Perhaps a vanishing art

So this turned up in ye olde timeline:

I suggest the P. J. O’Rourke method:

Buy the most expensive steak you can find, about as thick as the heel of a Bass Weejun. Salt and pepper it liberally and don’t worry that salting the steak before it’s cooked will make it tough. Salt does not make steak tough. Poverty makes steaks tough, sometimes absent entirely. Put half a shot glass of any kind of oil but motor or olive in a skillet. Heat up until the oil smokes like hell. Now take the batteries out of your smoke detector and put the steak in the pan. Fiddle with the steak, turn it over a lot and poke it constantly with a fork and knife. This does nothing for the steak, but it keeps you from wandering off and starting to watch a basketball game and turning the T-bone into a flight jacket. As soon as you think the steak should cook just a little longer, stop cooking it.

I’m here to tell you that this does actually work, though it’s not too hard to see the drawbacks inherent in the system.


  1. fillyjonk »

    26 July 2017 · 6:59 am

    I’ve used the “reverse sear” method with good success, but it requires a lot of patience, a good probe thermometer, and a willingness to have the oven on for a period of time (not so desirable in summer)

    My problem is finding decent beef. So much of what is sold around here seems to be from animals that were former marathon-runners, or it’s shot up with “enhancement” chemicals that raise its sodium level unacceptably high.

  2. Holly H »

    26 July 2017 · 12:05 pm

    Just sitting here being a smug vegetarian.

    OK, I used to enjoy a properly-cooked medium-rare steak now and then. But I don’t miss it. Much.

    And the disrespect never ends. My hubby was recently in the hospital, and registered himself as a ‘lacto-ovo vegetarian”. It soon became clear that the hospital staff exerts great effort to accommodate such patients. The meal is built in three steps:
    1. Start with the meat dish of the day; 2. Add mushy tasteless vegetables; 3. Throw away the meat dish.

    (PS: I’m actually near-vegetarian, consuming the occasional ‘sustainable’ seafood. I only added that for complete transparency. Not that you give a flip about all my details. It gets so tiring, explaining all this, that I should just give up seafood too.)

  3. CGHill »

    26 July 2017 · 12:26 pm

    Sounds like standard hospital fare.

  4. fillyjonk »

    26 July 2017 · 1:39 pm

    I have vegetarian friends who similarly complain about the “vegetarian” choices at conferences: “Soooo much damn pasta!”

  5. Lynn »

    27 July 2017 · 7:46 am

    I know this is cliche but no one cooks steak like my mother. Somehow she could cook it well done but not tough. The only way I can do that is in the crock pot.

    Not eating steak doesn’t make me feel especially deprived though. I like chicken better anyway.

  6. Holly H »

    27 July 2017 · 11:29 am

    Haha! Yes, all the pasta. Our trick, to keep us from missing meats, is to eat lots of overly spiced beans. Our taste-buds are hurting too much to get bored.

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