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How To Cook the Perfect Surf 'n' Turf

Chef Eddie’s Guide to the Ultimate Surf ‘n’ Turf 

Surf and turf - or reef and beef, for our Australian friends – is a classic combination of beef (turf) and seafood (surf). Both have their own unique flavours but paired together they are a great flavour combination that you must taste to appreciate.

We sat down with our Chef to ask him all your surf ‘n’ turf related questions. Read until the end to get his miso glaze recipe to add an extra punch.

Is there a trick to getting great surf ‘n’ turf? 

It's a fairly simple combination, so I would say the only trick is starting off with the best ingredients. It’s a great chance to let the natural flavours shine.

What kind of steak should I use? 

Lots of steak cuts will work, so pick your favourite. Fillet would be my first choice because it’s naturally lean, supremely tender and won’t overwhelm the seafood flavour.

If I was looking for an option that’s a bit less luxury (and more cost-effective), I’d go for Flat Iron. It has a great flavour and is tender and juicy when cooked lightly.

Those are my top picks, but you might prefer the intensely rich flavour of rump or ribeye.

What kind of seafood should I use? 

Again, there are plenty of options. King prawns are probably the most popular choice, they’re tasty and easy to cook, a great match for the richness of the beef.

If I was looking to impress, I’d opt for Scottish Langoustine Tails. Sweet, plump and full of a delicate lobster-like flavour. They’re one of my all-time favourites when it comes to seafood. They’re a luxury choice but will wow your guests.

For something a bit different, try King Scallops. Not such a traditional combination, but definitely delicious.

How do I cook them? 

They both need cooked quite differently, so you can’t just throw it all in a pan and hope for the best!

Make sure you take your steak out of the fridge about 20 minutes before cooking, to let it come up to room temperature slowly and avoid the fibres from tensing up when you start cooking.

When it’s ready, pat it dry with a paper towel and lightly oil one side. Put it in a heavy-based, pre-heated pan and leave it – no need to prod or poke at it until it’s time to turn. There are lots of ways to know when it’s cooked the way you want it, but the easiest by far is to use a meat thermometer. Takes out any guess work.

Once it’s cooked to your liking – medium-rare for me, get it resting – take it out of the pan and leave it to rest before serving.

Whilst it’s resting, sauté your seafood. I like to use a fresh pan to keep all the flavours separate. It doesn’t take long. Sear hot in a little oil then add a bit of butter at the end when they are almost cooked let it melt and foam lightly but don’t overcook the seafood. Simply spoon the cooked seafood and butter over your steak before eating.

What can I add for even more flavour? 

There’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple, especially if you have premium-quality ingredients. If you want to add an extra layer of flavour, I have a few suggestions.

Flavoured butter is a classic addition – Garlic & Herb, Béarnaise or even Chimichurri. They’re all quite robust flavours but used carefully, subtle enough in the butter to work excellently with both the beef and the seafood. Melt it gently into the pan at the end of cooking along with a splash of lemon juice and spoon it over your steak.

My favourite addition just now is a miso glaze. Simply take:

- 30g miso paste

- 30g honey

- 10ml soy sauce

and blend to paste. Brush it lightly onto your steak right at the end of cooking, just before letting it rest. There’s umami from the miso, sweetness from the honey and saltiness from the soy sauce. It’s an incredible flavour combination that will elevate your surf ‘n’ turf to a whole new level.

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