The above photos reflect my steak-cooking process, as I have described it. I will discuss each photo in number order.
Firstly, I chose the most difficult steak to cook rare, and that is a poor quality cut of meat that is very thin – about half an inch. The thinner, the more difficult to estimate doneness, so it is a perfect example.
1. This is a photo of the meat in a plastic bag. The steaks are soaking in a marinade made of balsamic, red wine, garlic, olive oil, rosemary, tomato paste, chili oil, and whole kernel mustard, salt and pepper. It is left in this bag, in the fridge, for about an hour (I left mine for four) Then you would remove it from the refrigerator, and allow it to come to room temperature.
2. This is a photo of the meat sitting in the marinade in a metal bowl so that it can come back to room temperature. (You should cover it)
3. This is a photo of the meat after being removed from the marinade. It is sitting on a paper towel, so that I can dry it thoroughly. Then I salt the meat on both sides
4. Allow the pan to come to the highest temperature you can. Test it with drops of water to be certain they immediately sizzle away. Set the meat in the pan. Leave it alone. Now here’s the tricky bit, because the thickness of the meat and the heat you can achieve all effect the outcome. I sear mine for about 90 seconds, per side, because I can achieve very high heat and am using a non stick pan (to prevent you needing to leave the meat on until the surface caramelizes enough to unstick from the pan for flipping.) For most stove tops it will be about two minutes for a steak of this thinness. For a steak an inch thick or more it is at least 4.
5. Flip once and once only. You can see in this photo, the heavier sear on the side that was pan down – the dark brown marks. Again, cooked for about 90 seconds while I prepared the next steak. After the steak is cooked, remove it and allow it to sit for at least five minutes. I then add the run off juice that comes from the resting meat, back to the marinade.
6. This is the marinade juice, poured into the pan and boiling to reduce so that I can make a sauce of it. I chose to toss my fresh veg in it, cooking only so far as to make the surfaces soft, as I like crunchier veg. They have absorbed the flavor very well.
7. You can see them cooking in the marinade in this photo.
8. This is the entire dish, meat uncut – the veg is over basmati rice.
9. Here is the finished product – you can see that even though the surface is quite brown and the steak is quite thin, there is that telltale line of pink flesh in the middle. To be honest, I could have cooked it for less time, but, I was using that time to dry and salt the next steak.
10. Meat cut and plated, covered with some of the spicy jus.