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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.

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  1. Never cooked steak before, used your recipe. Tasted brilliant, I now look forward to friday steak nights!

    Thank you.

    The extra vinegar topping was delicious too

  2. Very nice, most people dont seem to be aware of the need for resting a steak. Your way was very juicy! yum. Heres my way for cooking 2 sirloins.. Take sirloin out of fridge 30 mins before cooking, season the steak on the side you will be placing on the pan with a mix of conrflower oil, squeeze of lemon, clove of crushed garlic and sea salt. Heat pan until its impossible to hold your hand over the surface, pop the steaks in, 2 mins each side for rare, 3-4 for medium, and 5 (if you must!) for well done. Turn the steaks only once, and do not move the steaks in the pan! Once cooked let the steaks rest for the same ammount of time you cooked them, serve with whatever you like! Enjoy.

  3. I bought steak for the 1st time yesterday, its quite expensive in London so this is a rare treat for us. I’ve never cooked it before so will be trying your recipie. I’ll probably serve mine with garlic mash potatos with the skins on (somethin I had in a steakhouse in america), onion rings and cheese baked beans (just cook ya beans as normal and add some grated cheese).

  4. Virginia

    Great recipe! I tried this on my last steak dinner, and is the first time ever thatI’ve gotten them right (I’m pretty sure i wasn’t letting my meat rest before, and sio has made a HUGE difference!). Being as I love steak, I was very, very pleased! Tonight I am serving them with sliced grilled potatoes and a house specialty – (frozen) spinach cooked with lots of butter, and then add in a good few tbsps of cottage cheese. I also like to do biscuits with anything ‘jus’ as nothing soaks up that jus nicer. Am also doing onions, of course, and am going to try red bell peppers as well, just for added yum. Also a tip – anything beef, especially a stew, or even steaks like these – try adding cocoa (not sweetened) as a ‘seasoning’. Even a tsp. deepens the flavor. I also always use beer with beef, sometimes red wine, to deglaze my pan. Thanks again for the recipe! It’s great!

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Maryn

    Great that the recipe worked for you!

  6. Hi
    thanks a lot for saving our dinner! my hubby bought basically the cheapest steak he could find– and I did a search for a recipe that would work. It worked beautifully and was delicious and tender. Thanks again!

  7. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Rory

    The meat relaxes and reabsorbs the juices, so the steak will be more succulent and tastier.

    I’d also take the steak out of the fridge half an hour brfore cooking to get to room temperature (especially if it’s a thick one).

  8. Im going to give ur recipe a try tonight. My parents are away on holiday and i thought id treat myself to a nice sirloin tonight. Just a quick question, why do you leave the sirloin to rest for 5 minutes? Is this something to do with taste? Sorry if thats a daft question, im only 19 and trying to teach myselfy to cook more than beans on toast!

  9. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Manj

    Delighted that you like this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing your twist with us.

  10. Never cooked steak before, tried your recipe, wife says its the best steak she’s ever had.
    Its now a regular thing for us.

    Good idea is to try rubbing the salt & pepper along with the vinegar on the steak as a kind of marinade, leaving for half an hour & then frying with onions.

    Chips are a great side.

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