We need to eat more steak! Since restaurants have closed there is build-up of the expensive prime cuts of meat favoured by top chefs.

In Valvona & Crolla we only buy Scotch Beef, Aberdeen Angus x Limousin breed which has a rich depth of flavour and good marbling.

Our preferred cut for a juicy, tender melt-in-the-mouth steak is well-aged rib-eye, at least 21 days. I prefer one large cut of steak to cook in one piece then slice to share in strips.

Find a good butcher to support. The price of his beef will always be worth it and look for the many online delivery offers. As Joanna Blythman writes this weekend, on the next page, buy Scottish.

My top tip when cooking steak is that in a restaurant kitchen the appliances are searing hot, at temperatures far higher than we can ever achieve at home. Recreate this by using a heavy-bottomed pan and heating it for 15-20 minutes before starting to cook.


Serves 2-3


350-450g Aberdeen Angus/limousin rib eye steak

Sea salt

Black pepper

Clove garlic, peeled and halved

Extra virgin olive oil


Sprig of fresh thyme

Red wine


Twenty minutes before cooking, remove the meat from the fridge.

Season well with sea salt and black pepper.

Stud the steak with the garlic.

Rub all over with a smear of olive oil.

Fifteen minutes before cooking, heat a heavy-bottomed, ridged frying pan on a high heat.

Lay the steak on the hot pan, press down so the meat has good contact with the pan, and leave untouched for 2 minutes until it is well seared. Turn the steak over and sear the underside.

Now use tongs to hold the fat on the side of the steak onto the heat, pressing it down to sear the fat and render it down.

Lay the steak back down to finish cooking. Add the blob of butter and the fresh thyme. Spoon the juices over the meat.

Press the steak to assess how it is cooked. The feel of the palm of your hand is rare; the flesh of your thumb is medium. For well done, the meat will feel like the you are pressing your wrist.

Remove to a wooden board and leave to rest. Keep the heat on the pan and add good splash of red wine.

Use a wooden spatula to scrape any crusts and keep the heat on high to burn off any alcohol and reduce to make a sauce.

Cut the steak into 3-4 cm thick slices.

Divide between everyone and serve with the juices from the steak and the sauce drizzled over it.

Mary Contini is an author and broadcaster and director of Valvona & Crolla. Easy Peasy: Real Cooking for Kids by Mary Contini and Pru Irvine is out now

Valvona & Crolla are trading online during this period. Visit www.valvonacrolla.co.uk or call 0131 556 6066