Don’t let the title fool you. This is really all about the steak. The oven chips and the corn are just a red herring.
The very short version of Heston Blumenthal’s tips is as follows:
- Get the pan really really hot
- Stick your steak in and turn every 15 seconds
- Test the temperature with a meat thermometer and take it off the heat when it’s at the right temperature
- Rest the steak for five minutes
- Serve immediately
We got it from the series How To Cook Like Heston and it seemed so accessible that we decide to give it a go. New techniques are usually tested on cheap ingredients, so if a right hash of it is made, little money is wasted, however, hubris took me when I saw this technique in action. No plastic wrapped steak for this one. Such was my confidence that only ribeye would do.
At this point I should say that I forgot the meat thermometer. And our I little fridge didn’t allow us to dry the meat out for two days prior to cooking. So we bought the meat, let it sit in our kitchen for two hours, and got the pan on.
Professional chefs are professional for a reason. How they manage consistent cooking with so many things on the go is something that maybe one day I’ll fathom. Flipping a steak every fifteen seconds whilst you’re checking that the oven chips (handmade) weren’t burning and that the peppercorn sauce wasn’t boiling and checking that the corn on the cob is going to be cooked on time is not easy at all, but that’s me sometimes, sailing a bit close to the wind. This was almost an unmitigated disaster.
One steak I did well done for Jacob, the next, medium rare for Annie and the last, I did rare as like my steak to moo when it’s on the plate.
Now, if we were to give the finished product a performance appraisal, then it would be exceeded expectations. That 15 second flip really works. The outside cooks and chars to a lovely crust, whilst the inside is cooked to the right point, so you get that delicious meaty crustiness with the texture of the inside. That and a peppercorn sauce was simply divine for something that was a 15min job
So, hats off to Heston for the tip, and this is something were definitely going to do again, probably with a different cut. I wonder what this would be like with fillet or sirloin? Actually, here’s a question. Does the technique change if the cut of meat is different.
The protocol for this meal was as follows
T-210mins – take the steaks out and rest them. Chip the potatoes, and par boil them. Leave to cool
T-60 mins – oven goes on at. 180. Stick some oil in a roasting tin and leave in oven
T-45 mins – chips go into tin, coat in oil liberally and back into the oven
T-30 mins – prepare peppercorn sauce, leave in very low heat to keep warm
T-15 mins – heat pan with oil to high. Start cooking steaks. Corn on the cob goes on to boil. Keep stirring the peppercorn sauce.
T-5 mins – rest steaks
T-0 mins – serve up
Budget for the meal was surprisingly low
Corn on the cob £4.00
Shop bought coleslaw £1.50
Grand total of £21.19 for three. Not bad, considering steaks at even cheap establishments these days go for about £12 a piece.