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Saturday, 21 August 2010

The Awesome Basics (part 2)

The Beef Fillet Steak,
Or The Duck breast

Take a good steak (Thick, unpounded around 3-4cm deep) or a good duck breast.
Pad it really really dry. Salt it, with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt per steak / breast and leave it in your fridge, uncovered, for a day 24hrs at least.

The salt draws humidity out of the meat, (not its juices, just any water) and will make for an incredibly crispy texture when you cook it.

When you d like to cook these - a day is pretty much on the safe side, any more depends on how cured you want our meat and how fresh it was when you bought it- pad dry again.

* Preheat oven at 220degrees Celsius.

Now, if its the duck we re doing, score the skin with a sharp knife, very narrow strips going in one direction, every 3-4 mm or so.
If its beef, just look at it.

Heat a non stick pan to foundry levels, until smoking. No oil or anything.

rub some oil on your steak / if its a duck breast just a tad on the nonskin side.

Put on the pan and let it squeak, looking around the ridges to see it getting cooked - the flesh changes colour. Wait around 1-2 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the cut. But be courageous, nothing will reverse the overcooked meat, whereas the undercooked will probably finish cooking anyway in the oven!
Just before you stop, sear the side edges too, on high heat for 10 seconds or so each side.

as you ve seen the edges of the meat sealing, stick on a pan, and put in the oven, mid shelf, turn temp, straight down to 180 degrees, leave for 10 minutes.
Take it straight out, let sit for 5 minutes in room temp.

You cannot get this wrong.

Now. For complications, anything can happen to that steak, or duck, before its cooked;
You can rub some pepper, red, green, black, all of them. Ginger, garlic (rub a clove cut in half, using the cut side to rub on the meat.).
Crust it with good miso powder, crushed dried mushrooms (almost pulverised into a powder) etc.
Typically, at the end after you take the steaks out, you d deglaze the pan with wine, or stock, or water, or cream to make a sauce of your liking.
But theres plenty of those out there, and i just felt a safe fool-proof way of doing the basic part perfectly well, is more essential as a building block to a food blog.
I meant a recipe blog.

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