Grill the Perfect T-bone Steak, Sean Connolly-style

Our favourite griller Sean Connolly is the master of cooking a good steak.  We sat down with him at one of his Auckland restaurants, The Grill, to talk about one of his favourite cuts – the mighty T-bone.

My favourite steak is a Bistecca Fiorentina – a traditional dish from Florence. Why I love a T-bone so much is because it’s cooked on the bone – you get more flavour and it’s more fun to cook with.

My advice when you go to the butcher to buy a T-bone cut is make sure it weighs 800g-1kg and ask for the best end – they might grumble because it means you get the best eye of fillet along with the sirloin. You see, the T-bone is actually the spine that runs up the middle of the animal and separates the sirloin from the eye fillet – both of these cuts are connected to the T-shaped bone.

I think the skill of cooking a good T-bone is that you keep it simple with a little bit of light olive oil (you don’t want the flavour to affect the meat) massaged into the beef and a crust of very sweet sea salt (my favourite is Maldon) and crushed white pepper and stand the T-bone on its end. The thicker the T-bone, the better it’ll stand on the grill or your barbecue or even in your frying pan.

What that does is permeates heat through the centre of the bone and it’s almost like a chimney – the shaft of the T-bone, if you like (there’s a Sean-ism for you), acts as a conductor and heats the meat. You want to sit that there on its end for about six minutes and then turn it on its side and it caramelises nicely for another six minutes on each side. Take it off the heat and rest it for about 10-15 minutes and there’s your perfect, medium-rare T-bone – most commonly ordered at The Grill with duck fat roast potatoes and a beautiful green salad.