Dany Karam has some claim to the World’s Best Steak. As the executive chef of The Star’s BLACK Bar & Grill, Karam’s search for high-quality produce led him to beef-producer Jack’s Creek, NSW, and its 450-day grain-fed F2+ Wagyu. In both 2015 and 2016 Jack’s Creek was voted World’s Best Steak producer at the World’s Best Steak Challenge. But according to Karam it’s “the quality and the methodology of how we cook it” that presents it at its finest.
While we can’t all plate up Jack’s Creek on the table, Karam has several tricks of the trade you can easily apply in your own kitchen.
Begin with high-quality meat and salt, paired with oil and a good-quality pan or barbeque. “That’s all you need in terms of ingredients,” says Karam.
The secret is to not let the steak’s juices escape. To do this you need salt. “Once you’ve got your steak, bring it up to room temperature then leave it out for 10–15 minutes,” says Karam. Then “seal it” by sprinkling it with good-quality salt.
Hot but not too hot
“Make sure your pan is on high heat and add some oil,” says Karam. “Use grapeseed oil if you can because it’s a light oil. Then begin searing your steak on high heat.” You should get a nice crust in the first three minutes, then turn it – and keep turning it. The reason, says Karam, is “the heat will push the juices up and out of your steak,” so you need to strike a balance between cooking it and not letting it get too hot.
Have a rest
Once your steak is cooked to your liking, let it rest. Again, this will help seal in those juices. “However long you cook your steak is however long you need to rest it for,” says Karam. “If you cooked your steak for five minutes, rest it for five minutes. Do this so when you cut into the steak the juices spill out.”
Finish the dish with sides
Karam favours sides like charred onion and smoked potato but suggests something simpler at home. “If you’re having a Wagyu, you need something vinegary to cut through the marble,” he says. “Something like a chimichurri sauce or asparagus with a lemon butter dressing.”
Top and tail
A steak dinner isn’t finished without something to wash it down. Diners at BLACK Bar & Grill can pair their meals with specially curated BLACK cocktails, like the Magic Gosling (rum and Grand Marnier, rinsed with La Gatinoise and garnished with a flamed orange peel). But at home there’s no need to stray from a glass of red.