The great steak debate

The great
steak debate

Research suggests it is the undisputed dinner of choice on Valentine’s Day.
But opinion is divided on how it is cooked and what cut, side and sauce to serve

Steak of the nation

Steak of the nation

From the cut you prefer to the side and sauce, a steak dinner has plenty of possibilities. The top answers in a poll by Waitrose & Partners reveal the nation’s favourite combination, as well as its romantic credentials as the go-to on Valentine’s Day



Just over a quarter voted for sirloin – which is also known as T-bone – as their favourite cut, making it the single most popular answer

NEWsteak-infographic-header-box-three-purple-background-sauce-peppercorn (1)


With almost 40% of the vote, it was by far the most popular choice of sauce with creamy mushroom in second


Red wine

With 37% this classic drinks match for steak was also the most popular in our poll, with a non-alcoholic option coming in second


Are you a steak lover?

Of those who stay in on Valentine’s Day, more than half said they’d celebrate the most romantic day of the year with a steak


The chips are up

By far the favourite accompaniment, chips received the most votes when we asked people to name all the sides they serve with steak


How do you like
    your steak?

Medium-well edged it as
the most popular way to
    have steak cooked


Under pressure

Overcooking steak was a worry for a quarter of those taking part in the poll




Get your steak right with our cooking guide with tips, recipes and step-by-step instructions


View steak guide

Music isn’t the food of love: it’s a steak dinner. In a poll for Waitrose & Partners, sirloin – also known as T-bone - served with peppercorn sauce, chips and red wine was voted as the ultimate way to enjoy a steak meal at home on Valentine’s Day. 

Chips trounced all others as the side of choice – mash (24%), potato dauphinoise (21%), greens (34%), salad (40%) and rice (9%) – with a whopping 70% of respondents selecting them.

The nation is in complete agreement when it comes to sauce, too, with peppercorn the hands-down favourite, topping the survey – of 2,000 people conducted by OnePoll – in every region and taking 39% of the total vote, with creamy mushroom its closest rival (23%).

We’re also united in pairing steak with red wine: it was the alcoholic drink of choice across all regions, age-ranges and genders. Women, though, are almost twice as likely than men to go for white wine (14% versus 8%).

Of the 23% of people who said cooking a steak supper was a Valentine tradition in their house, women were more generous about their partner’s culinary skills than men: 44% rated their loved one’s steak cooking as ‘very good’, compared to 34% of male respondents. No women rated their partner ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’, unlike a small number of men (less than 3%). 

When asked for a meat-free alternative, Quorn was the most popular choice among those aged 18-24 (24%), with Portobello mushroom the next best thing for everyone aged 25 and over, the 35-44s being the biggest fans (31%). 

Most people said they will spend between £10 and £12 on steak for a romantic meal (27%) and the biggest reservation, polling 25%, was fear of overcooking it.