With celebrity chef Mark Southon
He’s internationally trained, a celebrated New Zealand celebrity chef, current Head Chef at the award winning O’Connell Street Bistro and also resident chef on TV3’s morning show, The Café. But this UK born chef is first - a man . So, we caught up with Mark at his home for the first issue of ‘Man Food’ to get a lesson (and watch him work his magic) on the quintessential man food - STEAK.
So, let's talk steak....
What man doesn’t love a good steak? There’s something primal in it. Tending to raw meat over hot coals, imparting that unique, rich, charred flavour. Calling your mates around for a few cold ones, enjoying the ritual of bro talk around the BBQ while you take in the irresistible smoky aromas. There are loads of opinions out there on how best to approach steak – but we trust Mark’s expertise as both a chef with some serious chops, and as a man that loves a good steak. He’s here to help you achieve meaty perfection.
KNOW YOUR STEAK
Melt in your mouth if done right. Very lean, so best served as rare as possible. One of the more expensive choices at the butcher.
Often underrated due to the price, but it’s a good meaty steak with more texture and great flavour.
It’s sirloin and eye fillet divided by a t-shaped bone. Great taste from lean marbled flesh. A bit expensive as you pay a bit for the bone weight.
Tender with texture, more fat, more flavour and can come on the bone for better cooking.
Very textured, lots of flavour, but can be chewy if not cooked rare/med rare. Inexpensive cut, but pays off if treated well on the grill.
Tender with some texture, less fat but still flavoursome. Good in the pan or on the grill. A bit easier on the wallet than fillet.
RIB EYE ON THE BONE
One of my favourites, has amazing flavour and is easy to get right with a few tried and true techniques. It’s a simple recipe without fuss or tons of seasoning – a good cut, that’s cooked beautifully, can speak for itself.
What You’ll Need:
Bone-in Rib Eye (go thick, 2.5 - 3cm) , Oil, Flaky Sea Salt, Cracked Black Pepper
BBQ & Charcoal Method: Allow the meat about 30 minutes to get to room temperature if it’s been in the fridge. Prepare your BBQ. You need to have it very hot to ensure a sear. Light the coals, allow them to get slightly ashed and glowing and then spread them evenly. Season generously with sea salt and pepper and rub with a bit of oil on both sides.
When the BBQ is ready, place on the grill and don’t touch it for 2 minutes, then rotate it 90º to achieve a crisscross char mark pattern (fancy, eh?) Repeat on the other side. Gently prod the steak to determine doneness. This is the trickiest part - but easy enough. For a more well done steak (if you must) leave on the grill turning regularly or, if you have a particularly thick steak place it on the top rack with the lid closed to maintain heat.
Rest your meat. I’ll repeat. REST YOUR MEAT - for at least a 1/3 of your cooking time. This is essential and allows the meat and juices to equalise. It’s worth the wait.
IS IT DONE?
Press the top of your thumb against each of your fingers. Compare the firmness of the soft part of your hand, just below your thumb, to your steak to determine how rare it is.
SERVE IT UP
Pour some drinks, slice across the grain and serve to your mates. We dished up with some nice mustard, homemade BBQ sauce and chutney along with some char-grilled veggies for good measure (recipe follows).
• Medium Rare for the best taste.
• Neat Meat in Ponsonby for great cuts.
• The Akron Chargriller from BBQ’s and More to get a perfect steak every time.
WHAT TO POUR
VALLI GIBBSTON PINOT NOIR - THE PERFECT WINE CHOICE WITH STEAK
Bright garnet colour with rose petals, red cherry, doris plum and baking spice on the nose. A long and highly aromatic palate with layers of delicious red fruit, rosemary, wild thyme and an earthiness that compliments the enchanting florals. This is a worldly Pinot Noir with great length, fine tannins, vibrant acidity and noble power. Its unique character sings harmoniously of its Gibbston origins, a tiny place that produces exceptional wine that is enjoyed young and will also continue to develop for many years to come.
SWEAT SHOP BREW KITCHEN - THE MOST MANLY OF APA’S
At 6% this is a powerful but fine-tuned APA. This beer has been brewed with a meaty food pairing in mind. Definitely recommended with steak if you’re a beer guy.
Meet the salad you can cook on the BBQ
MARK’S GRILLED VEGETABLE SALAD
1 bunch asparagus
1 red onion
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper (courgettes and eggplant also work well)
Slice the peppers and onions and season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil. Grill on a hot BBQ until coloured and slightly softened. Repeat the process with the asparagus, but trim an inch off the base of each stalk. Leave the rest whole. Asparagus cooks quickly so will only take a few minutes. Cut down the vegetables if you feel they are too large, then drizzle with a small amount of citrus oil, sherry vinegar and a pinch of salt.
Arrange the vegetables on a plate and grate over some Parmesan cheese.