Pan-fried T-Bone Steak with Black Pepper Gravy

The T-bone is a steak of beef that includes a “T-shaped” bone with 2 cuts of meat – “sirloin’ on one side and “fillet” on the other.  The bone conducts heat within the meat so that it cooks more evenly and prevents meat drying out and shrinking during cooking. It also cooks quickly so I prefer to pan fry the T-bone.

How do I know if the steak is cooked or not?  Meat gets firmer as it cooks, so you can test meat doneness by touch.  A soft steak is probably uncooked and a very hard steak is well and truly over-cooked.  I am told most chefs use the finger test to test for doneness. It works like this:

Touch the fleshy part of the palm at the base of the thumb.  It feels soft, much like the raw steak before you start cooking.

Touch the tip of your index finger to the tip of your thumb, the fleshy part feels firmer but still soft. This is how meat feels when it’s RARE.

Touch the tip of your middle finger to the tip of your thumb, the fleshy part feels even firmer but spongy. That’s how a MEDIUM RARE steak feels.

Touch the tip of your ring finger to the tip of your thumb, the fleshy part feels firm.  That’s how a MEDIUM steak will feel like.

Touch tip of your pinky finger to the tip of your thumb, the fleshy part feels hard but springy, like a tennis ball.  This is how a WELL-DONE steak will feel like.

Use this guide as you touch the surface of the steak you are cooking to achieve the doneness you require.

INGREDIENTS (serves 1)

  • 1 piece T-bone steak
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 10 gm butter
  • 1/2 beef stock cube
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper (ground)


1. Take the steak out of the fridge an hour ahead of cooking to bring it to room temperature.

2. Season the steak with salt and black pepper just before frying.

3. Heat oil in the pan and when oil is smoking, add the steak and let if fry for 3 mins.

4. Check that it is brown before flipping it over to fry for another 3 mins.  This should produce a medium rare steak. Increase time taken if a medium or well done steak is desired. Use the finger test (as described above) to achieve the doneness of the steak you require.

5. Remove the steak to a serving dish to rest for at least 5 mins.

6. Using the same pan, lower the heat and add butter and garlic.  Fry till fragrant.

7. Add beef stock cube and water to the pan. Stir well to dissolve stock cube.  Add ground black pepper.

8. Simmer the gravy for a couple of mins and then reduce the gravy to a desired consistency.

9. Pour the gravy over the steak and serve with potato chips, tomatoes and cucumber.



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