Liam Dillon, award-winning chef patron of the Michelin-recommended The Boat Inn, just outside Lichfield, shares his top tips for cooking a weekend favourite
Liam says: “I often get asked what’s easy to cook at home, and steak, chips and peppercorn sauce is a
perfect Friday or Saturday night winner!”
• Work with your butcher to make sure you know where your meat is from and how it was looked after.
Choose a breed of beef with good fat content. Speak to your butcher and build up a relationship with
them. I’m always talking to Bradshaws of Cannock.
• Don’t run before you can walk. Get used to cooking steaks before trying something on the bone or
bigger sharing cuts.
• Use a chipper potato for the chips, such as Maris Piper or King Edward. Potatoes with a high sugar
content will brown before they get crispy.
• Marinade the steak in herbs, pepper and oil. Only add salt just before going into the pan. Season and
oil the steak rather than the pan. Too much oil at this point will reduce the pan’s heat and not give a
great colour to the steak.
Mistakes to avoid:
• Don’t be scared to leave your steak out at room temperature before cooking for 10-15 minutes We are
all scared of meat being left out of the fridge, but having a steak that is fridge temperature in the middle
will always give you different results and be harder to nail that perfect end result.
•Don’t just dive in when it comes out of the oven. Resting a cooked steak is just as important as cooking
it! Let it rest for as long as possible for the meat to relax. If it needs a little heat before serving, do it!
I do like a rich sauce with my steak, so either a blue cheese or a peppercorn. Here is how we make our
peppercorn sauce at the restaurant:
Finely dine two shallots, two cloves of garlic, half a red chilli (deseeded) and half a teaspoon of finely
Sweat on a medium heat until onions become translucent. Grind a mixture of pink, green and white
peppercorns (teaspoon of each) using a pestle and mortar or food processor.
Add ground peppercorns to the pan along with a knob of butter and cook out for two minutes. Add
300ml of a quality beef stock and some resting juices and reduce by half. Then finish with a splash of
double cream. If you like your sauce smooth, pass through a fine sieve just before serving.
Heat at Home
Liam is offering heat at home boxes with a direct link to his YouTube channel where he explains the
menu while showing a novice cook how to put the dishes together. A bit of fun at an affordable price,
these boxes are available for nationwide delivery from February. The boxes are £31.95 for the normal
menu and £29.95 for the vegan menu, and can be ordered online at