Cooking to impress? Sometimes a deceptively simple, melt-in-the-mouth, no-fuss steak is the only thing that’ll cut it.
Luckily, it only takes eight minutes! But grilling a steak to perfection can be a little tricky, so we chatted with Melbourne-based Italian chef Matteo Tine, owner of Mr Ottorino restaurant, to find out how to get the best out of a steak.
He says there’s a big misconception when it comes to cooking steak – many people think that when you cook a steak, you only need to turn it once, but according to Matteo, “you should turn it as often as you can”. As the steak cooks, the blood and juices rush to the top, he says, explaining that, “the more you turn it … what you’re actually doing is keeping the juices in the centre of the steak”.
So how often should you turn it? Matteo advises to keep turning it every 15-20 seconds (if you’re cooking on a barbecue). “It may take a little longer to cook, but the results are second to none.”
Depending on how thick the steak cut is, it roughly only takes eight minutes to cook a melt-in-the-mouth, juicy steak. To avoid a burnt outer-layer, cook the steak on low if it’s a thicker cut, he says.
The best part about cooking steak is eating it, but before digging in, Matteo says to rest the steak for 15-30 minutes (depending on how thick). The muscles in the steak contract as it’s cooking, so as you rest it the muscles become less tense, he says, explaining that, “it becomes softer and then remains tender and juicy”.
“I wouldn’t season it with salt too far in advance,” Matteo reckons. Instead, he advises marinating it with garlic and rosemary, and then adding salt just before cooking “because you don’t want it to start drying out.”
As for poking and pushing down meat while you cook, don’t do it! The more you press the steak down, the more moisture is being pushed out. If you love a steak full of flavour, Matteo advices purchasing grass-fed meat, saying that while”it’s harder to get right, it’s got the best flavour.”
“Take care of it. Stand there for the whole eight minutes, turning it slowly and letting it cook, and then you’ll have a perfect steak.”