How to Cook a Fabulous, Succulent Steak — Marinaded in Basil, Garlic and Lemon Juice
Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch. Orson Welles
Ever made a commitment to a friend and … duty calls. When twittering, a wee while back, I shared some food ideas with a friend. I shared my plans to cook a steak when my wife was away. Then, after a few more exchanges, I promised to post my approach.
NOTE: if you don’t eat meat … in your shoes, I’d read something else.
FURTHERMORE: this is not a recommendation, advice or anything else a reader might want to sue a person for. Follow this at your own risk and, when it has all gone swimmingly, pat your own back for a job well done … I wouldn’t cook a steak that way (well done that is) … don’t be a Philistine!
Steak marinaded in basil, garlic and lemon juice
All you need is a well matured steak from an artisan butcher using local, grass and grain fed beef. An 8 to 10oz ribeye steak, left to come to room temperature, will do nicely.
For the marinade:
- 8-10 fresh Basil leaves
- 3 cloves of garlic
- half a lemon
- 100 ml of mild cold-pressed Scottish rapeseed (or olive) oil
- flaky sea salt
Make the marinade:
- use your favourite blender or whizzer
- pull the stalks off the Basil and loosely chop or tear up the leaves (ignore the screams … it’s just your imagination) — add to container
- peel and chop or use a press to mince up your garlic (perfection not required as you’re going to blend in due course) — chuck into the container
- slice a lemon in half and squeeze into the container (only the juice). You can automate, use a squeezer, or apply your mighty fist and let the juice trickle sensuously through your fingers to keep the pips back (if you use the finger method any slight cuts in your skin can induce an accidental howl of agony) — whatever you decide get the liquid into the container
- add the oil to the container (if you’re using a whizzer make sure to use a tall and narrow container; cover the blade slots with oil to create the blending effect.)
- blend or whizz the marinade
- sniff it for a few moments … doesn’t it smell great?
Rubba-Dubba the meat
- lay the steak on a plate and pour a dollop of marinade on to it
- massage one side of the steak with the marinade, yes massage (stop being macho, men) but with gentleness: squeeze, stroke, smooth, rub, knead; bottom line – feel the merging of the meat and the mixture
- I’m not saying it’s sensuous but … once you’ve recovered equilibrium … massage the other side of the meat
- leave for at least an hour at room temperature
Get your vegetables and fries lined up.
Cook the steak (remove children from the vicinity of the heat)
NOTE: The timings are for a rare steak of average thickness 1″ to 1.25″. You’ll have to work out your own timings (good fun if you like steak). Use a skillet if you have one (cast iron = fantastic, heavy base = excellent … the thinner the base the more you need to keep an eye on things)
IMPORTANT: don’t oil the pan (the oil in the marinade is quite enough)
- Make the pan very hot (red hot is a bit much, good ’n hot is fine).
- lay the steak in the pan (press it down if you must but don’t move it about), sprinkle sea salt and some pepper on to taste (easy does it you can add more later)
- let it cook for 1 min 45 secs one side …
- turn the steak over and cook for another 1 min 30 secs, sprinkle salt and pepper again …
- take out of pan and rest on a warm (I-can-touch-the-ceramic-without-screaming) plate
- get your veg and fries on the plate (I put a sliced onion in the pan and cook it while I fill the plate with vegetables) … if you don’t like healthy plant stuff give your steak 5 minutes without touching.
- remove to a comfortable table and enjoy.
Get stuck in
There you go: steak and chips. You’ll find it juicy and tangy. It goes really well with a robust fruity red and some grainy mustard. Vegetables like carrots, sugar snaps and onions add a pleasant flavour ‘shading’ … I enjoy them lightly cooked,
crisp. Yum Yum
© Mac Logan