Cooking Steaks


Beef and lamb are the best meats for steaks as they are nicest served slightly pink. Beef fillet and sirloin steaks are the most tender and rump (from the top of the leg) has the most flavour. Lamb steaks are either leg fillet, or from the loin, or lean shoulders. ‘Frying steak’ is from less tender parts of the animal which have been beaten to tenderize.

With practice you can tell how well a steak is cooked by pressing it with your finger, rather than cutting it open and letting juices escape. Use this guide: blue/very rare – when meat is simply browned on the outside and feels very soft when pressed; rare – meat feels springy when pressed and drops of blood and juices appear on the outside; medium rare – meat feels quite firm and just a little springy and pinkish juices are visible; well done – meat quite firm to touch.


  1. Preheat a heavy-based frying pan or grill until very hot. Add a small amount of olive oil and butter to the pan, or use a brush if grilling. Add the steaks and cook for 1–4 minutes on each side, turning once with tongs.

  2. Test for doneness (above) and remove the steaks from the pan or grill. If frying, add wine or stock to the pan juices, swirl, season and add a little cream or knob of butter. Pour over the steaks and serve at once.