Learn How to Cook a Killer Steak and Chips
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Without a doubt, steak & chips are the hedonistic food lovers’ ultimate indulgence. Whether your pick is a fillet, rump or sirloin, the devil is in the detail. The care you apply when preparing and cooking your steak is very important. Why? Well, the difference between a rare and over-done fillet is just minutes. Here’s how you can prepare a killer steak and chips:
It’s all in the cut
Next, it’s time to choose your cut of meat, and this is one step you shouldn’t rush. You may have a favourite go-to cut but what about the rest? With a wide choice available, here’s a useful guide to six of the mainstream cuts widely available from your local butcher or supermarket:
Sirloin is one of the more popular cuts. It originates from the upper-middle section of the cow and if you’re looking for a tender cut, this could be the one for you. Just be sure to trim off any excess fat or gristle before cooking.
Fillet (Also Tenderloin)
This is the ultimate cut if tenderness and a melt-in-the-mouth texture is what you’re after. There are two cuts; one from the rear and one from the centre of the cow. Pat these steaks with a paper towel before cooking to remove any extra moisture, and do not overcook.
A prized cut; the rib-eye is a popular cut of meat which is either boneless or comes with the rib bone attached. If you’re looking for a cut that offers full-flavoured meat with a touch of crispy fat, this is the ideal choice. Excellent for grilling and providing an intense flavour; this cut is one to savour. It’s not the leanest, but it’s one of the tastiest for sure.
This is usually a very generous cut, so definitely an excellent choice for those who like their steak plump, thick and tasty. Taken from the lower back and prized for its flavour, this cut is best served medium to medium/rare and can be sliced into thinner steaks, too.
Flatiron (US) / Butlers’ steak (UK)
This cut is taken from the shoulder of the cow and typically has a good marbling of fat throughout. It produces a steak which requires more of a chew but has bags of flavour – think of this it as ‘rib-eye on a budget’.
Pick your oil
Now it’s time to choose your oil. When cooking steak, opt for an oil that doesn’t smoke at high temperatures, such as groundnut. Avoid olive oil.
Get the chips on
Peel your potatoes and cut them either thin or chunky, depending on your preference. Par-boil them for around five minutes and then drain, dry off, place on a tray and pop into the oven at 200°C (Gas Mark 6). Set the timer for 40 minutes but turn them every 10 minutes or so to ensure even browning. If you’re short for time or don’t want the hassle of peeling the spuds, try McCain Frozen Products and your chips will be ready in next to no time.
If you’re keen to add extra flavour to your steak, add a marinade – for at least 30 minutes, but ideally up to two hours before cooking to let the flavours penetrate the meat. If you prefer a sauce with your steak, have this ready warmed in a pan for the last few minutes while your steak is cooking.
Cook the steak
Remember, cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of your steak. Get the pan nice and hot, and remember to oil the meat and not the pan – this will avoid too much smoke filling your kitchen. When you can barely hold your hand over the pan due to the heat, add the steaks. For a 3.5 cm-thick fillet steak, cooking times are as follows: 2-2.5 mins per side for rare; 3-3.5 mins per side for medium-rare, and 4-5 mins per side for well done.
Finally, allow the meat to rest for at least five minutes before tucking into your steak and chips – this ensures a juicy cut.