Well the UK weather this week has been pretty incredible/horrendous, hasn’t it? Temperatures reached 36 degrees Celsius in London on Wednesday, the hottest I’ve ever experienced in the city! You would think I’d be used to the heat having grown up in Cyprus, but that’s definitely not the case! In hot countries you stop work/school by 2pm due to the heat, so having to deal with similar temperatures in a city, in an office with no fan or air con, or on buses packed with people (with no opening windows, I’d like to add) it’s pretty testing!
What would have made this week much nicer, is coming home to a nice BBQ in the garden at the end of the day. We can’t do this in the flat where we currently live, but as soon as we get a place with a garden, it’s one of the first things we’ll be buying. In fact, my sister-in-law and her partner kindly offered to get us one as a wedding present. We can’t wait!
BBQs were always a BIG deal in the Rex household, I’d even go so far as saying they were renowned. In Cyprus, my Dad had a huge gas barbecue on the pergola which extended out from the kitchen, basically creating a big cooking and dining area. We used to use it for the majority of the year, with all kinds of meats and vegetables. You weren’t just getting a burger and a sausage if you came round to our house for a BBQ – while we would sometimes have sausages, it was usually steak and chicken and a whole host of sides. He even used to do desserts on there – one of my favourites was peaches in Cointreau, barbecued in a silver foil parcel. To be fair, we also used to barbecue similar foods when we lived in Yorkshire as often as we could – my Dad had been known to stand outside over the BBQ in the rain with an umbrella!
I’m so excited about getting our BBQ and being able to try out some of our own recipes, as well as some of the Rex legacy dishes 😉 In the meantime, for those of you who are lucky enough to have a BBQ already, I’ve been given some handy hints and tips from Asda, and a rather cool infographic. According to this, it’s not just me who likes a fancy BBQ. And I’m very pleased to see that the Brits are big lovers of Tzatziki!
Some hints and tips from fellow meat lover, DJ Christian Stevenson, along with the ‘perfect steak’ recipe
- Make sure your meat is at room temperature. That thing is a muscle. It needs to relax. Don’t make it angry by taking it from the fridge and throwing it on some heat.
- Take it out of the fridge 30 minutes to an hour before cooking depending on the size.
- After you finish cooking your meat, let it rest. This allows all those juices to go back into the muscle, it will keep the steak nice and juicy. Everyone will rest a chicken or a big roast, but they’ll cut straight into a grilled steak. Wrong! That steak needs resting for about half an hour in a warm place.
- Buy the best you can afford. I say this with everything from grills to smokers and especially meat.
- Don’t cut into your meat to see if it’s done. Poke your meat. If it’s squishy, it’ll be on the rare side. If it bounces back, it’s more on the well done side. If you poke your cheek, that is the consistency of a rare steak. Poking your chin will give you ‘medium’ and poking your forehead will give you a “well-done” steak.
- Treat your meat right. For a good steak, put sea salt or coarse salt on it right before cooking/grilling. Don’t put cracked pepper onto the meat until it’s resting. Cracked pepper can burn and give the meat an acrid taste. Ground white pepper is better if you want to cook with pepper however for me I’d throw the cracked pepper on while it’s resting.
The Perfect Steak Recipe
1. Take your steak out of the fridge so it is at room temperature.
2. Melt a pot of unsalted butter and keep it close by.
3. Grab an old wooden spoon. On the pointed end, place a bunch of Rosemary sprigs, Thyme, and Sage. Tie onto the end of the spoon creating a herb wand(herb brush).
4. You need a hot heat to grill/cook your steak.
5. Season the steak with big sea salt flakes.
6. Throw it on the grill for one minute.
7. Flip and grill the other side for another minute. If it’s a thick steak, seer the perimeter.
8. Once you’ve seared the entire steak, dip the herb wand into the melted butter and slather the steak with that herby buttery goodness.
9. Keep cooking and slathering with butter until you’ve achieved the steak you want.
I would cook steaks to the following specs:
Sirloin– Rare to medium rare
Ribeye– Medium rare to medium
Rump– Medium rare to medium
Porterhouse– Rare to Medium Rare. You’ll need more cooking time as you are cooking on the bone.
Remember, when a steak is marbled like a Ribeye, you want that fat to render down to flavour the meat, hence why you need to take it to medium rare and medium.
Some people like a well-done steak. And that’s OK, but it is harder to achieve the perfect well-done steak. There is such a small window where the steak can go dry. My advice to cook the steak to medium and let it rest for a good amount of time, lightly placing some foil over top so it continues to cook. It will go to medium well or well done and remain juicy and super tasty.