Borrowing items from the library is not something I’ve done since high school (somehow I got away with not borrowing books at uni!) and for some reason I had the assumption that community libraries only stock old books. But for the past year, Peter and I have been borrowing books and DVDs from our local library and I have been amazed by the collection of cookbooks and cooking DVDs that you can actually borrow!
A few months ago, we borrowed How To Cook Like Heston which features six episodes where Heston Blumenthal focuses on an everyday ingredient on each episode. Unlike his other series, these episodes are practical for those who don’t have a science lab kitchen. I really enjoyed the series as he demonstrated some great techniques and dispelled a number of cooking myths. If you like cooking or just watching Heston, I totally think you should watch this series.
In the Beef episode, Heston busts the myth where you should only flip your steak once, he says “By flipping the meat every 15-20 seconds, the steak will develop a crisp, flavoursome exterior without being overcooked in the centre.”
I’ve tried his method about four times now and it hasn’t disappointed. We literally have one person holding the stopwatch and saying “FLIP!” and another holding a pair of tongs ready to flip every 15 seconds for 2-3 minutes.
Anyway, you can watch Heston here and here’s the recipe below with my comments in blue. Enjoy!
Heston Blumenthal’s Perfect Steak
- Olive oil
- 2 sirloin steaks, weighing approximately 400-500 g each (I’ve used cuts like Rumps and T-bones, ~300g and it worked fine)
- Salt and black pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed with the flat part of a knife or by hand
- 4-6 rosemary sprigs
- 2 strips lemon zest (use a vegetable peeler)
- 50 g lemon juice (approximately 1 lemon) (1 lemon was too much for me, I used half)
- 60 g rocket leaves
- 40 g parmesan cheese shavings (use a vegetable peeler)
- Sea salt
- Place a heavy-bottomed frying pan over a high heat, then add a thin layer of olive oil. Heat until the oil is smoking hot.
- Season the steaks with a little salt and place them away from you in the hot pan for 15–20 seconds. Then turn the steaks over and fry for a further 15–20 seconds. Repeat this, turning the steaks, for 2–3 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to rest on a wire rack, set over a plate to catch the juices, for 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and discard most of the oil (but don’t clean the pan). Allow the pan to cool for a few minutes, then pour in 120 g olive oil. Add the garlic and sprigs of rosemary to the oil. Rub the strips of lemon zest between your finger and thumb to release the oils, and add them to the pan too. Allow to infuse for 5 minutes while the meat is resting, then squeeze in the lemon juice.
- Strain this dressing through a sieve and add any juices from the steak.
- Slice the steaks thinly (5 mm wide) with a sharp knife. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and place on a serving dish. Spoon over half the dressing.
- Mix the rocket leaves with the remaining dressing and place on top of the beef. Finish with the parmesan shavings and a sprinkling of sea salt.