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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. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Carpii

    I think that you’re right there. But either way it’s a delicious dish.

  2. Hi Glynn,
    Just to second Danny’s comments (not that Im an expert or anything 🙂

    Ive tried making the jus both ways before.

    If you leave them in, both the onions and mushrooms will take on the deep purple color of the wine.
    Personally I think they look more appetising as natural colors, rather than when they’re an identical color to the jus.

  3. Hello, Glynn and thank you very much for taking the time to post that happy report 🙂
    I guess people have their own way of cooking the onions and mushrooms. This is what I usually do:
    Cook the onions in the pan that you will be cooking the steak in. Cook the mushrooms in a separate saucepan.
    Take the onions out before cooking the steak and store in a warm oven. Add a little olive oil to the pan and fry your steak. When the steak is cooked, remove it to a warm place. Start making the jus and pour in any juice from the mushrooms to add flavour (water first, then mushroom juice, otherwise it might just burn off in a few seconds).
    Good luck again tonight.

  4. well I cooked the steak your way, but forgot to do the jus, the wife said it was the best steak she had ever tasted. She who must be obeyed is shopping for steak and red wine for tonights dinner, so the jus will be made as well, I noticed people saying cook mushrooms and onions at the same time as the steak, would you leave them in the pan as you make the jus or remove them when the steak comes out and keep them warm?.
    Thanks so much for the recipe, you have made a 62 year old Yorkshire man living in Scotland very happy

  5. Louise, I was just like you for many years until I read Michel Blanc’s tips in one of his cookbooks.
    We have adopted the method described by Che in his comment above and apply the oil mix to the steak before frying it on a reasonably hot skillet. I love the scorch marks. Almost as good as the flavour from a restaurant charcoal grill.
    Many thanks for taking the trouble to leave feedback. I think the biggest kick that Fiona and I get from this blog is when somebody reports back that one of our recipes was a success for them, so double thanks.

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Louise

    Thanks for leaving such positive feedback.

  7. I have tried endless ways to cook steak and I have to say this is by far the best result i’ve ever had. The steak was tender and juicy, the jus was sweet and delicious. I will continue to use this way of cooking – thank you for a successful dinner.

  8. Laura

    Thank you so much for sharing this!! My friend’s misfortune was my gain… her freezer died, and she had to get rid of many pounds of sirloin steak. I hadn’t ever been fortunate enough to have much of it, and so I searched the Net to find out how best to cook it. Thankfully I found your site! I followed the directions exactly, and my family has been singing our praises ever since (though really the kudos are all yours) 🙂 Just wanted to let you know you’ve made a difference in the lives of five well fed West Virginians….. Again, many thanks!

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Laura

      Danny will be so pleased to read this. Thanks for dropping by.

  9. Gwladys, thats interesting.
    Ive heard of beef and ale pie before, but Ive not heard of marinating steak in bitter.

    I think I may well give that one a try. Luckily Im also in Yorkshire ;D

  10. Gwladys Street

    Made sirloin steak for lunch, and we’re now settling down to watch Everton hopefully win the FA Cup final against Chelsea.

    Marinated ours over night in a pint of Yorkshire Bitter, which was later used to make gravy with the bits in the pan. Beer helps to superhydrate the steak and make it more tender.

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