A local butcher + cooking perfectly medium-rare steaks

8 Nov

After some internet investigation, I found a great butcher in Kungsholmen called Taylors and Jones.  Founded by an Irish butcher and a Welsh chef, Taylors and Jones provide “quality meats, sausages, cheeses and other specialties from the British Isles,” and use “only quality Swedish meat in [their] sausages and offer English butcher style cuts in [their] meat counters.”  People seem to have great things to say about them, and, as the butcher is only about a 20 minute walk from our apartment, we had to check it out.

Taylors and Jones is not big.  It has the feel of a neighborhood butcher, and sells fantastic dry-aged beef, various cuts of pork, and a wide array of homemade sausages, alongside some British imported cheeses, groceries and snacks.  Everyone is very friendly there, and helpful with questions.  We bought 2 steaks of dry-aged bone-less rib-eye, as well as 2 pork chops and a few selections of sausages.

High-quality cuts of beef — especially dry-aged — are not for everyday consumption, since they are on the expensive side.  For 2 steaks, we paid 340SEK, or about $46US — definitely a more “special” occasion home-meal.  But when you consider cooking at home versus dining out, and how expensive it is to eat out in general in Stockholm, eating gorgeous steaks at home seems like a fabulous and preferred option.  A main dish at restaurants generally hover around the 220SEK mark or more — and that’s for one person!  From this perspective, cooking a fantastic steak dinner at home seems quite sensible.  What you don’t want to do is overcook these steaks at home.

Before cooking the steaks, it’s important to bring them back to room temperature.  I generally take the steaks out of the fridge, put them on a plate, and let them sit for about 30 minutes.  Then, I salt and pepper both sides of the steaks, and leave them for about another 15 or 20 minutes (out of the fridge).  Bringing the meat back to room temperature helps to cook the meat evenly.

For a steak of about  1-1.5 inch thickness, my magic timing for a medium-rare steak is about 3 minutes on each side, and then resting the steaks for 5 minutes.  It’s better to under-cook the steaks and have to cook some more, than to over-cook them.  If the steak is bone-in, then the cooking time could be longer (from my experience, usually by about 1 more minute on each side).  Cooking time will vary between stoves/burners.  The electric burner in our Stockholm apartment definitely has spots that seem hotter than others, which I’m still in the process of figuring out.  In the mean time, I rotate the pan halfway during cooking to try to even out the hotspot exposure.

Heat a skillet with some olive oil.  Get your timer ready.  When the skillet is nice and hot, put the steaks on the pan, and start the clock.  At 3 minutes (or more if the steak is thicker, or you want it better done than medium rare), turn over the steaks.

After cooking the other side for 3 minutes (total of 6 minutes cooking time), take the steaks off the pan and put them aside on a plate to rest.  Rest the meat for 5 minutes.

Perfectly medium-rare!  I like to eat good quality steaks very simply, without any sauces.  On this occasion, I roasted some cauliflower for a side vegetable, and we had some leftover eggplant and zucchini ratatouille I’d made the night before.

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