We speak to the Hawksmoor about how to cook the perfect steak. Take heed, gentlemen…
BUY GOOD MEAT
This is the key. Ask the butcher for beef from a traditional British breed where the cow has lived a bit (ideally 30 months plus) and spent most of its time eating grass as nature intended. It’s important that it’s been humanely dispatched and hung for at least 28 days (35 is better).
The aim is to get a good char on the outside whilst keeping the meat juicy and tender inside – this is impossible with a thin piece of meat. Ideally each steak should be at least 300g (10½oz) and 4cm thick.
FIRE UP THE BARBECUE
There’s a huge difference between a steak cooked over real charcoal and one cooked in a pan. Take the meat out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking to bring it up to room temperature.
GET THE GRILL REALLY, REALLY HOT
You need to get it to the point where it’s painful to hold your hand anywhere near it. Make sure there’s decent ventilation – there’s going to be lots of smoke.
SEASON THE STEAK WELL
(More than you might expect.) Use your own pot of Hawksmoor steak seasoning (an uncomplicated blend of smoked Maldon sea salt, regular Maldon and coarsely ground black pepper – good meat won’t need anything else). Don’t bother with oil – if the grill is hot enough the steak won’t stick.
STICK THE STEAK ON
Leave it for a couple of minutes and then turn. Carry on turning every couple of minutes until it’s the way you like it. Move the steak if you see yellow flames from the barbeque (otherwise it will become too smoky). If cooking more than one, don’t overcrowd them.
DON’T LEAVE THEM ON TOO LONG
It’s impossible to give exact cooking times – it depends on the temperature of the grill, thickness of the steak and what cut it is. To get one of our 600g bone-in sirloins to medium-rare we cook them (turning regularly) for 10 minutes.
LET IT REST
A good rule of thumb is to rest it for as long as you cook it.
If it’s good meat and there’s enough seasoning you shouldn’t need any sauce, just a bit of salad to mop up the juice.