For those occasions when only an incredible steak will satisfy you and the person you love. Although you’re ‘just’ cooking a steak, it’s not actually that easy. So herewith a forensic but faultless approach to cooking your meat perfectly. We’re using aged bone-in ribeye as the bone ensures a moisture retention that intensifies flavour and protects the texture of the meat as it cooks. Moreover, there are three distinct and delicious flavours going on: the sweet eye of the meat, the soft and buttery rib cap around the eye, which tends to take on most of the caramelisation, and the half-fat half-meat hinterland towards the perimeter of the rib, which is the sweetest part yet. In terms of size, thickness is key – the ribeye (ideally cut to order by your butcher) needs to be about 5cm thick, which translates to about 800g.
S E R V E S 2
- 800g bone-in ribeye steak, 5cm thick salt, to taste
- 75–125g cold unsalted butter
- large sprig of thyme
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 90°C. Once it’s up to temperature, it’s time to start pan-frying. Unusually, we cook ribeyes directly from the fridge rather than letting them get to room temperature – this can quicken the process but it can also mean the centre of the steak cooks too quickly. Our method ensures an even cook.
Season the steak with salt and put in a pan. Turn the heat to low. Start by cooking the ribeye standing upright, fat side down, to render it. Gradually increase the heat to medium; after about 5 minutes when there is a pool of bubbling fat sufficient to caramelise the steak in, turn the steak onto its side. Turn up the heat. Flip the steak after 2 minutes and cook the other side for an additional 2 minutes. At this point you may wish to open a window or turn off your fire alarm.
When both sides are nicely browned, add 80g of butter to the pan. Cook for another 4 minutes on each side. If the butter starts to brown but the steak hasn’t caramelised (you’ll know if the steak has caramelised because the crust of the steak should be nutbrown like a light ale and smell sweet rather than burnt) add some more butter.
For the last 30 seconds add the thyme sprigs and garlic, crushed and then transfer to a baking tray to rest for 5 minutes.
Now probe the centre of the steak with a meat thermometer; it should be just under 20°C. If it’s higher you should reduce the oven time (5 minutes in the oven will result in a 5°C increase in core temperature). Transfer to the preheated oven and cook for 25 minutes, then remove and probe the centre of the steak again – you are looking for it to be between 48–52°C. It may need a bit longer back in the oven.
Rest for 5 minutes before removing the bone from the meat and slicing. Pour over the resting juices and season with a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper.
Excerpted from The Quality Chop House Cookbook
Photos courtesy of Andrew Montgomery Photography