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Rump Steak Cooking
January 3, 2006 11:25 PM   Subscribe

What's the best way to cook the juicy looking 450g rump steak I have sitting here beside me to a tasty medium?

I've received mixed signals in the past. In Home Economics class in school, we were taught to "seal" the steak on both sides to lock in the flavour and juices.

But I've seen cooking shows where they've said to cook it on one side until the blood starts coming through to the top, then turning it over and cooking the other side.

Also, should I sear it and then put it in the oven for a while to cook through, or fry it in the pan the whole way through?

How long should I cook it? (So I can time the hardcore creamy mushroom sauce I have planned)
posted by Jimbob to Food & Drink (19 answers total)
 
I suppose it's one of those things where there's as many schools of thought as there are cooks. I personally do not put steaks in the oven. But I know people who do. What I do is make sure the pan is extremely hot and use proper butter to fry the steak in. Oh, and the rule I use is to fry the steak for as many minutes as the steak's widht in centimeters, turning the meat at the halfway point.
posted by keijo at 11:49 PM on January 3, 2006


See this for one perspective, followed by its humorous counterpart.

Is grilling out of the question? I always, always grill my steaks. I usually use a bit of soy sauce, worcester sauce, seasoned (Lawry's) salt, garlic salt, pepper and such on mine. I cook for one minute on high on each side, letting it sear gently, and then another 3-4 minutes on med-high to let it get "about right."

Thank God you're not asking about cooking your steak to well doneness, for you would have had to include the "heathen" tag on your question...
posted by disillusioned at 1:13 AM on January 4, 2006


My mother used to like to eat tough lumps of charcoal, but I like mine a bit jucier thanks.

Unfortunately, I got hungry and went with keijo's method, which came out quite nicely, so he gets best answer (but I'll keep watching this post for interesting suggestions for next time).
posted by Jimbob at 1:21 AM on January 4, 2006


For me: remove it from the fridge about 30 minutes (or at least 10) before cooking, rub it with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper, heat a griddle pan to hot and then turn it down slightly, stick steak on griddle, after about a minute or two turn it over, keep turning it over every minute or so until steak is done (for medium, I'd say 10 minutes; I normally do mine for about 6-8 depending on size), remove from griddle, leave on warm plate for about three minutes, squeeze a bit of lemon over it, eat.
posted by Hartster at 1:26 AM on January 4, 2006


I think searing it on both sides is still the way - particularly with a thick rump steak. I've seen the method you describe recommended for very lean steaks (eg venison), but never for beef.

Depends on how good the steak is really, but I like to cook it with a nice pan sauce. Hot pan with butter, and a little olive oil to raise the burning temperature of the butter. Wait for the butter to foam, whap in the steak and cook until it's done to your taste on one side, flip and do the other (I always cook steaks rare, so can't help with your timings). Take steak out and put it in a warm place to rest for a couple of minutes while you make your sauce. Deglaze the pan with a slug of brandy, and a good half-cup of red wine, and the same amount of chicken or beef stock (use all wine if you don't have any stock, but make sure you season the sauce well when it's ready), reduce it aggressively over a high heat until you're starting to get a syrupy consistency (probably reducing it to a third of its original volume, and it might take 5+ minutes depending on your burner), stir through a spoon of creme fraiche, season and serve with the steak (and frites of course).
posted by bifter at 1:28 AM on January 4, 2006


I would put it in the oven in a covered casserole dish, smothered in a can of mushroom soup, a bunch of quartered onions and a few peeled potatos. Man, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. Wife's a vegetarian though - so I don't see meat around these here parts very often.
posted by Dag Maggot at 2:11 AM on January 4, 2006


1. Put a roasting pan on the bottom rack of your oven
2. Turn on the broiler
3. Place your steak directly on the top rack.
4. Cook for 5 minutes
5. Flip
6. Cook for three minutes (adjust times based on the poke with finger data)

Remember: A broiler is just an upside down grill, which is nice because the fat drips away from the flame, instead of toward it which causes flare ups in a grill. I read the first link from disillusioned up there, and the added methods below are all insane. The two people who said that you should cook over flame to "char" it are insane. Carmelized crispy goodness from the application of intense heat is an absolute good; carcinogenic carbonization from actually incinerating the flesh of the steak with flame is an absolute evil.

Addendum: My favorite fajita method: Burn your charcoal into white hot coals, blow off the ash with a hair dryer, lay the flank steak directly on the coals. This way there will be no air between the heat and the meat which means no carbonized steak matter. Just brush of any ash that does remain (if the coals were as hot as hell not much which stick.)
posted by muddylemon at 3:20 AM on January 4, 2006


Oh, another thing, if you want to sear, do it after you've cooked the meat. Searing doesn't "seal in the juices" it breaks down the cellular structure of the meat and provides easy openings for those juices to escape. For a roast I'll often cook it to death in the slow cooker, then pull it out for a quick sear, rest it, and then slice against the grain (against so that the fibers are as short as possible, makes tough cheaper cuts of meat less chewy)
posted by muddylemon at 3:23 AM on January 4, 2006


Dag Maggot: "Man, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. Wife's a vegetarian though - so I don't see meat around these here parts very often."

Same here. Can't remember the last time I had a steak... but everything sounds good to me! In the dark and distant past, however, I'd have done something similar to bifter.
Yum!
posted by Chunder at 3:54 AM on January 4, 2006


Problem with searing after and cooking slow is it doesn't leave you any nice crispy bits in the roasting pan to make gravy with. Heston Blumental recommends slow cooking (very slow - nearly 24 hours in one recipe I saw) for roast beef, but still with a heft sear first up (with a blowtorch). Don't think escaping juices is too much to worry about as long as you don't overcook the meat, and you leave it to rest properly when it's finished.
posted by bifter at 4:27 AM on January 4, 2006


I can't believe no one's mentioned the thumb test. This works very well. (I do more a combo of that first link and this one, poking the place between my first two knuckles and testing between a limp hand, a loose first and a hard fist.)
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:01 AM on January 4, 2006


Also yeah, searing to "seal in the juices" is a myth - Cook's Illustrated, I think it was, put it to the test. However, you want to sear meat for the Maillard reaction, to make that excellent meat taste.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:05 AM on January 4, 2006


My understanding is the same as CunningLinguist's.

In the dark and distant past, however, I'd have done something similar to bifter.

You were a cannibal??

posted by languagehat at 5:11 AM on January 4, 2006


Following on from CunningLinguist's touch tests, I like the one that Gordon Ramsay did on TV recently (in the UK). He compared it to the feel of your cheek (rare), the feel of your chin (medium), and the feel of your forehead (well done).
posted by chrismear at 5:26 AM on January 4, 2006


Ooo, that one is better!
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:52 AM on January 4, 2006


1. Put some sunflower oil in a frying pan along with some real butter.
2. Flame to medium.
3. Put steak in.
4. Give it about a minute on each side.
5. Flame to highest.
6. Give it a minute on each side before turning, repeat several times until happy.
7. Season.

I haven't had it any tastier, and it's simple.
posted by wackybrit at 6:18 AM on January 4, 2006


Mmm steak. I always salt the steak for at least 30 minutes before cooking - this extracts some of the meat juices and allows that amazing caramelized crust to form. I love my steak black and blue, so I turn the stove up to max and sear it until it's black but just (only just) warm at the core. Use peanut oil to manage the heat.

If you need it a little less nearly alive, I recommend cooking over a high heat until it's very browned, then lowering the heat a bit and smoothing tin foil over the pan to form a tent (you can also put a towel over the foil to weight it down if needed). The foil traps steam and will cook the inside a bit while keeping it incredibly juicy and avoiding the tough "grey zone" between the black crust and the red meat.

One last thing - turn, and turn often. Cooking one side and then the other will give you a tougher steak. I turn at least once a minute, probably every 30 seconds if I'm going for "moo".
posted by ny_scotsman at 9:52 AM on January 4, 2006


I was always told only to turn steak once.

Is that just an old wives tale then?
posted by gergtreble at 4:31 PM on January 4, 2006


I was always told only to turn steak once.
Is that just an old wives tale then?
I'm not sure, I read something recently that the BBQ Institute (or something) claims you should flip a lot. Their theory is that the heat creates steam inside the meat which goes up, so you flip often to keep it from getting all the way to the top and out, which supposedly makes for a juicy steak. I don't know if the science matches up. The reason for not flipping much I think has more to do with the Maillard reaction then juicyness.
posted by muddylemon at 7:19 PM on January 4, 2006


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