- Bring your meat up to room temperature.
- Heat the oil in the pan so it's really hot and almost smoking.
- Season your meat well on both sides then add the steak to the pan - if it sizzles, you know the pan is hot enough.
- Prod the steak with your finger to see how soft it is so you can get an idea of how ‘done’ you want it. It will tense up as it cooks (see tip, below). Doing this will help you work out your timings.
- Add thyme sprigs and whole garlic cloves to the pan for flavour.
- Press the cooked side of the steak with your finger again to see how firm/cooked it is. When you're happy, finish the steak off by rendering the fatty edge by holding the steak on its side between tongs for a couple of minutes. The fat will melt and add flavour.
- Rest your steak for half the cooking time to retain its juices.
Rare to well done
Cooking the perfect steak takes practice but if you prod the meat with your finger before it’s cooked, during cooking you can gauge how 'done' it is. The meat will feel super soft when raw, slightly soft when rare, firmer when medium and tougher for well done. Practice doing this each time you cook a steak and you will work out exactly how you like it cooked.
Sirloin steak is great for pan-frying but you can use any cut of meat you like.
When to season
Season the meat just before cooking it. Any earlier and the salt may draw moisture out of the meat.
The secret to caramelisation