As far as seasoning goes, Declan likes it nice and simple with a good lug of olive oil and some Murray River salt. Before even letting his steaks near the heat, he lets them get to room temperature and recommends taking your steak out of the fridge roughly 20 minutes before you intend on throwing it on the heat. In the meantime, get your frying pan/ BBQ/ grill up to heat. If cooking with wood, Declan makes a good point that the type of wood you’re burning under your steak will directly affect the flavour of the meat. His favourite, the wood he burns in Angus & Bon, is Blackheath’s Ironbark wood which gives an exceptional flavour to everything cooked on it.
Now that you’re ready to cook your steak, give your steak a quick rub down in quality olive oil and sea salt, and get it on the heat. Declan notes that when he is cooking a steak in the frying pan at home he throws in a bit of garlic, thyme and a generous knob of butter into the pan as well. Your aim in the beginning should be to have the meat on very high heat, so if on a BBQ it should be in the hottest area. He does make mention that when barbequing, the heat distribution isn’t always even so this will be different depending on the BBQ and the fire you’ve made.
The aim now is to get a good sear on both sides of the steak – if pan frying, flip every minute or so, and if barbequing, try not to flip too much and move to a cooler area of the grill when a good sear has been achieved. You can then cook away until you feel your steak is to your liking. Cooking times will vary depending on how you’re cooking your steak. After removing the steak from the heat, Declan highly recommends that you allow the steak to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving it. This will make for a juicier more tender steak when it comes time to eat it! Just before you serve the steak, give it a quick flash fry to get it back up to heat and then put it on a plate to serve. At Angus & Bon, Declan cuts the steaks up before they go to the customer and he makes a point of cutting it against the grain. This breaks down the fibres and makes the steak more pleasant to eat. Another sprinkle of sea salt and you’re good to go!
For a video demo of how Declan Carroll wood-grills a ribeye steak in the Angus & Bon kitchen, head over to this post by O’Connor’s Instagram to see how it’s done. Have a look at our Menu and Book today.