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The best way to cook a steak sandwich on your woodburning stove

First, use your old Lymington Times, a handful of one of our bone-dry kindling bundles (2 for £10) and a match to light your stove.

lighting a stove

Get it blazing, add some more wood.

blazing stove

Get a steak. Season it; rock salt is best, but any salt will do. I seasoned mine an hour before cooking. Even better would be twenty four hours. If you've got less than an hour till you want to eat, i would season it just before cooking. If you're interested in the science behind meat and salt, read Samin Nosrat's 'Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat'. This is a rump steak.

a steak on a granite slab

Get your stove-top panini press (£30, from us) and get it hot.

stove-top panini press on top of stove

A magnetic stove thermometer is helpful for knowing when your stove is hot. Less painful than sacrificing your fingertips!

stove thermometer showing 500F

Select the bread for your sandwich. Either choose a piece that will fit in your panini press, or, like me, embrace imperfection, halve a ciabatta and force it rudely, one half at a time, into the press. Lower the lid onto it and cook it for a while. Then do the other half.

ciabatta in a panini press

If you have ever made toast before, you will know roughly what to expect. The bread will no longer feel soft, and the cut, inside edge will have a gritty, friable texture, like a loose cement render. Don't worry, this is a good thing!bread in panini press

toasted ciabatta

Remove your toasted bread and put some vegetable oil in your panini press, just enough to cover the bottom, stick the lid on it and leave it to heat up while you prepare your sandwich for the main event. Slather as much butter onto the sandwich as you can stomach, add the condiment of your choice. My choice is French mustard.

buttered ciabatta with mustard

Then fork your steak into the hot ciabatta press and slam the lid on it. Cook for two minutes then flip. Cook for two more minutes. Any longer and you'd be better off with a burger.

Slap it between the bread slices, cut it in half if you're half-civilised, or into smaller increments as befits your degree of sophistication. Or not at all. Then eat it. Afterwards, wash your panini press, dry it and lightly oil it for next time.steak sandwich, as cooked on wood burning stove