Cook and pair steak like a pro

So you're planning a steak-and-wine dinner? Buy a top-quality cut at Woolworths, then follow our expert tips on how to cook it perfectly, plus find advice on choosing great wines to match.

6 steps to cooking the perfect steak

  1. Woolworths TASTE food director Abigail Donnelly recommends choosing steak on the bone, such as rib-eye, for maximum flavour. Always rub it with duck fat to create a layer that will transform into a crust once cooked.
  2. Her expert advice is to always hang the steak for at least two hours at room temperature before cooking. This will help the crust develop and the meat to cook perfectly.
  3. Always cook the prepared steak in a searingly hot cast-iron pan to seal in the juices and develop the crust.
  4. For a rare steak with dark red meat and some juices, cook it for two-and-a-half minutes on each side. For medium rare meat – pink flesh with some pink juices – cook it for three-and-a-half minutes on each side. If you like your steak medium, with pale pink meat, cook it for four-and-a-half minutes on each side, and for well done, cook it for five minutes per side.
  5. "Always let steak rest for five to ten minutes after cooking to allow the juices to distribute throughout the meat," says Abigail.
  6. If you're braaiing your steak, TASTE contributing food editor Hannah Lewry recommends choosing sirloin. Allow it to come to room temperature, brush with canola oil and braai over hot coals for five minutes per side, then rest for 10 minutes. Heat butter in a pan on the braai until browned, then drizzle over the steak and serve.


The best steak-and-wine pairings

It's not necessarily as simple as matching steak with red wine. The cut of meat you're eating can affect which bottle you decide to open. The delicate flavour of fillet off the bone, for example, will go well with a Pinot Noir but would be overwhelmed by a big Cabernet Sauvignon.

For other great matches, try rump with Merlot, sirloin with Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon with rib-eye, and fillet on the bone with a red blend. And the richness of a dry-aged steak will be perfect with a full-bodied, oaked Chardonnay – the acidity in the wine will cut through the fattiness and complement the umami flavour of the meat.