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How to cook the perfect steak

There’s cooking a steak and there’s cooking a steak like a pro. Getting it right can be tricky, which is why we’ve put together the ultimate Ocado steak guide. Find tips, tricks, dos and don’ts, plus some oh-so-important wine pairings too. Then, once you’ve got your head around the basics, go and check out our mouth-watering steak recipes and put your newly learned skills to the test.

Your step-by-step guide to cooking steak

Follow these seven steps and you’ll experience restaurant-quality meat at home, or as we like to call it: steak heaven.

  1. Rub your steak with olive oil and season with salt up to 2 hours in advance, then add a grind of pepper just before cooking.
  2. Heat a heavy-based frying pan until very hot, but not smoking.
  3. Add a large glug of oil to the pan and leave it for a bit. 
  4. Add the steak along with a knob of butter mixed with some garlic and woody herbs, such as rosemary or thyme (optional).
  5. Sear evenly on each side for the recommended cooking time (see section below on timings), turning every minute to guarantee that succulent caramelised crust.
  6. Leave to rest on a cutting board or warm plate for at least 5 minutes. This is where the magic happens, so don’t skip this step. The resting lets the fibres of the meat re-absorb all those lovely juices, giving you a nicely tender steak.
  7. Serve the steak whole or carved into slices, with the resting juices added on top for a bit of extra succulence.

A beginner’s guide to different cuts of steak

Have a read below to learn a bit more about different cuts of meat. Then head to Ocado.com and shop steaks to cook at home.

Sirloin:

The sirloin steak is cut from the sirloin area, which is also where T-bone, porterhouse, and club steaks come from. Try our Organic Beef Sirloin Steaks which are expertly butchered and naturally matured for a minimum of 21 days to enhance tenderness and flavour.

Rib eye:

The rib eye or ribeye is a boneless piece of meat from the rib section of the animal. Try Ocado’s Angus Beef Ribeye steak, which has natural marbling within the meat which enhances the flavour and texture and gives a superior quality eating experience every time.

Flat Iron:

Flat iron steak, butlers’ steak, or oyster blade steak is a cut of meat from the shoulder of the animal. Try Ocado’s Chimichurri Flat Iron Steak, which is marinated in red wine vinegar, coriander, parsley, garlic & chilli.

Rump:

Rump roast is a boneless piece of beef, cut from the hindquarter that covers the animal’s hip bone. Try HAWKSMOOR’s 35 Day Dry-Aged British Rump Steak from their award-winning restaurant, they recommend serving medium-rare.

Bavette (or Flank):

Bavette steak is a cut of beef taken from the abdominal muscles or lower chest of the animal. French butchers refer to it as bavette, which means “bib”. Try M&S Select Farms British 2 Beef Bavette Steaks, which are matured for 28 days for fuller flavour and best served with rosemary potatoes and charred greens.

Fillet:

Fillet, or filet mignon, is a cut of meat taken from the smaller end of the tenderloin of the animal. Try our Organic Beef Fillet Steaks which are deliciously tender and lean. Ideal for the grill, pan or BBQ, these premium organic steaks are full of natural flavour.

Côte de boeuf:

Côte de boeuf is the fore rib of beef with the backbone removed and the ribs French-trimmed for extra finesse. Try M&S Select Farms Aberdeen Angus Beef Cote De Boeuf which is salt dry aged for a minimum of 30 days for added flavour. Lightly oil and season, pan-fry both sides and then roast in the oven for the best results.

How long should I cook steak for?

The cooking times below are recommended for a 2cm thick piece of steak, but you can always alter them depending on thickness and cut. If you want to be extra thorough, use a meat thermometer inserted to the centre.

Rare

A rare steak is cooked for a very short time with a bright red centre. Please note that eating rare steak is not dangerous to your health.

Ideal internal temperature: 57°C.

Ideal cooking time: 3–3.5 mins on each side.

Should feel soft to touch when cooked.

Medium rare

A medium rare steak has a warm, red centre and comes with lots of juices.

Ideal internal temperature: 63°C.

Ideal cooking time: 3.5–4 mins on each side.

Should feel lightly bouncy when cooked.

Medium

A medium steak is much more firm and nicely charred on the outside with a pink, soft and juicy centre.

Ideal internal temperature: 71°C.

Ideal cooking time: 4–5 mins on each side.

Should feel slightly firm when cooked.

Well done

A well done steak is charred on the outside and has a grey/brown look with no visibly pink meat.

Ideal internal temperature: 75°C.

Ideal cooking time: 6 mins on each side.

Should feel firm when cooked.

What sauce goes with my steak?

Take your steak up a notch by adding a sauce of your choice. Whether that’s something creamy (and dreamy) or something a bit more fresh, one of these options should do the trick. If not, just grab a condiment from your cupboard; sometimes all you need is a dash of mustard.

Peppercorn

Add some punch to your steak with peppercorns. Or more specifically, a peppercorn sauce. It’s creamy, delicious and will leave you wanting more.

Try Cook With M&S Peppercorn Sauce 180g

Béarnaise

This silky French classic is made with butter (mmm, butter), egg yolks, tarragon and shallots, and marries perfectly with a juicy steak.

Try Cook With M&S Bearnaise Sauce 180g

Chimichurri

It has a great name and is great to eat too. Think parsley, garlic, vinegar, olive oil and chilli flakes mashed together into a lovely fresh topping.

Try Natoora Chimichurri Argentinian Sauce 125g

Mushroom

You can’t go wrong with a velvety mushroom sauce. Especially as it works so well with all kinds of cuts.

Try M&S Creamy Mushroom Sauce 200g

What wine should I pair with my steak?

Red wine is the go-to drink to enjoy with steak, because the tannins in the wine complement the rich fattiness of your meat and brings out its robust flavour. Why not pair one of our favourites with your next steak meal?

Beefsteak Club Vin de France Malbec 75cl, £9.49

Exclusive to Ocado, this outstanding Malbec is absolutely perfect with steak. It comes with concentrated red berry and plum notes with a juicy, layered palate, soft tannins and a warming hint of spice to finish.

Finca Moncloa VdlT de Cadiz Cabernet Sauvignon & Syrah, £16.99

A full and luscious wine, aged in oak to give it fine vanilla notes which combine perfectly with spice and herbal characters and intense fruit with hints of coffee. Full bodied and delicious with a great cut of meat.

Steak recipes to try

Steak, crushed new potatoes and tomato salad

Marinating the steak adds depth of flavour to this colourful main dish for two.

Get the recipe >

Seared bavette and shaved fennel salad with green beans and peas

Grassy fennel is a fresh foil for umami-rich beef. Serve this seasonal treat with green veg, new potatoes and a lemony caper dressing.

Get the recipe >

Argentinian steak and chimichurri salad

Our twist on chimichurri, a fresh and zippy herb-packed sauce from Argentina.

Get the recipe >


Hungry for more? You can find even more delicious recipe inspiration on our website here.

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