Now that it’s BBQ time, we thought we’d run you through a step-by-step guide on how to cook the perfect steak and match it with the perfect wine.
Believe us, the cooking and the matching really does make the difference between an incredible
dining experience and an ordinary one. Learning these simple fundamentals will make you the hero at your next get together with family and friends (we know you all secretly want to be the wielder of the tongs and pourer of the wine). And let’s face it, if you’re paying good money for your steak and your wine, they should taste as good as possible together.
Sound complicated? It can be, but we’re going to break it down into a quick reference guide that’s super simple!
COOKING YOUR PRIZED PIECE OF BEEF…
- Brush your steak with oil and season really well with salt & pepper.
- Resist the temptation to add more oil to the pan… it doesn’t need it if it’s on your steak.
- We want sizzle… and lots of it when your steak hits the grill. Make sure it’s hot, hot, hot.
- Grill it on one side until a bit of moisture appears on top of your steak.
- Don’t poke and prod it… let it do it’s thing.
- Turn it once only (yes, put the tongs down BBQ master. Once is enough!) and grill to your degree of liking.
Want it Rare?
- The steak will feel very soft when you press it.
Medium not Mediocre?
- The steak will feel springy when you press it.
Well Done not Dusted?
- The steak will feel very firm when you press it.
- Always rest your steak in a warm place before serving. This allows the steak to relax (give it a break, it’s just been over hot flames) and retain all of its juiciness. If you cut it open before you’ve rested it then all the juices will run out onto the plate. That not only looks less than glamorous, but you’ll be doing yourself out of a flavour sensation.
NOW ONTO THE PERFECT WINE MATCH…
Amazingly, the cut and how long you cook your steak will greatly affect the best wine match. In situations like this, we find it easiest to think about balance. If you like your steak rare, it will be less caramelised than if you like it medium or well done. This means we need to balance the degree of ‘charred-ness’ with the weight of the wine. So, if you like your steak rare, go for lighter bodied reds and if you like your steak more ‘done’ go for progressively richer red wines.
Then we need to look at the cuts:
- Fillet is light in flavour and very tender, so try a Pinot Noir (particularly if you like it rare).
- Porterhouse is fuller in flavour than fillet, so it can handle a wine with a little more weight. Bring out a Cabernet or Cabernet Merlot.
- Ribeye has more fat content that the other two cuts, so it’s packed full of flavour. Hit it with a shiraz and then undo the top button of your pants.
Well, we hope that helps you out with your summer BBQ’s. Give it a shot and let us know how you go.
Grab a copy of our book “In Search of the Perfect Partner (The Food & Wine Matching Formula)” for more recipes and wine matches, hints and tips!