It is so easy to get carried away with ‘clever recipes’. At times we should get back to how simple first rate cooking can be. That goes for the BBQ too! This is a perfect example of that – a wonderfully cooked rump steak! What could be simpler? A good piece of rump and something hot to cook it on. We found these 2 small rump steaks in the freezer. They weighed just 360g (together) and had been hung for 28 days before VacPacking.
There are so many ways of cooking steak but in principal, they are all the same. Apply lots of heat to the outside of the steak so it colours and undergoes the Maillard reaction but keep the inside relatively cool so it doesn’t overcook.
The Maillard reaction is the chemical reaction between amino acids and reduced sugars that gives seared food its distinctive flavour. It is named after French chemist Louis-Camille Maillard. He first described the reaction in 1912. It occurs most rapidly between 140 to 165C. At higher temperatures caramelisation occurs (a browning of sugars). When cooking steak it is likely that both processes are present. When the meat touches a surface the surface temperature drops. If it starts at 250C it may quickly fall (at the surface) to between 140-165C.
So we need a hot surface and one that will contact as much of the meat as possible – we have (largely) moved from using the cast iron grill (which is good) to using a solid cast iron surface (which is better). And perhaps one of the easiest to use is the flat side of the cast-iron plancha made for the BGE MiniMax.
(This is a really good product in it’s own right and also makes a great lid for the matching skillet). Simply light the EGG and allow the temperature to get up to around 180C. Then add the stainless steel grid and place the plancha on top and allow the temperature to increase to around 250C.
The steak was around 2cm thick and had been allowed to come to room temperature for an hour or so. It was dried before seasoning with salt. You can wipe with a little oil before seasoning with salt – or simply get straight to it and season with salt. The steak was dropped onto the plancha and the lid of the EGG closed. The steak was cooked for probably 90 seconds, then flipped over for a further 90 seconds. At this point, we used an instant read thermometer to measure the core temperature of the steak.
We were looking to remove these steaks from the heat when the core temperature reached 51C so that when resting the core temperature would drift towards around 56C and a nice medium finish.
Depending on the temperature at this point, then the rest of the cooking time was estimated. The remaining cooking time was divide between the 2 surfaces – on this occasion ours needed a further 60 seconds on each side. Just before the core temperature reached 50C we stood the steaks on their fatty edge to render the fat and to make it beautifully brown “crozzley”!! – The Maillard reaction on full throttle!
The steaks were removed and wrapped in a double layer of foil and covered with a towel to keep warm whilst they rest for around 10 minutes. We use this time to cook or finish off whatever vegetables we are intending to serve with the steak.
Plating was simple: slice some or all of the steak across the grain and serve on your chosen vegetables. Add a little olive oil and fresh pepper
……………….. serve and enjoy the fruits of your labours!
Simple Rump Steak
Rump steak cooked simply on very hot cast-iron - possibly the perfect way to do a steak
- 1 or 2 good rump steaks - these were 180g each
- Step 1 With a steak around 2cm thick bring to room temperature for around 1 hour, dry and season with salt (if you wish pre-wipe with olive oil.
- Step 2 Light the BGE and when it reaches around 180C add the stainless steel grid and place a cast-iron plancha on top and allow the temperature to increase to around 250C
- Step 3 Drop the steak onto the plancha and closet the lid of the EGG. Sear for around 90 seconds then flip over for a further 90 seconds. At this point, use an instant read thermometer to measure the core temperature of the steak.
- Step 4 Calculate the rest of the cooking time depending on the temperature with perhaps up to 60 seconds more on each side. When the core temperature reached 50C stand the steaks on their fatty edge to render the fat and make it crispy
- Step 5 Remove the steaks and wrap in a double layer of foil and cover with a towel to keep warm whilst it rests for around 10 minutes. Use this time to finish off whatever vegetables you are intending to serve with the steak.
- Step 6 Plate and serve