Heston's Top 10 Tips for Beef
Forget everything you thought you knew about cooking beef. Heston's top tips for steak, burgers, pie and chilli will ensure kitchen magic, every time.
1. Before cooking steak, take it out of the packet and leave it on a shelf in the fridge (with a tray or plate underneath it) for two days. Yes, two days. Air circulating around the steak will start to dry it out, concentrating the flavour and tenderising the meat. Then let your steak rest outside the fridge for a couple of hours before cooking, to get it to room temperature.
2. Fry your steak in oil in a smoking hot pan (don't be afraid you'll burn your kitchen down - you won't, says Heston). The intense heat from the pan will cause the Maillard reaction, where proteins and sugars react to create a delicious, meaty brown crust.
3. Don't let your steak get lazy in the pan. Turn it over every 15-20 seconds, so the outside stays hot enough for a crust to form, without the inside overcooking.
4. Not so fast! Once it's cooked, let your steak rest for at least five minutes. This will allow the fibres to cool down and stop contracting, which holds in the moisture and leaves your steak juicy and tender.
5. Before making beef burgers, sprinkle your beef with salt and leave it for about three hours, which will bind the meat without any need for egg or breadcrumbs.
6. Instead of pummelling your burgers into tight patties, lay the minced beef strands in parallel lines and wrap them in clingfilm to keep them together. Leave them in the fridge for a couple of hours, then slice the mince log into patties. Biting down on the grain of the mince instead of across it will make the burgers melt in your mouth.
7. The magic ingredient in Heston's oxtail pudding and chilli is star anise, which he says "lifts beef to another level". Other flavours that work well with beef include caviar, anchovies, blue cheese, tarragon, capers, oysters& and woodchips.
8. For extra sauciness, save some of the reduced sauce back and inject it into your pudding or pie after cooking, using a syringe.
9. Don't take your beef lightly - for the perfect chilli con carne, brown your mince in batches until it's really dark brown, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.
10. If you really want to make like Heston, serve your chilli with a bowl of flaming woodchips for an extra smokey aroma.