p Picks and Pecks: recipe: mis-steak

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

recipe: mis-steak

I don't think its fair to just write about what worked for me when I put it on a plate, without writing about what failed. After all, cooking is supposed to be a trial-and-error thing and you should learn as much from your mistakes as your successes.

So two nights ago I thought I would make dinner - and to make things easy, I would just pick up the ingredients on the way home. Things didn't go exactly as planned though... can you see what's wrong with the picture above?

This makes me wonder though - how do we have an assurance that all the food that we see on these blogs actually taste good? If I dressed up an improperly cooked piece of meat with a sauce that blankets all its flaws - you wouldn't be able to tell the difference unless I confessed to my ineptitude!

Basically I learned that I should never cook my steak in a Dutch oven. Convenience triumphed over taste that night and I thought that using a Dutch oven to cook my steak, with its high sides and lid, would eliminate the splatter in my recently-cleaned kitchen. 

First I marinated the steak in a mixture of white wine, mustard and soy sauce. While the steak was in its bath, I heated up the Dutch oven. Filming the bottom with a little oil, I put the steaks in and got a satisfying sizzle. 

Unfortunately, the flat surface meant that the meat steamed in its own juices. When I flipped the steak over after a few minutes, I did not get that browning which you would normally expect - my steak looked like an overcooked porkchop! Turning off the heat and letting the steak keep warm in the pan probably made matters worse - the cast iron probably retained too much heat and the result was a steak that was cooked well-done, rather than the medium rare I had hoped for.

Which was a shame, seeing as the mushrooms and green beans I made were quite a nice accompaniment to the meat. I even took the time to cook the mushrooms twice, the first to get the mushrooms to release the juices that would make them soggy. This will make me think twice before I go Dutch again!