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How to Cook Sirloin Steak

Russell Allen shares his tips to cook your sirloin steak to perfection. “Here is one of Aubrey Allen’s beautiful, chunky-cut sirloin steaks. Look at the marbling running through it – this sirloin steak is from native breed cattle and it’s been matured for 35 days before boning it out and cutting it. One of the most important things about cooking a steak is taking it out of the fridge at least 20 minutes before cooking it to bring it up to room temperature. If you cook a steak when it’s cold it leads to the fibres constricting – resulting in the steak becoming tough. Opinions vary about how to cook a sirloin steak – I’m just going to show you my method. One thing most people agree on is: Do NOT grill your steak using a domestic grill. What you are trying to do is to get that caramelisation on the outside – very few domestic grills have the power to do that.”

A step-by-step guide

  1. Start with getting your frying pan very hot – I’m using a heavy-duty non-stick Le Creuset pan.
  2. Season your sirloin steak. I’m using some Cornish sea salt here but any good quality sea salt will do. Make sure you add a generous layer of salt all the way around the piece of meat. And then add a few grinds of pepper on each side.
  3. Once the frying pan is seriously heated up it’s best to turn it down a little.
  4. Add some olive oil – even if you’re using a non-stick pan – as it’ll help with caramelisation.
  5. Start the cooking process by concentrating on the main ribbon of fat on your sirloin steak. Hold the steak fat-side down in the pan – we want to caramelise this part of the steak as the flavour is the best. The fat will not only crisp up and taste great but will go into the pan and recycle all that flavour for the rest of steak. Wait till your main bit of fat is nice and brown, then do the opposite side for just 30-40 seconds, not quite as long, as obviously there’s not so much fat there.
  6. Then turn the sirloin steak over and pour some of the beef fat over the top using a spoon. We want the beef fat to react with the salt to create a beautiful, caramelised crust on the outside.
  7. Am not going to go into too much detail about how long to cook steak in this video but for this particular sirloin steak, about 10 ounces in old money, am going to cook for about two and a half minutes before turning. This will result in a medium-rare sirloin steak.
  8. Don’t be tempted to prod and poke your steak while cooking it – just leave it do its thing. It doesn’t need any interference at this time – it just needs a little time to get those deep beefy caramelised notes.
  9. After the two minutes or so just have a peek underneath and then turn it over – if you see the lovely dark brown crust has formed.
  10. Then leave the steak to brown on the other side for about a minute.
  11. Once that side has started to brown, then add a good tablespoon of butter. I like to add my butter after I’ve started cooking the second side, because, if you add the butter too early it adds those unwanted burnt flavours.
  12. Once the butter is melted keep spooning it over the steak to baste it. This is going to add bags of richness and flavour and complement those beefy flavours.
  13. Leave your sirloin steak to cook for about another minute. Make sure to keep spooning the butter and the beef juices over the steak during this time.
  14. Your sirloin steak has now been cooked on all its sides, it’s been basted in butter and you haven’t turned it or interfered with it too much. You’ve just let the natural process take its course. This was the way I was taught to cook steak in a French restaurant.
  15. When it’s ready and you’re happy with the caramelisation take the sirloin steak and rest it on a warm plate.
  16. The resting period is really important and is just as important as the cooking – in my view. You need to rest a sirloin steak like this for at least six or seven minutes.
  17. While it’s resting you can continue to baste it with the cooking juices. During the resting period the fibres of the muscles relax and absorb all of the juices you’re basting it with. This will ensure that your sirloin steak is not just really tender but beautifully flavoursome as well.
  18. After the six or seven minutes of resting your steak will be ready to carve. Use a really sharp, straight-edged knife and not a serrated knife so you don’t tear the meat.
  19. Enjoy.

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