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 Scott

    You fry the steaks on the hob. Medium heat – the middle setting of the dial for the ring that you are using. Our dial has settings from 1 to 9 so 4 is perfect. We don’t have gas our stove is electric!

    Good luck with the meal – do hope that it turns out well.

  2. hey, umm i havnt tried it yet but would like to know how to do it on a electric stove that goes up to gasmark4???

    im only 15 and im tryin to make this for the girl i like and want to ask her out that night.

    please help me, many thanks

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Craig

    Hope they were as scrummy as ours are!

  4. Craig

    my father is cooking your steaks at the moment, thanks for the recipie, he thinks hes gordon ramsey at our hob 🙂

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Ronnie

    I am so pleased that our recipe worked well for you. Beef has to be just right, particularly steaks or a joint. Danny is head chef when it comes to beef and his recipes always seem to work.

    Thanks for taking the trouble to leave a comment. Much appreciated.

  6. Hello, Get the champagne out (in my case white wine-can’t stand champers), at long last I have cooked the perfect sirloin steak – thanks to your goodselves. It’s only taken me 48 years of married life to do it! I can cook all the other meats and my pastry is good (not sponge though). I have always been a terrible failure with any sort of beef. It has been a love hate relationship between me and the cow. Today I followed your perfectly timed recipe and ingredients and got the great thumbs up from hubby dearest. Yippee.

    Thankyou. Here’s to the next one.

    Yours very gratefully and sincerely,

    lots of kisses

  7. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Susan

    Thanks for taking the time to leave this feedback. Danny is a genius when it comes to steak or a roast.

    Glad that you enjoyed the recipe. Cast iron skillet sounds like a good twist!

  8. Susan Gandee

    Wonderful recipe! I used a cast iron skillet on our gas stove. Served it with baked potatoes, brocolli, mushrooms, & crisp salad with warm bread. I’m a big fan of balsamic vinegar, but I’d never considered using it with steak! Thanks so much ~ hubby and children say, “Ditto!”

  9. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Mike

    The room temperature tip is a good one, thanks. I like the idea of seasoning them prior to cooking – must try that next time!

    Roasted peppers would be a great combo!

  10. I tried your recipe and thought it was great!

    Another good tip is to make sure your steaks are room temperature before cooking. I take mine out of the fridge half an hour before cooking, and season them with some salt pepper, a dash of olive oil, rub with a clove of garlic, and a tiny drop of tabasco. Using ground nut oil with butter is a great combo for cooking them also but cooking on medium heat is a great tip, some people think it has to be on full blast but this is not the case!!! I like to serve mine with sauteed potatoes and a jus like you describe, roasted peppers are also a treat!!

Leave a Reply to Alan Cancel reply

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

HTML tags are not allowed.

2,238,774 Spambots Blocked by Simple Comments

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