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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.

  Leave a reply


  1. Joe Thorburn

    I use a marinade, then for a a ju I add the marinade along with the vinegar and some red wine, port wine, or other liquor. I simmer the a ju until it is almost sticky.

  2. Smart Ideas

    Look at It explains different approach to preparing steaks. First, cook the steak in oven on a low temperature until the core reaches desired temperature. Then fry quickly. I tried it recently and I never had juicier steak before.

  3. Laura Zucchetti

    Thanks for this recipe. I made it tonight for my boyfriend – we really enjoyed it. 🙂 Served with home made potato wedges and salad.

  4. Hi there. The jus is a great idea, though I was surprised by the medium heat you mention. I have always, in pan-frying a steak, been taught to use as high a heat as possible. In the link below, Jason Atherton of Gordon Ramsay’s Maze Grill restaurant suggests an iron skillet (to stay hot when the meat goes in), raised to smoking heat. The very important thing here is to apply oil and seasoning to the steak before adding it. Oil in the pan will burn. The timings will be similar to yours, but the outside will be more deeply browned from a given doneness of the steak.

    I am a guy who likes his steaks exceptionally rare, though, so this is a necessary approach to get the required browning.

  5. Hey Victoria! Very well done 🙂

    I do not believe for one moment that you are a bad cook, I would guess that it’s just that nobody ever told you the details like what temp and how long for etc. That was me a few years ago.

    You have made our day with your comment. Thank you very much.

  6. I followed your recipe and for the first time ever, I love how my pan-fried steak turned out! I’m a notoriously bad cook, so I can’t wait to surprise my sisters with my new-found skill 🙂

  7. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Stephen

    I think that adding cream to the sauce would be a mistake as the sauce is wonderfully meaty. I’d love to hear how it tastes if you do go down the cream route.

    Good luck, hope that all goes well tonight.

  8. Hi
    we love the idea of the receipe and we are going to try it tonight (very rare for me to cook so fingers crossed.) I’m going to accompony mine with beefy chips,peas and mushrooms. I’m going to add single cream to the sauce. do you think this is a good idea and will it work. hopefully it will be a nice suprise for the wife 🙂 wish me luck.

  9. It is so pleasing to hear all your good comments, especially from the guys. Steak is a gloriously macho meal so any man should be able to cook it to perfection. With a little practice 🙂

    Fiona should have given some credit to Raymond Blanc because one of his his books told me the timings (and the importance of a little butter) for the first time in my life.

    Virgina – omygawd – all that cholesterol sounds magnificently exciting. And cocoa? We love loads of butter with frozen spinach as you describe but to add cottage cheese is a real risk that we are more than delighted to try out next time.

    Helen – do please come back and tell us how it worked out.

    Cmomo – thanks for an adventurous new way of gauging the correct temperature and a whole new method that is different from mine. I will try that next Friday night. If it all goes wrong, what is your address? – only joking 🙂

    Hey, Craig, thank you for taking the time and trouble to let us know that you were happy with the outcome. It’s always a risk posting up these recipes because sometimes people can misunderstand some vital aspect or stove top temperatures can vary wildly. But it is great to know that a first-timer cooked a great meal. Top marks to you!

    Very well done, Elaine, for tackling a steak after a week off with a rotten kidney infection. And thank you too for coming back to post your positive response. We sometimes put a (small) leftover portion in the fridge for next day and it’s great as a steak sandwich with mustard or mayo.

    I did modify the original recipe just now to remove the squiggles and added a dash of garlic powder to the pan. That’s the way I have been doing it for the past 5 months. Plus, this works just as well for rib-eye steaks but not for rump steak – that needs slower cooking so we will post that one up shortly.

  10. Have been ill for a week with a kidney infection and havnt eaten at all. made this steak just now and have to say it was the best steak i ever cooked. normally i have peppered sauce with mine but the jus was delicious. ate half of it. the other half is in the oven for later.
    thanks for a delicious recipe

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