February, 2018

  • How a chef cooks for those he loves

    13 February, 2018 How a chef cooks for those he loves

    Skipping the crowds in favour of a lovingly prepared meal at home is your best bet for a romantic Valentine’s Day. This is chef Jock Zonfrillo's idea of a nice night in.
    Read more…

January, 2018

December, 2017

October, 2017

September, 2017

  • Win a pro toastie pack

    18 September, 2017 Win a pro toastie pack

    Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this kit, including a no-mess Breville press, a copy of Darren Purchese's Chefs Eat Toasties Too and a subscription to Cooked.
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August, 2017

July, 2017

June, 2017

  • Winter entertaining with Gill Meller

    08 June, 2017 Winter entertaining with Gill Meller

    Gill Meller is in the country, his first time to Australia, showcasing his beautiful book Gather with a series of dinners and classes. We caught up with him to find out what's on the menu for his Aussie guests.
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May, 2017

April, 2017

February, 2017

January, 2017

December, 2016

October, 2016

September, 2016

August, 2016

July, 2016

June, 2016

May, 2016

April, 2016

March, 2016

February, 2016

January, 2016

December, 2015

November, 2015

  • Christmas basics: the perfect custard

    27 November, 2015 Christmas basics: the perfect custard

    We're looking at those staple recipes that can make or break your Christmas spread. First up, the much-misunderstood sweet seductress, custard.
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  • Halfway Home

    16 November, 2015 Halfway Home

    I’ve been sugar-free for a total of two weeks, and things are going surprisingly well...
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  • The anatomy of the perfect burger

    11 November, 2015 The anatomy of the perfect burger

    Looking for your next weekend challenge? Why not have a crack at making your own cheeseburgers from scratch? Chef Daniel Wilson shares the secret recipe to recreating his famed Huxtaburger, from bun to patty and everything in between.
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  • Bubbles or nothing

    11 November, 2015 Bubbles or nothing

    Out to impress this party season? To take your entertaining game to the next level, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Halliday Wine Companion to share tips on matching sparkling wines to a range of show-stopping canapes.
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  • No Sugar November

    04 November, 2015 No Sugar November

    This month while the boys are growing staches, I’ll be growing a conscience about all the confectionary I consume.
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October, 2015

September, 2015

May, 2015

April, 2015

March, 2015

February, 2015

January, 2015

December, 2014

November, 2014

October, 2014

September, 2014

August, 2014

July, 2014

June, 2014

May, 2014

April, 2014

March, 2014

February, 2014

  • Margaret Fulton's expert guide to preserves

    27 February, 2014 Margaret Fulton's expert guide to preserves

    Jams, pickles, chutneys, sauces, compotes and conserves are the best way to preserve abundant produce so you can enjoy your fruit and veg all year round. Margaret Fulton shares her guide to the art of preserving.
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  • Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014 | Our picks

    27 February, 2014 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014 | Our picks

    The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, running from February 28 to March 16, begins in just over a week. We’ve put together our picks of the fest.
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  • Philippa Sibley's expert guide to sweet pastry

    24 February, 2014 Philippa Sibley's expert guide to sweet pastry

    Master of the dough Philippa Sibley shares her step-by-step guide to making sweet shortcrust pastry, taking you through everything you need to know to perfect the art of peerless pâte.
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  • In season | Eggplant

    21 February, 2014 In season | Eggplant

    The unsung hero of the nightshade family, eggplant is found in cuisines the world over. From Sicily to South East Asia, the Middle East to the Mediterranean, many signature dishes feature the versatile aubergine. We sing the praises of the humble eggplant.
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  • Everything you need to know about cuts of pork

    17 February, 2014 Everything you need to know about cuts of pork

    Meat expert and chef Adrian Richardson explains the different cuts of pork, and what you should use them for.
    Read more…

  • Sticky business | A guide to meat on sticks

    14 February, 2014 Sticky business | A guide to meat on sticks

    Skewers, kebabs, shaslicks, yakitori … Whatever you call them, meat just tastes better when cooked on a stick. We share our tips to help you ace the skewers at your next barbecue.
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  • In season | Figs

    06 February, 2014 In season | Figs

    Figs evoke the flavours of exotic decadence. Sweet and visually striking, figs make for a decadent tart topper, a sumptuous sticky jam or a delightful savoury venture with cold meats. We share some of our favourite fig recipes.
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  • Guide to styling handmade edible gifts

    05 February, 2014 Guide to styling handmade edible gifts

    There's nothing more thoughtful than a handmade edible gift. April Carter shares her tips and tricks for making beautiful and delicious treats for those you love.
    Read more…

January, 2014

December, 2013

November, 2013

10 tips for a perfect steak

Adrian Richardson
09 December, 2013

Adrian Richardson, chef at La Luna and author of ‘Meat’, shares his top 10 tips for cooking a perfect steak.

A good piece of grilled steak is one of the simplest meals you can make, yet many people worry endlessly about how to cook it properly. Here are my top 10 tips, some of which might seem obvious, but believe me, they will all help you understand how to cook the perfect steak. 

1. Buy the best quality meat that you can afford. 

That way you get a head-start when it comes to flavour and texture.  

2. Choose the right cut.

For instance, if you like your steak butter-soft, choose a piece of eye-fillet; if you want super-tasty and don’t mind a bit of a chew, choose rump, skirt or hangar. 

3. Steaks come in all shapes and sizes, so there’s no perfect formula for timing.

For instance, a 250 g steak that is flat and thin will cook more quickly than a 250 g steak that is thick. See point 9 to learn about testing for doneness.  

4. Don’t cook your steak straight from the fridge.

Let it come to room temperature about 30 minutes before you plan to eat.  

5. Prepare for cooking by rubbing the steak all over with a little olive oil.

Use your hands to smear it on evenly, then season the meat with salt and pepper just before you put it on the grill. Both the oil and seasoning will help stop the meat from sticking to the grill. They’ll help seal the surface and ensure that it caramelises to a lovely deep brown, which will make it taste better, too.  

6. You can cook steaks on the barbecue, on a ridged griddle pan, or in a frying pan (I don’t really recommend cooking steak under an overhead grill).

Each has its own merit, although each is slightly different. At the restaurant we cook our steaks on a massive flame-grill, so the steaks get a wonderful lightly charred flavour. You’ll achieve a similar result at home using a barbecue. I also like cooking steaks in griddle pans because they can be heated to a high temperature and you get attractive stripe markings from the ridges. If you prefer to fry your steaks in a frying pan, then make sure you use only the barest minimum of oil or they run the risk of being a bit too greasy. And of course you won’t get any attractive griddle markings from a flat surface either.  

7. Ideally you want to be able to create a range of temperatures from very hot to medium–hot, which is dead easy on the barbecue, and less easy with a griddle or frying pan.

Why is it important? Well, it’s particularly important with a big thick piece of meat that is going to take longer to heat to the centre. With a thin piece of meat you can cook it over a fierce heat very quickly. With a big thick piece it is likely to burn on the outside before the heat penetrates to the centre. With big thick steaks you want to move the steak to a medium heat after the initial searing over a high heat. Alternatively, transfer it to the oven to finish cooking after the initial searing.  

8. Which brings us to turning.

Some people insist that you should only turn your steak once during the cooking process. I like to turn my steaks between three and five times depending on the thickness. I find that this way the meat cooks evenly and ends up tender and juicy inside. I actually turn the meat at right-angles, which means you get an attractive cross-hatching of griddle marks. Here’s what actually happens when the steak is cooking: immediately the meat hits the heat, the moisture inside rushes away from the heat source up to the surface of the meat where it eventually cooks away. When you turn the steak over, the moisture rushes back in the other direction. If you turn the meat several times as it cooks, less moisture will escape and your steak will stay lovely and juicy in the centre.  

9. Testing for doneness.

This is something that you learn through practice and you will become more confident over time. Many experts warn against cutting into the steak to see how the steak looks, but if you’re a novice cook, then this is a straightforward approach. You do run the risk of losing some of the internal juices, so I suggest you move the steak off the heat and leave it to rest for 2–3 minutes before making a small incision into the thickest part of the meat. A far better way to test for doneness is to press the steak with your finger. Essentially, the more yielding the steak is under pressure, the rarer the steak. Some people use the little trick of feeling the fleshy base of your thumb as you touch it to the fingers on your hand:

thumb to index finger = rare

thumb to middle finger = medium–rare

thumb to ring finger = medium to medium–well done

thumb to little finger = well done

To be honest, one sure-fire way of knowing how well cooked your steak is, is to use a meat thermometer and I strongly recommend using one of these until you gain confidence in your own judgement. At La Luna I have a big notice stuck above the grill to remind the chefs about internal core temperatures.

35°C = rare

45°C = medium–rare

55°C = medium

65°C = medium-well

75°C = well-done

The beauty of this method is that it removes all the guess-work.  

10. Finally, and perhaps most importantly of all, once the steak is cooked, you must rest it.

As I’ve outlined above, while the meat is cooking, the moisture inside heats up and moves away from the heat source. There’s a lot of activity going on inside that piece of meat! Letting it rest away from the heat source allows the juices to settle back to the centre of the meat and the fibres will all relax, becoming nice and tender. As a simple rule of thumb, allow an equal amount of resting time as the meat took to cook. So in other words, if the steak took 4 minutes to cook, allow it to rest in a warm spot for 4 minutes before serving. You can always put it back on the heat for a final warmthrough. 30 seconds on each side should be enough.

Cook the recipes from Meat.


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