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Nick’s kitchen: how to cook the perfect steak

Chargrilled Black Angus SirloinAnyone who’s eaten your steak knows that they somehow melt in the mouth and are packed with flavour. So we want your steak secrets!

Where do you source your steaks from?

Sourcing is the most important thing about buying beef. Unfortunately the market is saturated with rubbish that people really wouldn’t want to eat if they knew the background on it. We try to stick to a specific breed and then abattoir and then butcher. You have to follow this chain to get good consistency in your buying. I have to trust my butchers. We have predominantly used two types of meat since we started at The Miller: Aberdeen Angus from Darragh O’Shea and Angus crossed Hereford from Walter Rose & Son. Sometimes on a Sunday we will use Scotch Beef direct.

What do you look for in meat quality and ageing?

When looking at beef, chefs are looking for good but not excessive fat coverage, high intermuscular fat or graining. And then for me it has to be dry aged a minimum of 28 days. Dry ageing means hanging in a temperature and moisture controlled room.

The pepper coating – is it part of a marinade or similar, or added just before cooking?

The pepper coating we use is from a food memory of mine from some time back when I ate exceptional steak and there was a mix of peppers pressed onto the top. We use three peppers: pink (untoasted), green and white both toasted and then ground.

How hot should the griddle/hotplate be before you start cooking the steak?

As hot as possible. Caramelisation gives you that great roast beef taste around the outside and also importantly kills bacteria. You must achieve a dark golden colour on the exterior or even better use a chargrill to seal meat. Temperature wise you’re probably looking at a surface temperature of 280-300 degC.

How can someone who loves their steak blue be brave enough to cook it blue at home?

Blue steak has to be taken from the fridge before sealing. About 15 minutes should bring it to room temperature (it can be left above an oven or in a warm spot) and then as above the hottest pan or char plate you can possibly find and then literally a quick 30 second seal on both sides.

Does your heart sink when someone orders a steak well done?

Yes it really does. It also take quite a long time and in a busy service can affect the flow of the kitchen. But at The Miller we would never try to educate people as this is not our service style at all. People are free to make their own choices/requests, especially as they are paying us to provide for them. If requested, we/I am happy to talk to any customers about their choices.

What’s your preferred cut of steak and why?

I really like Bavette, which has to be cooked to a max of Medium Rare. It comes from the flank of the cow and has so much taste and depth of flavour. It’s great with chips or in a sandwich. As with all cuts it’s only as good as the cow it was sourced from. Some are just better for eating than others.

 

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