Making steak at home is difficult to get wrong.
In an effort to keep things straightforward, this recipe results in a simple dish that doesn’t require a lot of thinking or prepping with a couple of twists to keep the flavours interesting.
The recipe for the Roquefort Bourbon Butter is one that has been passed on by my father, which I remember consuming when I was a kid smothered all over pieces of melba toasts. While doing a bit of digging around the internet, I came across a similar recipe by the acclaimed chef James Beard on his book James Beard’s American Cookery (1972). His recipe includes crushed garlic while this one doesn’t, but I do encourage you to try his as well as it’s very tasty.
Sometimes there’s no need for specific measurements but when it comes to alcohol, you can ruin a perfectly edible batch of anything in seconds.
For the purpose of not wasting any precious Bourbon or beloved Roquefort, I went ahead and tested a few variations with a bit more of each ingredient to see how they compared and most importantly, which version tasted the best. Take out your trusty cast iron griddle pan, you’re about to give it some love!
🕑 30 minutes
- serves 2
- 2 x 200g steaks
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 110g Roquefort cheese
- 55g unsalted butter (softened)
- 1 1/2 tbsp Bourbon
- salt and pepper
For the Roquefort Bourbon Butter
– Combine the butter and Roquefort cheese by mashing them together with a fork. Mash until they just come together without overmixing it. Add the bourbon and mix again until just combined. Taste it, if it’s too strong, add a tiny bit more butter. It should taste fresh, pungent, creamy and have a slight kick of Bourbon in it.
– You may want to shape it into a roll, then wrap it in film and refrigerate it. You could also shape it into a sphere or small Quenelle (an elegant, oval-shaped way of scooping ice-creams, creams etc. Heavily used within the restaurant industry to add refinement to any dish). This video from ChefSteps shows exactly how you can achieve the perfect quenelle. Either way, the mixture should be refrigerated for at least 20 minutes.
For the steak
– Place a cast iron griddle pan (if using, or any other pan) on a medium heat and let it come to temperature. Salt and pepper your steak. Ideally, the steak should be salted a day in advance. If you can do that, go ahead, it will drastically improve the flavour. Add a small amount of Rapeseed oil to the pan, distribute it with the help of some bunched up kitchen paper.
– You want to use an oil that can withstand high heat. Avoid using butter, although you can add some towards the end to baste the steak and add some creaminess. When the pan and the oil are nice and hot, place the steak at an angle and let it sizzle.
– Depending on the thickness of your steak and whether you want it well done, medium or medium-rare, the cooking time will vary.
There’s a trick you can learn to check the doneness of a steak. Gently press the tip of your index finger with the tip of your thumb, press on the fleshy area between the thumb and the base of your palm. That is what a steak cooked rare feels like. If you work your way to the pinky finger, you will feel the different stages of cooked meat.
The stages of a cooked steak by touch.
Index finger: Rare
Middle Finger: Medium Rare
Ring Finger: Medium
Pinky Finger: Well Done
The stages of a cooked steak by time.
(for a 2cm thick steak)
Rare: 1½ mins per side
Medium Rare: 2 mins per side
Medium: 2¼ mins per side
Well Done: 4 minutes per side
– Once your steak is cooked to your liking, take it off the pan and set it aside to rest for 10 minutes. This will help the juices absorb into the meat. Cover it with some foil and again with some tea towels to preserve the heat.
– When you are ready to serve, add a slice, dollop or quenelle of the Roquefort Bourbon Butter on the steak and enjoy!