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)
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12 responses to “Raw Meat

  1. lmao this is hilarious. I constantly question my bfs manhood b/c he only likes his steak, gulp..”well done” He gets angry when I call him a wussy with a “p” hehe because I eat my steaks rare and enjoy beef tartare.

    Everyday, I get hit with hot oil from the damn griddle..you start to get used to it though. It even pops in my face and eyes sometimes.

  2. Sounds like you would have been better off ordering a pizza!

  3. what a funny story, though I’m sure far more so in the retelling. I’m glad at least he could enjoy what he so joyously picked out. 😉

    by the way, hi! I found you through evil chef mom. 🙂

  4. You know, I think competent cooks everywhere have a meal or two up their sleeves where everything goes wrong. It’s all the more frustrating when folks have great expectations of what you normally put on the table.

    Thank goodness the potatoes were all that!

  5. Of course, your first problem was the $1.59 frozen steaks…….

    OK, I’ll shut up.

    FWIW: The wife and I had Steak, salad and a bottle of Dry Comal Creek Table Red last night and when I initially pulled the steaks off the grill they were too rare. (very thick cut rib-eye)

    Fortunately that was remedied with three more minutes of face time on the grill but it can happen to anyone.

    I’m blaming the wine. 😀

  6. @ Foodie Cutie: I managed to get Richard down to the “rare” level by just encouraging him to get it less well-done each time we had steak, ushering him down the ranks, until he finally hit rare and discovered what he’d been missing. 🙂

    @ Jo: We can’t all be professional chefs, unfortunately. 😉

    @ melissa: Hi! Welcome! I much prefer telling stories of my failures than of my competence; they’re so much funnier. 😀

    @ Asthmagirl: Yes, thank God for mashed potatoes. The one thing I could never screw up, no matter how hard I tried. 🙂

    @ Cory: JUST RUB IT IN, WHY DON’T YOU? 😉

  7. Sounds like a pretty normal evening at my house. I’m definitely not the cook in my house! Funny stuff girl, keep it coming.

  8. Much Maligned Husband

    Nothing wrong with the $1.50 meat. Nothing at all. A bad chef always blames her food for “selling itself too cheap”…..at least thats what Chef Jo told me…

  9. @ Debra: Thanks! Y’know, I’m only the cook by default; if it were up to Richard we’d live on nothing but beans on toast.

    @ Much Maligned Husband: You know where Chef Jo lives. Why don’t you just starting eating dinners over there every night? She wouldn’t even make you do the dishes afterwards, you brat. 😉

  10. Um, yes I would make him do dishes….and I would make him eat okra and after dinner, clean the backyard (and we ALL know what THAT entails!) Heh.

  11. i agree with asthmagirl……sometimes even the best cooks have an off day…..but…..being a meat cutter at a large chain store i have to disagree with staying away from “the bargain bin”….i won’t usually buy reduced chicken or pork but i NEVER buy fresh beef……i wait till it hits “the bargain bin” as i’ve found beef that has a few days on it to be so much better than freahly cut beef…..just sayin…..

  12. Pingback: briquet

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