Jamie Oliver

forum: Food & Drink

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#1 Tue 24 Feb 09 8:54am


Occupation a teacher, if and when the department employ me!!
From among the dairy cows
Member since Fri 15 Oct 04

steak cooking... how to get it right!!

Hi All, hope you are all well!!!

I have a slight problem when it comes to cooking steak, and im trying to decide whether it is me, or the steak itself.

I have followed various chefs methods- cook on a hot hotplate, cook for 5 mins, turn and do the same, then let rest for a couple of mins before eating.
The steak turns out to be soo tough and just about uneatable- i cant work it out..

Is it something that i am doing, or is it the steak? it is normally topside or rump steak, and the family likes it well done!!!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Kelly smile

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#2 Tue 24 Feb 09 9:04am


Forum champ
Occupation working
From West Midlands United Kingdom
Member since Wed 05 Dec 07

Re: steak cooking... how to get it right!!

Did you tenderise it at all...

cookinlovebird smile

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#3 Tue 24 Feb 09 10:14am


Forum champ
Occupation Why is the Rum always gone???!
From out to lunch
Member since Sat 07 Jan 06

Re: steak cooking... how to get it right!!

the two types of steak you listed lend themselves more to braising or marinading applications.. If you are just direct grilling or panfrying them they don't have enough  fat marbling and they have way too much conective tissue to produce a tender steak not matter what level of doneness your looking for..The good news is that the braising method is a great way to make a tender juicy rump or round (topside) steak that is well done.   If you have your heart set on direct grillling or panfrying then the only way to get around it would be a marinade that either employs some kind of acidic  or enzymatic action to break down the connective tissue fibers before cooking.  OR  to buy a cut of steak more suited to that application something from the sirloin or rib primal for example.

Only a fool argues with a skunk, a mule or a cook.  { cowboy saying}
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#4 Wed 25 Feb 09 7:57am


Forum champ
Occupation Registered Nurse
From Adelaide, OZ
Member since Tue 03 Aug 04

Re: steak cooking... how to get it right!!

Rump steak shouldn't be tough at all, and it doesn't need tenderising, marinading rubbing or anything.

The issue is that you are cooking it well done. ANY steak cooked well done is going to come out steak as all the luscious juices which keep it moist and tender dry up and it becomes hideous and inedible.

If your family insists on well done meat, don't bother wasting your money on good quality steak.

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#5 Wed 25 Feb 09 8:19am


Occupation Mom and student and...
From Melbourne, Australia
Member since Tue 24 Feb 09

Re: steak cooking... how to get it right!!

We like the meat medium (hubby is down to medium rare), but we struggle to get it right at home.  We like rump

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#6 Wed 25 Feb 09 8:40am

Allora Andiamo

Forum champ
Occupation Double Barrel Sheila
From Sauerkraut Country
Member since Mon 06 Oct 08

Re: steak cooking... how to get it right!!

hi kelly, rump steak doesn't need marinating before grilling/frying and it is possible to cook a 'well done' rump without it turning into shoe leather....a few things that might help....bring the steak down to room temperature  before frying, get your griddle pan hot but not smoking hot....rub the steak with oil before putting it on the griddle and don't poke it with a knife or fork (you'll lose juices during the cooking process)..when it's ALMOST done to your liking, take it out of the pan, wrap in a  couple of layers of foil and let it rest for a couple of minutes before slicing.


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#7 Wed 25 Feb 09 1:14pm


From Townsville, Australia
Member since Mon 29 Dec 08

Re: steak cooking... how to get it right!!

If you are after a nice steak then marinating is not at all necessary for tenderness. Rump, cut thick is fine, but not great, as it is too lean and stringy.

Maybe try a prime rib, cut to around 1" to 2" thick, or buy a standing rib roast cut into chops, same thing essentially. Don't go for anything that is lean or healthy looking, fat is flavour and helps wih tenderness.

Coat the steaks in oil and then sprinkle with ground pepper, (lots) and some salt, don't listen to the "salt will dry it out" line, as it is not going to be roasted, as such. As for oil maybe try grapeseed, as it has a high smoke, and can be used at high temperature.

If you are going to cook on a non stick plate then keep the temp to high ish rather than crazy hot, but don't heat too high, as it can be not so good for your health apparently. Cooking them, if about 2" thick means about 2-3 mins in the pan each side, then a high oven for around 10 -14 minutes/ish. The main thing is to let them rest after cooking, probably 6-8 minutes will do.

Cooking a good steak is something that comes from a lot of practice with a basic recipe, tweaking it a bit to suit your equipment.

We usually reduce some home made beef stock to a jus, and serve with some horseraddish cream, although last week I topped it with King Island blue cheese blitzed with wholemeal bread and, actually I can't recall the rest, but anyway, you get the idea. A nice red wine reduction is a good alternative, or just some green perppercorns, stock and cream into the pan they were cooked in works.

Have fun, it really is practice, I only learnt how to cook steak well about 5 years ago, and it took a few years more to get it consistently good, a good butcher helps.

Actually, forgot to mention, have had some very nice Waggyu rump steaks, so don't write off rump altogether.

Last edited by CraigJ (Wed 25 Feb 09 1:16pm)

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#8 Wed 25 Feb 09 1:36pm


Forum super champ
Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: steak cooking... how to get it right!!

We usually grill or pan fry NY strip or skirt/hangar steaks. The flavor is good and they're always tender even if you like your meat medium or close to well done.

My friend's method is what I use for NY strip - cut a piece of the fat off, add it to your hot frying pan, render it, remove it, add your steak, cook with plenty of heat on both sides, press gently with forefinger to determine if it's medium to well done.  For skirt, I add a drop of oil to the pan, it cooks very quickly, then I remove it, add some wine and butter to create a sauce.

I have also used marinated flank steak on the grill, it's excellent if cut correctly and yields  a lot for the cost, the leftovers are great for Thai beef salad, fajitas, sandwiches.

Last edited by MsPablo (Wed 25 Feb 09 1:39pm)

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#9 Thu 26 Feb 09 10:15am


Forum champ
Occupation Volunteer
From Oregon Coast USA
Member since Sat 22 Nov 08

Re: steak cooking... how to get it right!!

Mrs. Bates,

I learned a neat way to show someone how different donenesses feel when you touch the meat in the pan.   If you touch the meaty part of the palm of your hand which is attached to your thumb, that is how a piece of RARE meat will give if you poke it in the pan.

If you touch your index finger and thumb together on that same hand you just touched, and then touch that same meaty part of that same palm, see how it's just a little firmer?  That's how a MEDIUM RARE piece of beef should feel if you poke it.

If you touch your thumb and middle finger together, and touch that same spot, it's firmer still.  That's how a piece of beef that's MEDIUM should give  when poked. 

Thumb and ring finger=MEDIUM WELL

Thumb and pinky=the dreaded WELL DONE

Maybe 5 minutes each side is too long?  This poking the meat every minute or so gives you an idea of how cooking is progressing. 

I would make the suggestion that lots of other people have, though.  You are choosing a tough cut of meat to learn how to make steaks on.  Maybe if you bought just a couple easier ones til you got the hang of it?  That prime rib steak, we call it ribeye here in America, sure is an easy one to cook.

Good luck!

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#10 Thu 26 Feb 09 10:36am


Forum champ
Occupation Why is the Rum always gone???!
From out to lunch
Member since Sat 07 Jan 06

Re: steak cooking... how to get it right!!

You guys must be getting better quality rump steak than we get around here or have a different paradigm for what tender means.  whistle

I still say the only way to get a tender , juicy, and  well done rump or top round steak is braising..

Only a fool argues with a skunk, a mule or a cook.  { cowboy saying}
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