btbyrd

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  1. Overnight Oats

    You can also prepare hot oatmeal overnight in a thermos. It helps to preheat the thermos by adding very hot water (and then dumping it) before adding your oats and hot liquid.
  2. I've been confused about this for quite some time. In his Food Lab article on making the best carne asada, Kenji Lopez-Alt describes skirt steak as a "long, ribbony piece of meat, with a width of three inches or so and a length of at least a couple of feet." This is what I get 90% of the time when I buy skirt from the market (and what I've gotten %100 of the time when buying it online). But occasionally, supermarket butchers sell "skirt" that "is closing in on an inch thick" in places, and looks a lot more like flank to my eye than skirt. I recently got 2 packages of grassfed skirt from my local Whole Foods (where it was butchered) and one package contained 3 very long, thin strips of what I typically consider "skirt." The other contained a single, thick piece of meat that weighed as much as the other three combined. Everything I've read on skirt online seems to think that skirt steak, both inside and out, is very thin and ribbony -- and nothing close to an inch thick. I suspect that there's a lot of flank steak that is being inadvertently mislabeled. Either way, either I need a lesson on bovine anatomy, or many butchers do. In any event, I agree with you that whatever that thick "skirt" steak is, it can be delicious cooked rare.
  3. baking polyester strips?

    I wonder how well you oven holds at 350F. I mean... not just your oven; all our ovens.
  4. In related news, tonight I'm having some very much well-done but still quite delicious grassfed skirt steak. SV for four hours at 130F with a salt-free (except for MSG) spice rub, then cooked to crispy death on a super-hot grill, covered and cheese, and broiled to a bubbly finish. Skirt is so thin you pretty much can't get it anything less than medium-well, and it's eminently splittable. A possible cut for bliss in the OP's household? Not really a "steak," but...
  5. We're getting quite off the original topic, but since the topic is "Meat Blasphemy" with respect to well-done steak, I suppose someone has to stick up for the orthodox position on what such blasphemy consists in... Split away! We split a lot of hairs (and carcasses) at the Academy. Nobody is arguing that well-marbled steak isn't perceived as juicier than leaner steak. I'm agnostic on this point, since I don't know whether or not it's true (or whether or not fat literally preserves juiciness rather than simply enhances the perception of juiciness). I don't want to fight you on the meat science on this one, but my understanding of denaturation doesn't depend on fibers grabbing onto one another, but rather proteins within each fiber unfolding. Either way, fat is good. We both agree. Gelatin is also good. We both agree there. Where we seem to disagree is that if juiciness is your goal, cooking your meat to a lower temp is better. Or maybe we both agree about this too, and the discussion is about whether or not well-done meat can ever taste good. But we already both agreed that it can... It was part of my training at the Academy. Given that Prime accounts for about 1-4% of graded US cattle (depending on the sources you consult) and that it's almost unavailable in supermarkets (none of my local markets carry Prime, and I live in a city of more than a quarter of a million people), it definitely doesn't count as "normal" by most plausible conceptions of the term. The Academy agrees. And even low-grade Prime beef doesn't really have *that* much fat in it. Top Prime is a different story, but even that pales in comparison to even lower grades of Wagyu on the BMS and A grading scales. But given that Wagyu is definitely abnormal, and Prime is rarity (and isn't even that fatty), the Academy taught us that top Choice to be in the upper range of "normal". And it should be remembered that American Top Choice, even if it's not all that great, is still much better marbled than most beef in the world, owing to our illustrious feedlots and abundant production of garbage corn-and-soy-based "feed" that has not yet been embraced by Europe or Australia. The Academy considers cooking top Choice (or below) steaks to a well-done temp barbarous. You accuse us of being Nazis. Yet you accuse Choice beef of being garbage. I suppose we all have our own bigotries. Yes it was. I like ribeye cap as much as the next person. In fact, it's my favorite piece of meat on a cow (and I love cow-meat). I'd like to point out that it's not a paradigmatic cut to be served as a steak. I've had it well-done, and it can be delicious. But my personal preference is to cook it sous vide and finish it by deep-frying it in tallow. The issue isn't whether or not there are things that can be cooked well-done and still be delicious. The issue is whether or not most tender steak cuts at most of the better-but-still-not-mail-order level of quality are better cooked well done. And I've yet to see anything to suggest that they are (if juiciness and tenderness are your concern). Only when it's been jaccarded and sliced thin. Mechanical tenderization is key. At any rate, I agree that fat is a big draw on burnt ends. But so is surface area and crust maximization. But we're not talking about steak anymore, so... To be fair, I didn't call anyone names. I just said that a certain preference is barbaric. Likewise, you didn't call anyone names. You just said that most people's steaks are garbage. We're both snobs. I don't think that's a bad thing. But whatever, my whole point is that for most cuts of beef served as steak -- not brisket points, not Wagyu ribeye cap (or even Prime ribeye cap) -- it's best to cook them less rather than more if your goal is to retain juiciness. Even if they're fatty. That's the official view at the Steak Police. The more you cook something, the less juice it retains. Dem's the facts. To reiterate our case: Top Choice or even Prime cuts of tenderloin, ribeye, striploin, or sirloin are juicier and more tender if they're cooked less. And most people prefer juicier and more tender meat. That is all we're saying. Of course, the Steak Police agree with you that more marbling is better than less -- within limits. (At a certain point, like with high BMS Wagyu, you're not really serving steak anymore, but fat laced with steak). But we're not sure whether or not the perceived juiciness of well-marbled meat at higher levels of doneness is due to fat's ability to preserve juices or due to fat's mouth-coating ability to enhance perceived juiciness, even at diminished moisture levels (as is the case in falling-apart chuck roast). But we digress... We agree again that none of this really matters to the debate at hand.
  6. When you shave meat extremely thin, it doesn't take long to cook when it's immersed in very hot broth.
  7. For those looking for that Magic Potion, Dave Arnold mentioned on Cooking Issues that he's looking into what factors affect meat color to see if he can figure out a way to create gray beef that's medium-rare (or rare) without it also tasting oxidized (since oxidation is the main culprit in producing "warmed over flavor" that you get from eating a day-old steak or burger that wasn't vacuum sealed).
  8. My "barbarian" comment was tongue in cheek, but I stand by the sentiment that cooking "normal" steak cuts of normal marbling scores (choice or prime; strip, ribeye, filet, sirloin, etc.) beyond medium significantly diminishes their quality by causing the proteins to constrict too much, which both squeezes out moisture and makes the fibers tougher. Maybe you like that. I prefer it in some dishes, such as those where the steak is shaved thin and then used for stir-fry or sandwiches. But then we're no longer talking about eating "a steak." When it comes to actual steak-eating, my preferences -- like most of my comrades in The Steak Police -- is for meat that hasn't been so denatured that it toughens and lose its juice. As the head detective in charge of the Logic Unit of the Steak Police, I do want to register a few complaints about your post. Comparing a well-done steak to well-done brisket or burnt ends is apples to oranges. Sous vide aside, you can't just take a brisket, bring it to medium-rare, and expect to achieve a tender, juicy, delicious result. You also can't just throw it in a pan and cook it until it's well done and expect for it to be delicious. Regardless of its fat content, unground brisket is tough. It requires long cooking at low temperatures to break down and become delicious. The result will be beyond well-done (again, SV aside) but that's totally different from doing the same thing to a ribeye or a filet or whatever. That's like pointing to pot roast, braised Jamaican oxtails, or beef bourguignon as a counterexample to a medium-rare steak. Sure, well-done beef can be tasty. Literally nobody disputes that. And nobody disputes that "medium-rare" meat -- like brisket, or short ribs, or oxtail, or shank, or cheek -- can be freaking terrible. But these are cases in which (without SV) you are forced to make a tradeoff between retaining juices in the meat and rendering tough collagen into tender gelatin. This tradeoff is often worth making, but it's not worth making on tender cuts like those you'd normally serve as a steak. Likewise, comparing a wagyu ribeye cap to a "normal" steak isn't an apples to oranges comparison. When you're cooking higher-end wagyu, your concern is not so much about how to cook the meat but how to manage the fat content. And since the higher end wagyu is %50 + fat, you'll typically cook it much differently than you'd cook a normal steak. You're essentially cooking streaky fat rather than a steak, and you'd never serve -- or you shouldn't serve -- someone a 24oz wagyu ribeye the way you'd serve them a normal choice or prime ribeye. Unless, of course, you'd be comfortable also serving them 12oz of pure beef fat or butter and expect them to experience their meal as balanced (and experience their GI tract as undistressed). At any rate, so much of this is a matter of preference. If you love yourself a well-done steak, then by all means eat it. But generally speaking, for the sorts of cuts you'd normally serve as a standalone steak, juiciness and tenderness decrease while doneness increases. Most people value tenderness and juice-retention, so people tend to view those who like well-done steaks as enemies of quality. But if you like tougher, dryer steaks for some reason, then go for it. Extra ketchup! All joking aside, eat what you like. But keep an eye out for The Steak Police if you're going to chow down on a well-done, top-Choice filet mignon and claim that it's more delicious than the same thing cooked to a lower degree of doneness. You may be asked to explain yourself. And you may do a perfectly excellent job. It's all a matter of taste, remember.
  9. I would insist on not sharing. Insisting on sharing is strange to me. But to be fair, she should be allowed either to choose how well-done the steak is or be allowed to insist on sharing. It's unjust for her to force her barbaric preferences on you. It's bad enough that she makes you cook it that way for her. But if she won't let you cook your own steak the way you like it, and forces you to eat the one that she made you overcook? That's starting to sound like she loves steak more than she loves you. Which I'm sure isn't true. But it's nevertheless a weird thing to do to your beloved.
  10. Bland sauce

    When you say "before being added to the meat," do you mean before you added it to the SV bag and cooked it or before you added sauce to the finished plate? In any event, I'm in the camp of those who think sauces should taste overseasoned on their own... unless you're serving a boatload of sauce relative to the amount of thing-being-sauced.
  11. Because you never provide a link to anything, so nobody ever knows what you're talking about.
  12. Because that's a fast and easy way to cut tomatoes and get through the skin (which can be tough and cause problems if your knife isn't sharp enough). The beginning of the unit makes that clear, when he says that serrated blades are best for cutting things with tough or waxy skin. And then he says "there's no wrong way to cut a tomato," which is true. Having cored and diced a bunch of tomatoes in my day, I'm going to start using his technique in the future. It's much faster than what I've been doing (though you can't do it to heirloom tomatoes, since they don't have a single core like, say, Romas or beefsteak tomatoes). For those of you who don't know what we're talking about, here's a link to the course so you can follow along at home. It seems like a good free class, and like Paul mentions above, the instructor is very knowledgeable and the videos are well-produced.
  13. You are way too obsessed with "the right" way to do things. There is no "right." There is only what works. I registered for the class. I watched the video. That's a perfectly fine way to cut tomatoes. Chill out.
  14. Here's an upscale variation on that theme (but with prawns instead of crab). I keep meaning to make this...
  15. Rice or hair dryer. Hair dryers work much faster.