The steaks at Hawksmoor, Manchester’s newest steak restaurant, have been described as the best in London. In fact, food critic Giles Coren has described them as ‘flawless.’ Whether or not you’ve been to their Deansgate restaurant yet, why not have a go at creating the Hawksmoor experience at home with their How To Cook The Perfect Steak guide.
Buy good meat
This is the key. Ask the butcher for beef from a traditional British breed where the cow has lived a bit (ideally 30 months plus) and spent most of its time eating grass as nature intended. It’s important that it’s been humanely dispatched and hung for at least 28 days (35 is better).
The aim is to get a good char on the outside whilst keeping the meat juicy and tender inside. This is impossible with a thin piece of meat. Ideally each steak should be at least 300g (10½oz) and 4cm thick.
Take the meat out of the fridge
This is probably the most important step. Unless you do this, you have nothing to cook. Or eat. It needs between one and two hours to bring it up to room temperature, depending on size.
Get the Barbie or pan really, really hot
That means white hot coals on the barbie or five minutes over a high heat for the pan-the point where it’s painful to hold the your hand anywhere near it.
Open the window
Make sure there’s decent ventilation – there’s going to be lots of smoke.
If your steak is wet, pat it dry with a paper towel
Otherwise it won’t form a decent crust.
Season the steak well
At the last minute, season the steak well. The Hawksmoor way is a mix of 45% Maldon sea salt, 45% smoked Maldon sea salt and 10% coarsely ground black pepper.
Stick the steak on
Don’t bother with oil – if the grill is hot enough the steak won’t stick. Leave it for a couple of minutes and then turn. (Not you. The steak.) Carry on turning every couple of minutes until it’s the way you like it. Move the steak if you see yellow flames from the barbeque (otherwise it will become too smoky). If cooking more than one, don’t overcrowd them. If there’s a thick layer of fat on the steak, hold it up vertically to brown the fat.
When you’re happy with how it’s cooked, put the steak on a warm plate and let it rest for at least five minutes. For a really thick steak, make it ten.
This is definitely the best bit. And why not enjoy a glass of red wine, too. You deserve it.
If you want to try the real thing, Hawksmoor is at 184-186 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3WB
0161 836 6980
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