Four tips to a perfect steak

This builds on three tips from the Super Butcher which are the crux of how to cook the perfect steak.

  1. The steaks should be fully defrosted and then seasoned with pink salt and pepper – Note: season immediately before they go on the grill. I’ve seen people “prepare” the steaks hours before only to have the salt get rid of the essential juices before they even hit the barbie.
  2. Have your BBQ/grill (or pan) HOT! You want the steak to sizzle when you place it on the grill, turn it down if needed afterwards but make sure it sizzles to start.
  3. Only turn the steak once and don’t keep prodding it with the tongs – I call the constant turners/prodders “steak botherers” (or, alternatively and somewhat unfortunately, brothers-in-law).
  4. Lastly, how to tell if a steak is ready. The important thing is NEVER cut a steak to see if it’s ready as this releases the beautiful juices you’ve worked so hard to retain. Instead, try the touch test…

The touch test:
Rare – hold your right hand out flat and touch the meaty muscle at the base of your thumb with your left index finger. If this feels the same as when you touch your steak, it’s done to perfect rare (the steak that is, not your hand!).

Medium Rare – just touch (and I mean just touch, don’t put any pressure on) your right index finger to the tip of your right thumb forming a circle and tightening the muscle slightly. Then, with your left index finger, touch the meaty muscle at the base of your right thumb. That’s how a medium-rare steak should feel if you touch it with a finger.

Medium – Doing the same with the second finger again tightens the muscle slightly and that’s how a medium steak should feel.

Medium-well – Touching the ring finger to the thumb gives how a medium-well steak should feel

Well – …and the little finger, you guessed it, is how a well done steak should feel.

Testing this way doesn’t destroy the steaks and also gives you an excuse to lick the beautiful brown meat caramel off your finger giving you a little chef’s preview to the great taste!

Boiled Eggs

There is an art to cooking eggs in the shell. This recipe gives eggs cooked  to taste without that grayish tinge in the yolk.

The quick version

Cover with COLD water
Bring to boil, take off heat and let stand
Soft – 1 to 5 minutes
Hard – 15 to 17 minutes
Stop cooking in cold water

The Full Version

Difficulty – Easy
Time Required – up to 25 minutes


  • Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan.
  • Cover with at least one inch of cold water over eggs.
  • Cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • As soon as the water comes to a full boil, remove from the heat and let the eggs stand in the water.
    • Large soft-cooked eggs – stand 1 to 4 minutes (depending on taste)
    • Large hard-cooked eggs – stand 15 to 17 minutes.
  • When cooked to the desired level, drain off hot water.
  • To stop the eggs overcooking, immediately cover with cold water and add a few ice cubes.
    • Soft-cooked eggs – let stand in cold water until cool enough to handle then serve immediately.
    • Hard-cooked eggs – let stand in cold water until completely cooled and use as needed.


  • Never boil eggs, it makes them rubbery.
  • Use older eggs, fresh ones won’t peel properly.
  • To keep eggs from cracking while cooking, before placing in the water, pierce the large end with a needle. This will also make them easier to peel.

An afternoon with the work mates

Getting together with a few mates outside work is great and what better reason than someone returning from 6 months in Japan. Stevie and Jess have been working their way around Japan for food and accommodation and, naturally, everyone wants to catch up and find out what it’s been like.

Starting at about 4pm with platters of cheese with muscatels and quince paste, various p

Roasted Fillet of Beef Rolled in Herbs and Porcini and Wrapped in Prosciutto

We know… another Jamie Oliver recipe. He is, after all, one of our culinary heros!

As far as roasted meat goes, this is extremely fast and simple, yet decadently rich. One of the tricks, whether you buy it in a deli or a supermarket, is to ask them to slice your prosciutto and lay it side by side on to an A3 (ish) sized piece of waxed paper.

Serve this with a full bodied red wine like a Shiraz or a Cab Sav. We had a ’98 Wynns Coonawarra Cab Sav and it was a stunning compliment.

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