My mother cooked this easy steak recipe from when I was a child, and I genuinely think it’s the best steak in the world. It relies on one straightforward process: pan-frying meat to create delicious juices, which can then be turned into an emulsion by the addition of water. The technique works with other meats too, and will be just as delicious if you follow the same method.
Ingredients for the steak
4 x 225g
Sirloin or rump steaks, organic, cut 2 cm thick, fat trimmed
pepper, black, coarsely ground
Season the steaks with the salt and scatter the black pepper over them, pressing firmly into the steaks on each side.
On a medium heat, in a large frying pan, heat the oil and butter until the butter is foaming; it should turn light brown and smell very nutty. It is important to let it reach this stage so that it will slowly caramelize the surface of the meat.
The juices will then create deposits on the pan, which will form the base for the most marvellous pan juices. But don’t let the butter burn, or it will become indigestible and develop an unpleasant taste.
Raise the heat to medium-high, lay the steaks in the foaming butter and cook for 1½ - 2 minutes on each side for rare, 3 minutes for medium-rare, or 4 minutes for medium.
To test if it is done, press the meat with your forefinger. For rare, it should be soft, and your finger will not leave an imprint; medium will feel quite firm because the fibres will be cooked.
Transfer the steaks to a warm plate with tongs.
Pour the water into the hot pan; there will be a lot of sizzling, and the water and butter will create an emulsion.
Scrape the base of the pan with a wooden spoon to release the caramelized residue, which will give taste and colour to this succulent juice.
Pour the juice onto the steaks and serve immediately.
THIS RECIPE IS ADAPTED FROM THE BOOK SIMPLE FRENCH COOKERY
Raymond brings authentic French family cooking to your kitchen. In these simple-to-follow recipes, he describes the basic techniques required to create traditional French food at home. Step-by-step instructions and photography accompany every stage, from starters and soups, fish, meat and vegetable dishes, through to a selection of irresistible desserts.