Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Terena vs. the Steak

(gee, I wish my steak looked that good).

Last week I decided to cook a steak, so I went to the grocery store and discovered there are a lot of different packages of dead cow, all arranged from the cheapest, to the most expensive (who the hell can pay $21.00 bucks a pound for meat now-days?). I hadn't decided what kind of beef to cook, only that it had been a while since we'd had a steak and I was hankering for some red meat. After examining the different types, I chose the one that had a good price, not the cheapest, but definitely not $21.00! Then I went home to research how to cook it.

Should be easy, right? Get a pan hot, toss in the meat, season with salt and pepper, turn it over, wait a while, cut it to look inside and see how pink it still is, then remove before all the pink is gone. Then I found this site and discovered there are RULES for cooking a steak. Just like everything in the kitchen, you can't just toss it in a pan and hope it comes out all right.

Then my husband asked, "What kind of steak did you buy?"


He just shook his head, probably thinking about those frozen dinners again. "How you cook it depends on what kind of steak it is."

"Oh." I don't know what I bought. It was the one that I could afford that didn't look like stew meat. Pulling it out of the fridge, I read the label. "New York," I shouted.

"Great. So how do you cook it?"

Obviously the guy who knows how to cook meat wasn't going to help.

Since the BBQ was out of propane, I decided to pan fry it. On the internet, I found a step by step recipe for how to cook a steak on the stove. I followed as best I could, but when it came time to figure out if it was done or not, I ran into trouble. I like my steak medium-well; just enough pink to be tender, but not bleeding. Achieving this equilibrium of steakiness is not easy, and so, despite the fact the "rules" said to remove it before it was completely done because it would continue to cook for another 10 minutes just sitting on the plat, I let it stay in the pan too long. No one will get botulism from my cooking, that's for sure.

My family sat at the table and I served the steak, which smelled delicious, but required extra bbq sauce to make edible. It wasn't a bad steak, just a little past tender. All right, a lot past tender.

But it made a great stir fry the following day.


HeatherS said...

I am recommending a book to's called 'How to Cook Everything' by Mark's a little pricey but you can get it used on-line. It's how to cook everything!!!! It's my bible in the kitchen.

Good luck!

John C said...

Most any steak can be marinated in olive oil, paprika, black pepper, and a little garlic powder. NEVER use salt. Just let it set for about an hour and no matter how much you over cook it, it will still be tender. It's an old Texas family recipe.

squeezindiva said...

Cheaper cuts benefit from marinating -- helps break down the fibers. I like Jamaican Jerk style. 2-3 hours up to overnight will do the trick.

Best to sear a steak which seals in the juices. That's why BBQ is so good.

NB I make a point of buying humanely raised grass fed beef or buffalo (which is always grass fed).
The animal does not have a good last three months if they are "finished" on corn rather than grass. And there is a big difference in fat content and flavor.

your friendly carnivore,


terena said...

Thanks Heather. I'll look for it

Princess Abigail said...

Ho ho ho .... you REALLY need to come to France ... they barely even cook their steaks! Being the British steak-eater that I am, I often sit HORRIFIED at the table, observing my offspring devouring meat that looks like it should still be saying "Mooh".... so I am totally with you on the 'over'cooked meat thing!!!!!

Mother of Chaos said...

Just keep at it, that's the important part! (And if anybody doesn't like the results, they're welcome to DIYDS [Do It Yer Danged Self] next time!)

We ate a LOT of twice-killed cow before I got the hang of steak. But I was determined! I love steak...but I HATE paying $20+ for a tiny fillet at a restaurant!!