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How to Cook a Steak

It’s Fathers’ Day this weekend, meaning plenty of steaks will be grilled to honour all the dads out there. There are few culinary tasks as daunting as cooking a steak – whether it be on the grill or on the stovetop. The pressure’s on to cook it to perfection without overdoing it and/or drying it out. If you’re grilling, an uneven cooking surface could be a factor.

So what to do? To season or not to season? Marinate or not to marinate? Remember this: there are (mostly) no clear right and wrong answers. Rub your meat down with spices (or just salt and pepper) if you like, or marinate it for an hour or two to infuse it with flavour. Whichever you choose, just remember to let the meat come to room temperature before you begin to cook it. And if you want a nice crust, pat it dry with paper towels before you throw it into a hot pan or onto a hot grill. If you haven’t rubbed or marinated it, a good grinding of salt and pepper is a good idea.

Whether on the grill or barbecue, when cooking a 1-inch thick steak, sear over high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side, then turn the heat to medium and cook for another 4-5 minutes (for medium rare) to 7-8 minutes (for well done). Let rest for about 5 minutes before cutting into it, or the juices will pour out, leaving your steak dry. Those five minutes will give you just enough time to get everything onto plates and gather everyone to the table.

And really, all you need to accessorize even the plainest steak is a dab of gorgonzola butter. This is one of those high-reward-for-minimum-effort formulas – if you have a fork, you can mash the butter and gorgonzola together, and a melting blob atop a piece of grilled meat is positively ethereal. If you like, swap the gorgonzola for any crumbled blue cheese. It’s divine on potatoes and grilled asparagus as well. And if you’re looking for the ultimate in crispy, buttery potatoes to act as ballast to your steak, try Jaime’s Hasselback Potatoes! They’re easy, completely delicious, and even a little fancy-looking. And I bet they’d go scrumptiously with gorgonzola butter.

Gorgonzola Butter

gorgonzola cheese
butter
lemon juice

You’ll need about two parts gorgonzola to one part butter, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Beat it all until smooth, then spoon onto a square of plastic wrap and shape into a log, using the plastic to help you along. (If it’s too difficult, chill the butter for a bit to firm it up.) Refrigerate until firm, then slice and serve atop grilled steak and vegetables. If you don’t have time to chill it, mix up the butter, cheese and lemon juice as the steaks cook, and add a dollop to each one as it rests.

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