HOW TO COOK STEAK

One thing to make clear right away: there isn’t one perfect way to cook a steak. Different cuts and sizes of steak with varying degrees of marbling and fatty edges make a one-size-fits-all solution to this meatiest of questions pretty much impossible.

How to cook the perfect steak

You’ll find heaps of complex and contradictory advice out there about how to cook the steak to beat all steaks. Jamie Oliver recommends creating a herb brush from woody herbs tied to a wooden spoon to dust enthusiastically over your sizzling steak, Harold McGee swears by wrapping the meat in clingfilm and submerging in hot water to get the meat warm before cooking…

Chef Flo has brought it back to basics with a foolproof approach to steak which will have you cooking perfectly sealed steak that’s deliciously tender. She’s used sirloin for it’s lovely marbled meat, but the method is broad enough that you can adjust and apply it to other cuts as well. Check out the video below, or scroll down to see the steps for the easy way to cook an incredible steak.

Make all your cooking easy! Have a look at our recipe boxes.


Cooking Sirloin Steak

  1. how to cook the perfect sirloin steak - step 1
    First, it’s important to allow your steak to reach room temperature before cooking. Take it out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes before you’re planning to cook. As an added bonus, the longer you leave it out the more it will start to dry out, which helps it to create a good seal in the pan, trapping in all the meaty moisture.
  2. how to cook the perfect sirloin steak - step 2
    Rub your steak on both sides with oil, making sure each side is fully covered. Try to use oil with a high smoke point instead of olive oil; we’d suggest vegetable oil, groundnut oil or rice bran oil, all of which have a nice high smoke point.Once you’ve oiled your steak, sprinkle some good chunky salt on both sides. It’s worth adding a big pinch on each side – more than you’d usually use in cooking – so that you can see the crystals on the surface of the steak. We don’t worry about pepper, as we’ll be cooking at a high temperature and pepper can burn in this sort of heat.
  3. how to cook the perfect sirloin steak - step 3
    Bring a dry (unoiled) pan to a super high heat – the higher the heat, the better the seal and the more tender you’re cooked steak will be. Add your steak to the pan allow it to seal on one side for 1-2 minutes before turning. Judge the time from sight – you can always lift up and edge with tongs to see how it’s cooking underneath if you need to!
  4. how to cook the perfect sirloin steak - step 4
    Flip the steak and cook on the other side. If it needs to cook for a little bit longer, give it a bit of extra time on both sides, but try to keep the total time on each side more or less even.
  5. how to cook the perfect sirloin steak - step 5
    Once your steak is cooked, remove it from the pan and place it on a plate (rather than a flat surface like a chopping board) and cover it with a clean tea towel. Leave your steak to rest like this for as long as you were cooking it in the pan – so this will vary according to how thick your steak is.
  6. how to cook the perfect sirloin steak - step 6
    Resting your steak will allow the juices to gather – these can make an delicious dressing, or can be mixed with a bit of butter and herbs and poured back over the steak for a rich, decadent finish.
  7. how to cook the perfect sirloin steak - step 7

Finally, dig in! I like my steak medium-rare, but you can always vary cooking (and resting!) times for different results.

Another lovely, healthy and lean steak cut is ‘minute steak‘ – it’s thin and flat and only takes a minute to cook – as the name suggests!

BEST STEAKS IN LONDON

Sometimes all you want, nay, need is a nice, juicy steak – but nothing burns a hole in your pocket quite like a slab of red meat. That’s why we, the Secret London team, have selected all of our favourite steak restaurants that will satisfy your cravings without breaking the bank.

Arlo’s

I honestly can’t speak highly enough of this place – it’s at the top of the list for a reason. Amazing service, amazing desserts (order the pavlova for a surprise) and it’s the first place my boyfriend and I decided we liked olives (trust me, that speaks volumes). But that’s without even mentioning the steak. Hoooooooly cow, the steak! I’m not sure how to describe it besides “perfection”! You can expect to pay £13-15 for a regular steak, or up to £29 for the larger cuts (unless you’re sharing a 2kg Bavette, in which case that’s £110). Oh and heads up: on Mondays, Arlo’s goes meat free. And that’s not free of meat… that’s free meat. Yep, that’s right, you’ll get a Bavette steak on the house! I told you you’d like this place…

Arlo’s have two restaurants in south London. Find your nearest one here

Beef & Brew is a firm favourite in Kentish Town, and they’ve just opened up a second restaurant in Haggerston, where they continue to serve up top quality, grass-fed beef. Their steaks are dipped in beef dripping before being quickly chargrilled, meaning they are just as dreamy as they sound. Pair that with a craft brew and some of their equally dreamy sides – which include smoked aubergine with honey and miso and sweet potato with coconut yoghurt and spices (that latter one is an absolute dream). Trust us, it’s up there with the very best. ?

Find Beef & Brew in Kentish Town and Haggerston. 

Mac & Wild

London’s favourite Scottish restaurant does a bloody fantastic steak (‘scuse the pun). Starting at just £9 per 100g, you really can’t go wrong at Mac & Wild. In the interest of transparency, the menu will tell you exactly where this week’s meat was shot, who it was shot by and who the butcher was. Each cut also comes with a specific whisky pairing recommendation, and the sides – oh, don’t even get me started on the sides. I’m drooling over the Truffle Mushroom Mac & Cheese, but there’s also Haggis Mac & Cheese, Wilderness Chips with lager and whisky sauce, crispy shallots and candied bacon, and Dirty Buttery Mash. Yes, this could very well be heaven.

🔥 HOT DEAL: Get a three course meal and a drink for just £28!

You’ll find Mac & Wild in the City and Fitzrovia. 

Jones Family Kitchen

Nestled within the hidden gem that is Eccleston Yards, this lovely restaurant opened back in May 2018, sister to the Jones Family Project in Shoreditch. It’s since become known for its premium cuts of meat cooked on Josper grills — but it’s excellent in so many other ways, too! The cocktails were incredible (I recommend the Sweet Ride in particular), the starters were insane (try the Tamworth Pork Belly & Seared Scallops), and not to mention the gorgeous alfresco setting! That said, the fillet steak was a definite highlight – cooked medium rare (duh) and paired with truffle fries and peppercorn sauce. Jones Family Kitchen is definitely a must-visit.

Find Jones Family Kitchen at 7-8 Eccleston Yards, Belgravia, SW1W 9AZ. 

Hawksmoor

As the long-reigning Kings of Red Meat, Hawksmoor is the best place to go if you’re a raging carnivore. Of course you could go for something off their teeny tiny menu titled ‘The Rest’ but, unless you have a bloody good excuse, you’d frankly be wrong to pass on the beef.

You’ll find Hawksmoor in various locations across London. 

Darkhorse

When we think of dark horses, we don’t think of Mexico in the World Cup, we think of this big ole’ 700g Rib Eye sharing steak with the juiciest tomatoes you ever did see. Seriously, find someone you’re willing to share with, grab yourself some tasty sides – we recommend the rosemary and garlic roasties – and a nice bottle of red, and you’re in for an absolute treat. Read more about Darkhorse here (and yes, thank you, the title is hilarious).

You’ll find Darkhorse at 16 Victory Parade, East Village, Stratford, E20 1FS. 

Flat Iron

Flat Iron is the perfect answer to “Where can I get a decent steak in London without spending my life’s wages?” At Flat Iron you’ll pay £11. FOR STEAK. And not even a crappy may-as-well-have-gone-to-Wetherspoons kind of steak… we’re talking proper meaty if-you-ask-for-well-done-you’re-offending-us kind of steak. Okay so you might want some chips or some greenery on the side, but you’re paying £11 for the steak. Okay, okay, we’ll stop going on about it. But seriously, go here. There’s free popcorn (and even that’s meaty).

You’ll find Flat Iron in various locations across London.

L’Entrecôte

When there’s only one dish on the menu, you know it’s going to be good. In this instance, all you do is tell them how you like your steak cooked and you’ll be presented with steak et frites, which will come with their famous sauce. Ooh la freaking la.

You’ll find L’Entrecôte in various locations across London. 

The Grill on the Market

When you arrive at The Grill on the Market, you know there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be tucking into a steak at some point during your visit – but nothing can prepare you for the magic to follow. Gloriously tender steak, best paired with creamy mash or crispy fries. Try out their premium steaks: English Galician Sirloin (340g) cut from retired British dairy cows that lived a long life chomping on luscious green grass, or the Australian Aberdeen Black Fillet (287g), a top quality steak with a “unique tenderness” that you will bow down to for the rest of your goddam life. Read more about The Grill on the Market here.

You’l find The Grill on the Market at 2-3 West Smithfield, near Farringdon, EC1A 9JX. 

Blacklock

A solid favourite in the book of Best London Eateries For Meat Lovers By Meat Lovers (or at least it would be if that actually existed). Although the steak alone is excellent, I recommend going for the ‘All In’. You’ll get a selection of pre-chop bites, followed by a juicy pile (yes, literally) of beef, lamb and pork. On top of that (no, not literally) you get two sides; choosing from beef dripping chips, ash-roasted sweet potato, or a bunch of other fancy green stuff. Here’s what happened when we went to the launch of their City restaurant.

You’ll find Blacklock in Soho, the City and Shoreditch. 

Santa Maria Del Sur

When it comes to steak, you’re always in pretty safe hands at an Argentinian restaurant. At Santa Maria Del Sur you’re guaranteed excellent service, a buzzing atmosphere, and melt-in-the-mouth beef. Gordon Ramsey even visited and there wasn’t any swearing – except maybe “that was really f*cking good” – so that’s got to say a lot, right?

You’ll find Santa Maria Del Sur at 129 Queenstown Rd, SW8 3RH. 

Gaucho

If you strike up a conversation about steak in London, Gaucho is bound to get a mention. Renowned for its fantastic meat and wine combo, Gaucho is the true taste of Argentina. It’s maybe not the cheapest in this list, but worth it for a special occasion.

LONDON STEAKHOUSES

The best steak comes exactly how you want it (medium-rare, obviously), in a setting you like with a round of brilliant sides.

To find just that (and more), check out our pain-steak-ingly (sorry) assembled guide to the best steak restaurants in London.

Laurent at Café Royal

Best for: Sheer choice

Wade through the selfie-stick waving tourist hordes of Leicester Square, past the giant Pikachus and breakdancing hypebeasts, and you’ll be rewarded with one of the best hidden steak joints the West End has to offer.

Laurent sits within Regent Street’s historic Hotel Café Royal, and is spearheaded by internationally renowned chef Laurent Tourondel. The operation all centres around his open flame grill, and the Laurent’s steak selection is seriously impressive: Aberdeen Angus, USA Snake river, Japanese Wagyu Kagoshima, and a host of other delicious, decadent cuts of beef. 

Hotel Café Royal, 68 Regent Street, London, W1B 4DY, laurentatcaferoyal.com

Tramshed

Best For: Himalayan salt-aged beef by Hannan Meats

Dining beneath a suspended formaldehyde-preserved cow is always going to sort the men from the vegetarians, but then that’s exactly what this outpost from restaurateur Mark Hix is about. Chicken or steak are the only mains on the menu, and – as you’d expect from the chef – both are done to perfection.

Get your teeth around an entire kilo of salt-aged porterhouse (fillet on one side of the bone, sirloin on the other) – you may need someone to split the portion (and bill) with. Its intense, juicy, mineral twang – offset by a puddle of béarnaise and the crunch of crispy chips – is an education in how good beef can be.

32 Rivington St, London EC2A 3EQ, hixresturants.co.uk

Flat Iron

Flat Iron

Best For: A fine flat-iron steak and a side for a tenner

Aside from the odd ‘special’ (a dalliance with onglet, perhaps) this Soho spot serves steak at its most stripped back. Its somewhat identikit appearance reads like a checklist of NYC-influence (refectory-tables, exposed brick walls, and US-cut steaks), but the food – flat-iron steaks, served pink on a slab of wood – is good enough for you to take notice.

Free from any fripperies (such as menus) this is a purist’s encounter with beef, and it is as uncomplicated as it is excellent. Follow @flatironsteak for the occasional ‘guest’ cuts of meat. Though the original outpost is in Soho, they’ve expanded far beyond with the latest outpost in Kings Cross offering a bar where you can watch custard transform into ice cream via a ‘supercool slab’ and metal paddles.

47-51 Caledonian Rd, Kings Cross, London N1 9BU, flatironsteak.co.uk

New Street Grill

Best For: Killer cocktails

Set in the City’s oldest surviving warehouse along with Fish Market, Old Bengal Bar and New Street Wine Shop, New Street Grill – as the name suggests – dishes up a hefty British grill.

Set up by London restaurant group D&D (who also own, among many others Bluebird Chelsea and Skylon), alongside their superb menu of aged steaks and joints of meat grilled in their wood-fired Josper oven, they also boast an impressive cocktail list. Opt for the classic Old Bengal Martini – the dash of orange bitters really compliments the flavour of the tender flesh.

16 New St, London EC2M 4TR, newstreetgrill.co.uk

Heliot Steak House

Best For: A change of scenery

Of all the things you’d expect to see plonked down on a Hippodrome Casino table – and the century old building has probably seen its fair share of unlikely sights – a 500g rib eye is not one of them.

But once you’ve been to Heliot Steak House, the Leicester Square casino’s resident restaurant, you’ll never choose plastic chips over a great, gut-busting dinner again (albeit, you might have them triple-cooked and placed on the side).

Named after a lion tamer who used to perform in the former theatre in the 1900s, Heliot’s glitzy seating area circles the betting floor. They boast a huge menu of award-winning, 28 day aged USDA cuts and Greek mezze options, alongside a host of other delicious options.

14 Cranbourn St, London, WC2H 7JH, Heliot

Hawksmoor

Best For: The Porterhouse

When it comes to serving up the perfect steak, Will Beckett and Huw Gott’s ever-expanding franchise are the experts (well with the tagline ‘the best steak restaurant in London’ you wouldn’t expect any less).

Often named as the prime cut for steak, the porterhouse – a t-bone with half tenderloin and half top loin – is what they do best. Although a hard one to cook properly, the guys at Hawksmoor do a fine job grilling up this hefty slab of meat. Ideal for sharing, order with a side of triple cooked chips for a truly gastronomical experience.

thehawksmoor.com

MPW Steak & Ale House

Best For: If you have vegetarian friends

You fancy a hunk of meat for dinner but forget that the friend you’re meeting up with is veggie. It happens (rare, but it happens).

A classic steakhouse in the heart of the city, head over to Marco Pierre White’s sleek Steak & Alehouse where you can demolish a 14oz ribeye (Royal Appointed Aberdeen Angus beef from Inverurie, aged for at least 21 days on the bone) drenched in béarnaise sauce while your friend picks from the generous vegetarian options on request.

It means your friend won’t miss out on a good feasting and you can both end the evening feeling pretty damn satisfied.

londonsteakhousecompany.com

Hubbard and Bell

Best for: all-day dining.

Located on the ground floor of the Hoxton Hotel in Holborn, this all day grill has the open and airy feel of a trendy American diner, serving up everything from prawns and fish, through chicken and ribs. If it can be grilled, it’s on the menu, cooked up in the open kitchen. Whenever faced with such compelling choices, it’s hard not to fall back on to the steak menu however, and here the 45 day hung sirloins and rib-eyes will never disappoint, while the filet mignon and even Porterhouse provide extra temptations. Be sure you don’t try to be healthy with your sides and miss out on the fries which come with a roasted garlic aioli. Ah, memories.

199-206 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7BD, hubbardandbell.com

The Steakhouse At Harrods

Best for: the ultimate cut of beef.

If you fancy really pushing the boat out and trying arguably the finest cut of beef in the entire capital, it is strongly recommended that you take an empty stomach to Harrods (where else?) for a slice of kobe prefecture. The cut comes from Japanese Wagyu beef, an animal banned in the UK up until recently, lending to its already mythical status. What is so special about it? Well, the cows are massaged, lucky buggers, meaning the meat itself is almost unbelievably melt-in-your-mouth tender. Couple that with some dreamy creamed spinach and grilled oysters mushrooms, and you’re looking at a meal you’ll be tasting – and talking about – for years to come.

87-135 Brompton Rd, London SW1X 7XL, harrods.com

Zelman Meats

Best for: an alternative steak night.

The people behind Burger & Lobster and Mayfair steakhouse Goodman have eyed what they consider a gap in the market for a great Soho steak restaurant and Zelman Meats is their offering. From the industrial interior to the food, simplicity is the mantra here. Beef is the only thing on the mains menu and there’s only three ways you can have that – picanha, chateaubriand and ridiculously tender ribs.

There’s no menu either, only a blackboard, and the idea is that this will change regularly as the chefs experiment with different cuts and styles. Charged by weight, and with some truly classy sides (including courgette with feta, aubergine and harissa and very well-executed truffle and parmesan chips), this new kid on the block makes for a buzzy, original and surprisingly good value option for meat heads in the centre of town.

2 St Anne’s Ct, London W1F 0AZ,zelmanmeats.com

STK

Best for: getting the party started

Not that steak houses are stuffy, buttoned up sorts of places at the best of times, but those in search of a laid back vibe with their slab of beef should look no further than American joint STK. Perched on the southern edge of Covent Garden and theatre land, it’s decadent curved seats, punchy cocktails and lively music is firmly aimed at the work party crowd and caters to it marvellously.

And the signature dish in question? Top notch. Using 28-day custom aged USDA prime beef, the choice – a you’d expect from our cousins across the Atlantic – is nothing if not extensive, ranging from New York Strip, Tomahawk, Japanese Wagyu to the classic fillet and beyond in a range of sizes. And while we’re talking sides: don’t miss the lobster mac & cheese or the duck liver and black truffle, will you?

ME London Hotel, 336-337 Strand, London WC2R 1HA, STK