Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Rare Please


First off, I need to give due to James Manning for inspiring me to write this with his post about gas versus charcoal grilling. (Charcoal IS better, by the way)

I have long been a fan of meat cooked as rare as humanly possible. In the words of a close friend, "Just knock the horns off and walk it through a warm kitchen!" Yummy. No, this is not just a macho male thing, where we eat something we really find disgusting to prove how manly we are. A steak, especially a Ribeye, but of pretty much any cut, tastes better rare than it does well-done. It's like comparing fine cuisine with eating the sole of a shoe.

I believe strongly that the only people that really enjoy a well-done steak are those that are "grossed out" by the sight of a little blood on their plate, which is no reason to sacrifice flavor and moisture in your favorite cut of beef.

The whole fear of diseases excuse doesn't hold water either, as any chef will tell you, as long as the internal temperature of the meat reaches a certian number of degrees, there is no harmful bacteria. How else could EVERY steak house offer rare meat as an option?

There are certian establishments that will not serve meat cooked rare. I have been to more than one place that, when asked to prepare a steak or burger rare, the server responded with, "I'm sorry sir, we can only do meduim."

Weenies.

My wife can give personal testimony of conversion from well done to rare. She was of the lot that was offended by red juicy goodness on her plate until one day, before we were married, she came to the house so that I could prepare a couple of ribeyes. When I asked her preference for doneness, she answered, "Well done please." I asked why of course as I am always concerned when people choose not to really enjoy their food, but would rather chew on a baseball glove, to which she responded, "It just grosses me out!" I talked her into trying it rare, and she has never eaten a well done steak since! So don't tell me people can't convert!

Let me take a moment to rate some local steak houses according to their preparation technique (the flavor of the meat also has alot to do with how the raw meat is cured and every place has a different method), in order of preference:

1. Black Angus: by far the best, they have been in San Diego as long as I can remember and are still doing it right. I always get grilled onion and mushrooms on the side of a big ol' ribeye steak.

2. The Turf: this local eatery actually just hands you your cut of choice and lets you cook it yourself! Great for getting your steak the way you want and meeting new people with a love for dead flesh. It is cheaper than having someone else prepare it too.

3. Chili's: I know, it's not even a steak house, but for a non-steak house, they have the best ribeye around, and will prepare it pretty rare if you ask with a healthy side of grilled mushrooms, onions, and veggies.

4. Outback Steakhouse: purposely at the end of my list AND below Chili's because, in my opinion, they are the most overrated steakhouse around. This is what I call a trendy establishment, and for those meat lovers who haven't found out for themselves, don't bother.

1. How do you order your steak? And more importantly, why?
2. If you are a "well done", have you, or could you be persuaded to, try a rare cut of meat?
3. What is your favorite cut of meat, and what do you get on the side?
4. Take a moment to let us know about some good steak restaraunts in your neck of the woods.

19 comments:

James Manning said...

I'm a medium kind of guy. Well done takes away all of the flavor.

Man, I haven't visited a good steak joint since i've been here. I don't chain restaurants. But if you're ever in Chicago... you must go to Gibson or the Ohio Street Steak House - The Tavern on Rush is another great steak joint.

I'll have to venture out more often and find a couple of spots in Los Angeles

mark said...

I am not feeling you on the rare or medium rare stuff. But to tell the truth one time I ordered 2 Jumbo cheese burgers from a carryout, when I got home and bit into one of the burgers I noticed that the middle was pink, I ate the burgers (dead flesh) anyway, and wouldnt you know it those burgers were the best burgers I had in my life. No BS. Peace. Mark

James Manning said...

Mark,

Come on over the flesh side of meat eating. Another question is, do you season your meat after cooking it. My granmother didn't allow anything to "cover" her work. A1 Sauce - never. Salt & Pepper - what for?

I find myself doing the same thing. I never season my food after it leaves the grill.

Cynthia said...

Backing away quitely since I don't eat meat.

I'm told Ruth's Chris Steak House has the best steaks in town in any town. They're pretty pricey.

http://www.ruthschris.com/reservations/?Pubid=370&3

Bullfrog said...

Mark: see, you learned by accident rare is the way to go, even for ground beef.

James: good point, a well cured steak only needs fire for flavor. A-1 is for... well I'm not sure exactly.

Cyn: No worries, you can grill the heck outta some veggies!

Tom said...

I was successful in getting my wife to switch from 'well done' to 'medium.' Also she doesn't put ketchup on steak anymore, either.

Ruby Tuesdays used to have a bleu cheese steak that melted in your mouth but they discontinued it around here (Indiana)

jali said...

I've always been a medium rare chick, and I get annoyed when eating with my "well done" friends who constantly talk about the appearance of my delicious meal.

I also feel as though the well done orders hold our order up - probably untrue, but that's how I feel.

I recently had the "Flo's Cut" at Longhorn Steak House - tender, flavorful - I don't use steak sauce - I like salt, pepper and a little butter.

Bullfrog said...

Tom: KETCHUP?! I don;t know what to say, except I'm glad she saw the error of her ways.

Jali: My sentiments exactly. I can't stand when they look at your plate and get grossed out, or even comment, "You aren't going to eat that are you?"

Again, I say, weenies.

mark said...

Yo James I dont know if you get down in the kitchen or not but cooking is 75% how you season your food. Thier is nothing wrong with A1 steak sauce, however if you dont want to cover your meat with, try mixing the A1, garlic powder, salt& pepper ect with the meat before you grill the burgers, very delecious. I take a lot of pride in my grilling/kitchen skills. Ill face any human bieng at any place and any time in a cook off with not one shred of fear or intimidation. Mark

James Manning said...

Ketchup on steak... WTF. Tom, you are a good man for going through with the wedding.

Mark, I will try that. I marinade my meat (that sounds pretty kinky but y'all know what i'm talking about) over night when I have the chance but a few hours usually does the trick.

mark said...

To Marinate ones meat over night before cooking is indeed a holy and righteous thing. The rare and medium rare stuff is a little to deep for me. But if other folks enjoy raw meat hey. So be it.

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Eating a well done steak is like eating liver--yuck!!!!!!! I love my steak with some rareness to it but not bleeding. I like steaks that have some fat on them that give them flavor. My dad used to make Chuck Steaks on the grill and to this day I like those better than expensive steaks at a restaurant. I like Outback better than Lone Star for steakhouses. Probably the best is the Hereford House?? I'm not sure on the title because its expensive and I've only been there twice when someone else paid.

nosthegametoo said...

I grew up on Well-done steak. Over the years I've found myself slowing inching toward Medium.

In fact, I cooked for a friend last night and after I made one of the Ribeyes Well-done (as per her request) she wound up eating my Medium steak.

I would have said NEVER, but who knows, maybe oneday I'll actually eat a rare steak.

Mr. Grey Ghost said...

I always get it "well done" and Beef Steak Charlie's out here in NYC is definitely the best spot to go to for the best steak. Ponderosa aint bad either tho.

Angela said...

I am with you...warm it through and give it to me!!

I don't like to go out for steak. I usually find myself disappointed.

I like to season my steak's with McCormicks' Grill Mate Montreal Steak Seasoning with a sprinkle or two of Lea &Perkins Worchestire Sauce on each side. And let it marinate for as long as possible.
I highly recommend it. There is no need to add seasoning after it has been cooked.

My favorite is Porterhouse.

My husband wasn't a big fan of rare but has come around since I won't cook it any other way!

Sonnyredd said...

A man after my own heart! I was introduced to rare in 2001 and I haven't looked back.

Here in Miami, the classic steakhouses arereadily availible. My favorites are Morton's and the Capital Grille, though Smith and Wollensky is popular too. Next time I'm in New York, a trip to Sparks is definately on the menu.

Our only difference is that I am a porterhouse man. Nothing in this world beats a good aged porterhouse.

Swim said...

Interstingly enough I find myself commenting on the 'steak thing'. I, like cynthia, do not eat meat.

This is the 2nd time I've been to you site Bullfrog. The first was after your comment at Nate's about, "...having a job...". I did not read here since 'the steak' was the featured item. This time I came back because you apologized at Nate's and I wanted to see the 'steak guy' again.

Your post on this visit, is about "God's political correctness". Boy, does that put the 'steak thing' in a whole new light.

Genesis 29
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed; which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
Genesis 30
And every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so

I believe eating meat is ethically, morally wrong. God provided for us to be vegetarians.
There are certainly other bible verses that diverge from this original intention, and I do not wish to get into a 'bible war' with you. I'm am merely elucidating God's position on the matter of 'steak'.

I have no wish to, nor could I, 'convert' anyone and that, is not my intention. I just wish that people would show more reverence for the life they choose to eat. The Native Americans of this country had it right. They thanked the animal for its sacrafice and God for providing it.

Bullfrog said...

What you quoted was God telling us He gave us veggies to eat, but that passage says NOTHING about NOT eating anything.

Let me do some "elucidating" of my own:

Gen 9:2-3
3 Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.
(from New International Version)

Acts 10:9-15;
9 About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. 13 Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."

14 "Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."

15 The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."
(from New International Version)

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

08 01 06

heheheheh I am with ya on this one all the way Bullfrog! There is nothing like a damnear raw steak oozing with blood and juices to get me going!!! If you tell the folks at Outback how to prepare your prime rib cut, they can do a pretty good job. However, I think one of the better steakhouses is The House of Prime Rib in San Francisco. Yeah they are crowded usually but that is only because they know how to do prime rib and do it well. Ha another meat lover yeah! Oh speaking of that, have you ever tried smoked beef? I had it in Holland- twas like beef sushi. It was called osserworst or something like that;)