Raw Meat

It finally happened.  I met a steak too rare for even yours truly — steak tartare lover extraordinaire; she who turns up her nose at people who order their filets medium or, God forbid, well-done — to eat.

The worst part of this sad affair?  I made the steak.  It was a spectacular failure.  There’s a reason, once again, that I normally leave grilling to the men-folk.

The steaks were…frozen.  I know, I know.  Leave me alone.  Just shut up, okay?  Richard found them in the bargain bin at Randall’s for $1.50 —  I SAID, SHUT UP — and brought them home, inordinately proud of his suspiciously inexpensive meat purchase.

I was woozily recovering from mouth surgery, and in no mood to eat or cook steak for at least the next week, so I threw them into the freezer without a second thought.  Flash-forward to a few days ago, when Richard came home after work hungry for his cheap steaks.  It was 6:30, definitely not enough time to properly defrost the ignominious steaks.  Tired from work and irritated at having to cook steaks when all I wanted to do was eat my leftover salad from lunch and watch Lost, I threw them into the microwave and started some potatoes boiling on the stove.

After I was satisfied that the steaks has been thoroughly defrosted, I removed them from the microwave.  They were an unsettling gray color around the edges.  I glared at my microwave, silently hating it and its dubious “defrost” setting.

Into a hot pan of oil went the steaks.  They immediately started shrieking and spitting up hot oil left and right.  I ran away, like the coward I am, cursing myself for forgetting to pat them dry before putting them in the pan.  I’m stupidly terrified of grease, especially when it’s leaping at me like tiny, hot daggers.  I hovered near the kitchen door until it looked like the steaks were ready to turn.  Armed with an apron, thick oven mitts and giant tongs, I gingerly turned the steaks and ran away yet again.

The steaks ended up cooking for much, much longer than I intended, due to my irrational fear of the grease.  Quickly removing them from the stove, I plated them and let them rest while I finished the mashed potatoes and green beans.  Truly a man’s meal, and not one to which I was particularly looking forward.

At the table, Richard and I sat down to my rather shabby-looking meal.  The green beans had retained a strange, rubbery texture and the steaks looked charred.  At least the mashed potatoes were looking good.

As I cut into my steak, I was horrified to see that it was completely and totally raw inside.  Not rare — raw.  And the outside looked like a charcoal briquet.  How was this possible?

Of course.  The microwave, my old mortal enemy, hadn’t defrosted the steaks all the way through.  Yet another reason I primarly use that little white beast as a breadbox. 

Richard, for his part, ate the steak with barely a second glance.  Such are the palates of Englishmen.  I wretched and threw away all but the mashed potatoes, then retreated to the couch with my bowl of starchy comfort to watch Lost and try to erase all memories of the awful meal I’d created.

Lessons learned?

  • Avoid bargain bin meat (you’d think this would be a given…)
  • Conquer ridiculous fear of grease (or, at the very least, broil the steaks next time)
  • Continue using microwave as fancy, button-covered breadbox (nothing can go wrong in this scenario)