The Ultimate Steak Manual

As a consequence of our lacking antlers to sort matters out, man’s competitive nature can lead to all manner of attempted besting between friends. One popular method is over a flame. Not by wrestling on a bonfire, but by outdoing your pal in the cooking of man’s greatest culinary obsession: the steak.

The steak is the connoisseur’s meat dish; a subject of debate, delight and potential disappointment. To encourage the first two and avoid the last, we’ve consulted three prime-cut experts and one wine expert to produce a definitive instruction manual so that you, the antlerless man, can prevail in the battle of the beef.


The rib-eye is the rising star of the steak world. As people have become more steak-conscious, this fatty, flavoursome cut has shot up the popularity charts.

“Our customers’ favourite cut,” says Richard Turner, head chef at London’s famous Hawksmoor steak restaurant. “The fat content gives it a lot of flavour. Cut it at least an inch thick and cook it a bit more than some steaks — medium or medium-rare — so it can absorb the fat. You don’t want fat with fat, so I’d suggest serving with a nice tomato salad. For a 250g steak, you’re looking at 4-6mins for medium-rare, 6-8mins for medium, although times are never precise.”

Fat is key to the rib-eye’s appeal. One of the fore-ribs, it usually has no bone in and no fat around it; instead, it is infused with the stuff. It’s an important factor when buying your steak, as Michael Gale, master butcher at Allens Of Mayfair (, explains: “You want good marbling [little rivers of fat running through the meat],” he says. “And there’s a square of fat at one end. Make sure that’s large. Any steak except fillet should be more than 21 days old, but avoid anything older than 35 days

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