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. There is a great guide on cooking steak at this site plus they do some amazing steaks available to buy online!

  2. just looking for recipes for a sirloin joint i’m trying when i came across this recipe i’ll definately be trying it i just want to say to a previous comment that i like nothing better than than lighting up the bbq in november in a fleece and cooking with beer or glass of wine, i have a friend of mine who has a bbq every xmas eve as his familys tradition (we both grew up in south africa so it was bbq for xmas not turkey) hope you have more recipes on here because i like how you cook

  3. fantastic recipe! I’m not good at cooking meat, but this was so easy, the instructions were very easy to understand and it turned out perfect.

    • Fiona Nevile

      Good news! We don’t eat steak so much these days but when we do we follow this method.

  4. sabrina webb

    So I just bought a beef loin ball tip steak and need to cook them in a skillet. I have never cooked a steak in my life and I want to get it just right. I need it to be medium well. The package says it weighs 1.34 pounds….how long should I cook?

  5. P Williams

    Hey guys – really enjoyed the jus, so simple yet so tasty. Ended up carving another hunk of bread to mop up the remainder!

    2 mins each side in a hot pan plus 5 resting is just about perfect for a medium-rare ribeye, so thanks for that also!

    Only thing I’d say is that if you’re running a v hot cast-iron skillet, be careful with peppering your steaks directly. If you get too much powder on them, you’ll get an unpleasant burnt flavour. So if you’re a pepper fiend like me, my suggestion is to crack some fresh peppercorns in your grinder or a mortar, then sieve to remove any fine powder. The cracked pepper can then be pressed into the meat with some decent sea salt flakes. You won’t regret it!

  6. Thanks for this great, simple recipe. Tried it twice, and got great results both times.

    I Did improvise a bit – I had a clove of oak smoked garlic, which I used instead of the powder, and I poured the jus over some portobello mushrooms and red onions I’d reduced in a separate pan.

    served with a small port, it was divine.

  7. Have been looking for a fool proof way of cooking sirloin for soo long!! this receipe is absolutley fantastic!! I need never go out for a steak dinner again!! Thankyou!!!

  8. Melissa

    I am cooking these steaks tonight for New Years day dinner. I can’t wait to try the recipe…it will be a little off since I don’t have any balsalmic, but I am sure it will still be a great meal. I’ll let you know 🙂

  9. Hello! I just made this and it was delish! One thing I added was as mixture of blue cheese and butter, but then I am from Chicago where I was used to putting blue cheese with everything.haha

  10. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Morghanne

    Great that this method worked for you. Danny is really good at cooking steaks. When I want a night off from cooking guess what I buy!

Leave a Reply

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

HTML tags are not allowed.

2,241,870 Spambots Blocked by Simple Comments

Copyright © 2006-2023 Cottage Smallholder      Our Privacy Policy      Advertise on Cottage Smallholder