June 25th, 2008

Sage Advice

I was reading an article called “Picking Perfect Steaks:  How to Make the Most of the Beef You Cook at Home” and I stopped in my tracks when I came to one particular part. 

It wasn’t so much the advice that gave me pause as the way it was worded. Here it is . . .

· Pick out your steak like you pick out your clothes. Would you grab just any old pair of pants off the rack? Of course not. Same with a steak. Look at each one carefully. If you want it to be juicy and tender for cooking on the grill, you want lots of little white flecks of fat in the meaty part (it’s called marbling). The flecks melt away during cooking, adding to the meat’s flavor. You also want it to be an even thickness (if it’s thinner in some parts, it will cook unevenly). If you’re buying more than one steak, try to find cuts that are all close in size so they finish cooking at about the same time.

Now that’s good advice as far as I’m concerned, but I can’t get past picking out my steak like I pick out my clothes.

I imagine myself in a dressing room with a three-way mirror and when I look up I see a T-bone hanging on the hook behind me. There’s a bacon-wrapped filet sitting on the bench waiting to be tried on. A KC strip peers at me on a shelf next to a flouncy skirt I’m about to slip on.

I take my things up to the register and the woman says, “Did you find everything you needed today?”

“Yes,” I say. “I’ll take the skirt, the beaded belt and the ribeye.”

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