Cooking the perfect steak is an art rarely mastered by individuals over a lifetime. So what I plan to do is share some of the secrets i've learned over the last 30 years, getting you closer to cooking the perfect steak.
Some of my tips are a little unconventional, like stomping on your steak with your boot to tenderise it first, but I invite you to try them and provide feedback.
I should start by saying all red meat should be cooked medium rare or medium at the most. If you like your steak burnt to a crisp and refuse to change your ways, well, you're only missing out and should probably walk away now.
I'm going to talk about cooking beef primarily, but these principles can be applied to venison, kangaroo, lamb as well as any other red meat.
Selecting the right cut
The best cuts, in my opinion, in the following order, are the eye fillet, rib fillet, scotch fillet, t-bone, and then maybe rump. I'm not really a fan of porterhouse or sirloin, but that could be just because I haven't prepared those cuts for a steak lately.
Aging your meat
Your local hunting and camping stores should sell these kits.
There is a lot of debate about how long you should age your meat and it varies depending on who you talk to between 1-6 weeks.
I like to age for at least 2 weeks, but find 3 weeks ideal if you're planing a BBQ and want to impress your guests. If you're just cooking for yourself or family, 2 weeks is fine. You can cut a few slices, seal the bag, rinse and repeat for another 3 weeks safely. 5 weeks is probably the maximum length i'd keep a cut in the fridge.
Preparing your steak
Buy a salt grinder and season both sides of the steak with freshly ground sea salt. Rub the salt into the steak.
Bath your steak in a good quality light olive oil. Olive oil burns at a lower temp than canola or vegetable oil, so if you use olive oil, be sure to keep the temp down low. If your oil is smoking, it's far too hot and you'll taint the flavour of your steak.
Cooking your steak
You want to cook your steak on the plate. Get the plate reasonably hot to start with, but turn it down or even off to bring the temperature right down the moment you put your steak on. Using the tongs, move the steak around for a good minute to stop it sticking. Turn it over and do the same to sear it properly and to lock in the flavours.
Your steak should be ever so gently sizzling away.
How long you cook it for on each side really depends on the thickness and the cut. As a general rule, the more lean your meat, the less cooking time, particularly with fillet cuts of roo or venison.
Cooking times is not something I can teach you, but over time you should learn how well your steak is cooked by pressing it gently with tongs. Don't cut into your steak while it's cooking to check. You'll drain all the juices out and it will go dry and taste like cardboard.
You don't roast steak, so if your BBQ has a fancy hood on it, don't close it just because it's there and might seem cool to do so.
Resting your steak
Seasoning your steak
Beef - Freshly cracked pepper
Lamb - Lemon pepper seasoning rubbed into the meat prior to cooking. Salt not required.
Venison - No seasoning
Roo - No seasoning or freshly cracked pepper
Disclaimer: My blog assumes the only time it's acceptable to stomp on your steak is after copious amounts of tequila, surrounded by mates who you are trying to impress with your bogan tendencies. It also assumes you understand firearms regs and that poaching cattle is illegal.