To Broil Beef Steaks

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Modern Cookery for Private Families

By Eliza Acton

Published 1845

  • About


The steaks should be from half to three quarters of an inch thick, equally sliced, and freshly cut from the middle of a well kept, finely grained, and tender rump of beef. They should be neatly trimmed, and once or twice divided, if very large. The fire, as we have already said in the general directions for broiling, must be strong and clear. The bars of the gridiron should be thin, and not very close together. When they are thoroughly heated, without being sufficiently burning to scorch the meat, wipe and rub them with fresh mutton suet; next pepper the steaks slightly, but never season them with salt before they are dressed; lay them on the gridiron, and when done on one side, turn them on the other, being careful to catch, in the dish in which they are to be sent to table, any gravy which may threaten to drain from them when they are moved. Let them be served the instant they are taken from the fire; and have ready at the moment, dish, cover, and plates, as hot as they can be. From eight to ten minutes will be sufficient to broil steaks for the generality of eaters, and more than enough for those who like them but partially done.

Genuine amateurs seldom take prepared sauce or gravy with their steaks, as they consider the natural juices of the meat sufficient. When any accompaniment to them is desired, a small quantity of choice mushroom catsup may be warmed in the dish that is heated to receive them; and which, when the not very refined flavour of a raw eschalot is liked, as it is by some eaters, may previously be rubbed with one, of which the large end has been cut off. A thin slice or two of fresh butter is sometimes laid under the steaks, where it soon melts and mingles with the gravy which flows from them. The appropriate tureen sauces for broiled beef steaks are onion, tomato, oyster, eschalot, hot horseradish, and brown cucumber, or mushroom sauce.

Obs. 1.—We have departed a little in this receipt from our previous instructions for broiling, by recommending that the steaks should be turned but once, instead of “often,” as all great authorities on the subject direct. By trying each method, our readers will be able to decide for themselves upon the preferable one: we can only say, that we have never eaten steaks so excellent as these which have been dressed exactly in accordance with the receipt we have just given, and we have taken infinite pains to ascertain the really best mode of preparing this very favourite English dish, which so constantly makes its appearance both carelessly cooked and ill served, especially at private tables.

Obs. 1.—It is a good plan to throw a few bits of charcoal on the fire some minutes before the steaks are laid down, as they give forth a strong heat without any smoke: a coke fire is also advantageous for broiling them.

The upright gridirons, by which meat is rather toasted than broiled, though used in many kitchens, and generally pronounced exceedingly convenient where they have been tried, do not appear to us so well adapted for dressing steaks as those of less modern fashion, which are placed over, instead of before the fire.