This recipe shows how a simple cooking technique married to a quality ingredient can make a home-cooked meal as good, if not better, than a restaurant. James Kenny of The Brown Pig Butcher in Terenure in Dublin suggests that when you choose a T-Bone steak to ‘ask your butcher to cut it two inches thick with a good-sized fillet so it is suitable for sharing. Make sure that it has a generous layer of fat on the outside which is firm and consistent all along the steak – this fat bastes the steak when you cook it, adds flavour and stops it becoming dry’.
1 x 2-inch thick T-Bone steak
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of black or green peppercorns, crushed
1 teaspoon rosemary leaves
1. Sprinkle the T-Bone steak generously with sea salt on both sides up to 2 hours (or at least 30 minutes) before cooking. Leave the steaks out of the fridge so they can come to room temperature.
2. Heat a griddle or frying pan until you can barely hold your hand an inch from the pan. (You don’t need any oil. The meat will form a natural seal). Cook the steak for 4 minutes on one side without touching or lifting it. Use a tongs to turn the steak (a knife or fork will pierce the meat releasing the juices). Cook the second side for 4 minutes. Turn the steak again and cook for another 2 minutes. Make a small cut in the middle of the T-Bone with a sharp knife to check if it is cooked to your liking. Keep cooking it for another minute or two if you need to – it will depend on the thickness of your steak. Remove to a plate to rest, sprinkle with a light dusting of sea salt and cover loosely with tin foil.
3. Add the olive oil, peppercorns and rosemary leaves to the pan and cook over medium heat until they sizzle. Pour over the T-Bone steak and serve, cutting it into slices at the table. We like to serve it with a simple green salad and Potatoes Baked in Olive Oil and Rosemary.
OUR TIPS FOR COOKING A STEAK
– Remove the steak from the fridge at least 30 minutes before you cook it so it comes to room temperature. If not, when you cook the steak to rare or medium-rare, the outside will be beautifully seared but the meat on the inside will be cold. (If you ever find this in a restaurant send the steak back and ask for one that has not been removed from the fridge just before
– Season the steak with sea salt more generously than you think you should and leave it to sit for between 30 minutes, the longer the better. This is what makes a good steak into a great steak.
– Don’t cook the steak in oil – it will seem counter-intuitive (won’t it burn?). Be brave: if you don’t touch or move the meat for two minutes it forms a non-stick seal on the pan. Nudge it gently to check and if it moves you can turn it, if it won’t budge leave it for a little longer. If you use oil it will burn and taste terrible. Add the oil at the end to add flavour and use the best extra-virgin olive oil you can find. You will really notice the different.
– How do you know by touch what stage the steak is at? It’s easier than you think. If you press the meat gently with your fingertips and you see droplets of blood rising that means the steak is rare. If you prefer it medium-rare leave it to cook for another 1-2 minutes or until it is springy and firm to the touch and any juices arising from the meat are darker.
– Add freshly ground black pepper at the end of cooking to season and add flavour to the cooked meat. If you add it before you cook the steak you’ll only burn the pepper.
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