Steak and Burnt Onion

Adrian Martin


  • 2 striploin steaks (about 3cm in thickness
  • 2 small onions

For the celeriac

  • 1 celeriac, peeled and cubed
  • 200ml  cream
  • 100g butter
  • Sea salt

For the red wine jus

  • 300ml red wine
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme & rosemary
  • 100ml balsamic vinegar (sometimes I add cherry balsamic for a different flavour)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 600ml beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon of cornflour mixed with water


I eat steak at least once a week. I love all the different cuts there are to choose from. I highly recommend going to your butcher for steak, as they can really help you choose the best cuts. The cooking guide provided here works great with sirloin, striploin, fillet, ribeye, flank and skirt steak. How long you need to cook your steak to achieve your liking really depends on how thick it is. Checking the steak by touch really makes a difference. Knowing the different tensions can really tell you how cooked it is. Soft means it’s rare/medium rare, springy means it’s medium and solid means well done. Use a spoon or tongs of course, so you don’t lose your fingerprint!

Five steps to cooking the perfect steak at home

  1. Take steaks out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to allow them to come to room temperature.
  2. Lightly brush the steak with a little olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper just before cooking.
  3. Heat your griddle or frying pan over a high heat, until smoking hot. Don’t griddle more than two steaks at a time, and keep them spaced well apart. If you add more than two steaks to the pan at once, the temperature will drop and the steak will stew, rather than fry.
  4. Seal each side of the steak with some fresh thyme and crushed garlic for 30 seconds on a very high heat, then finish cooking in a preheated oven at 190ºC/375ºF/gas mark 5 to your liking (see timings below).
  5. Let the steak rest for about 5 minutes (in tinfoil) before serving, to allow the juices that have been drawn to the surface to relax back into the meat.

How long to cook a steak for:

These timings are based on cooking a steak that’s about 3cm thick. (Cooking times will vary depending on the type and thickness of the steak, and how hot your pan is.)

Blue: 1 minute each side. No oven required

Rare: 1½ minutes in the oven (after searing).

Medium rare: 2½ minutes in the oven (after searing).

Medium: 4 minutes in the oven (after searing).

Medium–well done: 5–7 minutes in the oven (after searing).

For the Burnt Onion

To make the burnt onion, preheat the oven to 180ºC/400ºF/gas mark 6. Cut the onions in half, leaving the skins on. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to a really hot frying pan and fry the onions until they are burnt on the side you’ve faced down over a very high heat. Now place them into the oven for 3 minutes, then set aside to cool. Once cooled, peel out the individual layers carefully discarding the skin.

For the Celeriac

In a saucepan with the celeriac cover it with water. Boil the vegetable until it is very soft that you can mash it with a fork. Depending on the vegetable will really depend on how long this takes.

Drain off the water and allow the vegetable to steam so the water evaporates. Sometimes you will need to add the vegetable back into the pan and on a low heat evaporate the water, it just really depends on how wet the vegetable used is.

Place the celeriac back into the pan, add the cream and bring to the boil and cook on a medium heat for 1 minute.

Place the celeriac, cream and butter into a blender. Season with sea salt  tasting as you add small amounts of salt and then blend until very smooth.

The purée should be able to hold a thick consistency coating the back of a spoon.  A good tip for stabilizing a wet purée is by adding a quarter teaspoon of xanthan gum to the purée and blitz until thickened.

If you like it very smooth you can pass it through a sieve with a ladle. (I highly recommend this if you plan to pipe it through a squeezy bottle).

For the red wine jus

In a good-sized saucepan, add the red wine and herbs. Boil on a high heat until reduced by half, then add the balsamic vinegar and honey and reduce slightly again.

Add the beef stock and thicken by reduction or with the cornflour. Taste and make sure it has the right balance of sweet and sour. Sometimes, you may need to adjust by adding a little more vinegar or honey.

Pass through a sieve right before serving. Make in advanced and reheat just before serving.