The Cottage Smallholder

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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. Superb recipe, just cooked it for my wife for our wedding anniversary, perfect instructions for 2 medium rare sirloins!

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hello Dave

      That’s great news. Danny is master of our steaks and they are always good.

      Thanks for dropping by.

  2. Michelle

    Hi and thanks for sharing the recipe.
    Never made steak before and wanted to make it for my mom on mother’s day! and this was perfect!

    thanks again

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Michelle

      Thanks so much for dropping by and leaving a comment.

      Danny is King of Steaks and they are nearly always excellent!

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Andy

    Thanks so much for taking the time to leave some feedback 🙂

  4. Thank you for sharing the recipe

    I just cooked a Sirloin steak from M and S to your recipe and as Cypher says in the matrix:

    “it was juicy and delicious”

    from now on all my steaks will be cooked this way.

  5. Thanks for the help fn, and Karen

    I hadnt considered the fat content. Maybe sirloin isnt such a good choice after all, or maybe some sirloin minced up with a bit of a fattier cut

    Ill do some googling, I just thought Id ask here first since Im pretty bowled over by some of the recipes here so far 🙂

  6. HFW does a very nice lamb burger recipe – I shouldn’t imagine it’s anything like the American flame grilled but nice for a change.

  7. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Carpii

    We don’t have the ultimate burger recipe. Unfortunately.

    I reckon that you need to mince your own beef or find a butcher who will do this for you. I do know that you need at least 20% fat to make a succulent burger. They are just like sausages and fail if there isn’t enough fat.

  8. I just returned from my first visit to America, where I sampled possibly the best burger of my life (it was a flame grilled kobe beef burger).

    So now I’m keen to try cooking all things burger shaped, and wondered if you (or anyone else) had any recommendations? I dont like supermarket ‘beef mince’ much, so Im hoping to find one that uses sirloin or premium beef cuts


  9. Great recipe, will use again and again, thanks.

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Jon

      Great that the recipe worked for you. Thanks for dropping by.

  10. carpii

    Hi, I tried this recipe last night because like you I tend to get a huge slab of sirloin every Friday as a treat to myself.

    I think I may have used a little too much butter or oil though, as the fat was bubbling all around the steak, almost boiling the sides, rather than the steak frying in oil.
    There was also quite a thick layer of fat (2-3cm) on the steak which might have caused this, maybe I should have trimmed that down a touch first.

    Because of this, I decided not to use the ‘jus’ as it was mostly oil, but instead made your pesto mushrooms to go on top.

    Both these and the steak was delicious and I will try it again next week (hopefully with a little less fat!)

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