Giuseppe d’Ambrosio turns up the heat in Big Mamma Cucina Popolare

Phaidon’s Upskill Sessions - How to Cook the Perfect Steak

Self-isolation isn’t an end to self-improvement. Use this time to master those skills normal life got in the way of

Are you still struggling to get the work life balance thing going after a couple of weeks working at home or self-isolating? Feeling in serious need of a  bit of ‘me’ time. Well personal indulgence needn’t come at the expense of personal improvement. And with that thought firmly in ind, we’ve been pulling together edited extracts from some of our best, most authoritative cookbooks, to offer you a guide to making some fine gastronomic basics which may have evaded you up until now. 

If you’d like to treat yourself this weekend, why not master the practice of cooking (and then of course eating) the perfect steak, courtesy of Giuseppe d’Ambrosio, the Big Mamma chef who contributed this pro tip to our hearty, fun cookbook from this group of bellissima Italian restaurants, Big Mamma Cucina Popolare

Here's what you need: 1 x 1-kg/2¼-lb bone-in rib steak, 4 cm/1½ inches thick; a tablespoon olive oil; salt and pepper. 

Preheat the oven to 240 degrees C/475 degrees F/Gas Mark 9. A good cut of beef deserves to be cooked to perfection. Start by rubbing the meat well with salt and pepper. In an ovenproof frying pan (skillet) with a little splash of olive oil over a very high heat, sear the meat on one of its sides for 5 minutes to form a crust. Don’t worry if it sticks to the pan – this is normal. Using tongs, grasp the meat firmly – but not too firmly or you’ll damage it – and sear all edges and then turn it over and sear the other side.


Big Mamma Cucina Popolare
Big Mamma Cucina Popolare


Put the pan in the preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes. You can adjust the cooking time to your preferred level of doneness. Transfer the steak to a plate and wrap in aluminium foil. Leave to rest for a few minutes. Cut the steak into 2-cm/¾-inch-thick slices and serve hot. Buon appetito meat lovers! For more from d’Ambrosio and his brigade, order a copy of Big Mamma Cucina Popolare here.