The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

How to cook perfect sirloin or rib eye steak recipe

Photo of two sirloin steaks on a marble cutting board

Frying steak is easy once you have been shown how to do it

Friday night is steak night chez Cottage Smallholder. It has become an institution. We started it when Danny was weekly boarding at at an assignment in Exeter, five years ago. The promise of a really good steak bolstered him up on the drive home.

The steak has become an integral part of our life. We now accept no invitations on a Friday night, preferring to batten down the hatches, open a bottle of good red wine and pig out on unbelievably good sirloins and, occasionally, rib eye steaks.

These were supplied by Fred Fizpatrick on the Exning Road, Newmarket (now retired) and always cooked by Danny.

His recipe is below.


How to cook the best tastiest pan-fried steaks recipe (for two)
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Danny
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 10 mins
Serves: 2
Timing and temperature are the key yings when cooking steak
  • 2 sirloin steaks, not too thin. We love ours at about ½ inch or 2 cm thick
  • 2 small knobs of butter, about ½ oz (10g) each
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic granules or powder (this is optional and does not overwhelm the steak)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • A timer that can measure minutes and seconds
  1. This method is for medium rare steak. Simply allow extra cooking time if you prefer medium or well-done steaks.
  2. Using a flat frying pan or a skillet (there is no difference in cooking time), pour the olive oil, one knob of butter and sprinkle on the salt, black pepper and garlic granules (optional). Set your stove top ring to a medium heat. Ours goes from 1 to 9 and we set it at 6. Allow it 2 to 3 minutes to heat through, so that the butter has melted and the pan is hot.
  3. Place the steaks on the frying pan. Arrange them so that the fatty edges are in the middle of the pan.
  4. Cook for 2 minutes on one side. Then turn them over and cook for 1½ minutes on the other side. If you like them medium rare, do not exceed these timings.
  5. Remove from the pan onto warm plates (not hot, as cooking will continue) and leave them to relax for 5 minutes or more.
  6. Add ½ mug of boiling water to the pan and toss in the second nugget of butter and the Balsamic vinegar. Turn the heat down to about 3 so that it reduces without boiling dry.
  7. Pour this “jus” over your steaks.

We always cut our steaks in half so that we each get a portion of the two steaks. For some unknown reason, they never taste the same.

  Leave a reply


  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi David

    Thanks for leaving a comment, much appreciated.

  2. Thanks for a great recipe. I tried the jus idea thought I wasn’t too sure about it beforehand. It was excellent!

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Linda

    Your Easter meal sounds scrummy. We have a great recipe for mushrooms here

    Will be thinking of you on Sunday. Happy Easter!

  4. I’m preparing Easter dinner for a group who voted unanimously for steak. This will make grilling steaks after coming in from church so much easier and quicker. Plus, the recipe sounds delicious. I’m adding the mushrooms. I can’t wait to taste the jus. I’m going to prepare the rest of a traditional meal in advance which will include gourmet potatoes, green beans, deviled eggs (gotta use some of those Easter eggs), and pound cake with strawberry slices for dessert. Happy Easter, and thanks for this recipe!

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Mary

    So pleased that you enjoyed this recipe. Love your selection of accompaniments.

  6. Excellent recipe. Serve with grilled mushrooms, sautee potatoes and fried onions! To die for

  7. What a beautiful Sirloin Steak. I am not a great steak lover but my husband is. I like what my husband calls wet dinners, the jus with that was beautiful and I served it with fried potatoes and onions, mushrooms for the old man (I don’t like mushrooms) and sliced green beans. delicious! cheers

  8. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Matty

    I’m sorry that you were disappointed.

    Our timings are meaningless without taking on board the thickness of your steak(s). This recipe takes the thickness of the steak (2cm) into account not the weight. It works for 2cm steaks every time, whatever the surface area and overall weight. We cook and eat these once a week.

    If your steaks are thinner or fatter you need to adjust the cooking time. Weight is irrelevant. The steaks might be massive and fill the frying pan or teeny 7cm steaks (across the surface rather than depth). Both need the same time to cook. Think depth not breadth.

    Also we are cooking steaks using a good frying pan with a thick solid base.

  9. The times are meaningless without some corresponding weights. As I found out tonight…

  10. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Richie

    Like the idea of rubbing the steaks with pepper first! We must try that.

    Thanks for leaving a comment.

Leave a Reply to Jules Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.

2,238,775 Spambots Blocked by Simple Comments

Copyright © 2006-2022 Cottage Smallholder      Our Privacy Policy      Advertise on Cottage Smallholder