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Steaklovers ... when did you first fall in love with steak?

For those that love a good juicy piece of steak -- whether it's a ribeye, sirloin, or whether its done rare or burnt to a dry crisp -- when did you first fall in love with steak?

I mean, steak isn't one of those treats that you are given, or naturally gravitate towards, as a youngster, right?

Things like ice cream or other desserts are often provided to children as a "treat" but rarely does a mom say, "Son, if you get an "A" in in your 5th grade advanced organic chemistry class I'll grill up your favorite cut of ribeye as a reward!"

And children rarely pine to go Ruth's Chris; the obvious choice is always McDonald's or someplace like Baskin Robbins.

Personally, I love steak but for the life of me I can't remember when I first realized that I loved steak.

I love steak, now.

I just don't know when, or how, it started.

Do you?

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  1. I can't remember a time when I DIDN'T like steak. it was definitely one of my favorites when I was a kid. I was sort of an oddball child when it came to food, though. Desserts were never my thing. I preferred steak, scallops, salads, brussels sprouts, and spinach.

    The only time I remember avoiding steak was after I choked on a piece when I was in second grade. I was afraid of choking again, but the next time my dad cooked steak I couldn't resist the flavor.

    1 Reply
    1. re: szeglin

      I too think steak is a pretty easy thing to like. As a kid I used to be obsessed about steak, but now I avoid it, like many other foods I enjoyed as a child, because it's become boring and monotonous to me. I'll make an exception for exotic meat or super -premium ultra-marbled steaks, though.

    2. In my childhood, steak was something we had 3-4 times a year. Mom would buy a horrible piece of meat. She'd marinate it for a whole day in bottled Italian dressing. Then, she wouldn't fry it, wouldn't grill it... she'd bake it. Forever.

      The resulting "pickled baked steak" looked and tasted like liver.

      I gotta say in mom's defense that, except for steak and some "experiements," she'd turn out some very, very tasty mels.

      I was a freshman in college when I visited friends who grilled a delightfully-marbled, medium rare Porterhouse for dinner. It was like a new experience! I was hooked and couldn't get enough. Until I became concerned about cholesterol, I cooked steak for dinner more often than not.

      Nowadays, I have a steak a week. More, if I order steak in a restaurant.

      1 Reply
      1. re: shaogo

        The baked steak sounds terrifying.

      2. From the time I was on solid food, my mother fed us meat twice a day. I loved steak as far back as I can remember.

        I didn't eat at McDonalds as a child because I abhor Ketchup and in those days you couldn't get a plain burger, the buns were all predressed.

        My first visit to Peter Lugers in Brookly was at the age of 2 years and 4 months and I've eaten there since. Their Porterhouse is my favorite steak.

        I didn't like sirloin as a child, and it is still my least favorite cut. I prefer Rib Eye.

        I don't know why the OP thinks McD or Baskin Robbins is the obvious choice fro children. We weren't raised that way, and neither were our children.

        And why would I bribe my children with food to get a good grade. They deserve the finest and best food to nurture their bodies and minds so they can do well in school and life.

        1. I've eaten and loved steak all my life (62) - well, maybe not before I was on solid food. My Daddy would state "No matter what's wrong with you a steak will make it better." Depressed? Have some steak :) There were four of us and I believe we ate sirloins. And it was always cooked rare. BTW, when I was growing up there WERE no McD's. And I'd choose almost any meat over ice cream or any dessert for that matter.

          1. I grew up on a farm where we raised, among other things, beef cattle. We would butcher a steer after fattening it on corn and it would most likely grade high choice or prime. While it was not dry aged, my preference as an adult, it was delicious. We were always grilling steaks. And my mother always insisted on cooking "an extra one" For years now, I have grilled steak at my house on Friday nights. usually prime dry aged. My kid's friends would like to come over on that night and get steak like they had never had it before. Still a tradition.

            2 Replies
            1. re: steakman55

              My father (he was the cook in the family) always grilled an extra steak too so we had extras in case everyone finished their own and wanted more or we sliced it up for a sandwich the next day. To this day we still cook an extra steak when we have one, whether there's 2 of us or 10 of us. I have memories of gnawing on the bone of my t-bone steaks when I was 5 or 6 years old and moving onto ribeyes when I was 10 or 11. I went on a beef fix for a good year or two then, everything had to be beef. My brother went on a chicken fix at the same time. Dad humoured us both and always prep two different dishes with our meat preferences for each meal (good thing we had a restaurant so he could do that!). After 30 years my dad still jokingly ask if he needs to make two meats when my brother and I go over for dinner.

              1. re: fickle

                We went to a huge wedding in El Paso a number of years ago. The following day there was a barbeque on the grounds of the Carte Blanca brewery across the border in Juarez. There were loads of picnic tables under the trees, strolling mariachis AND - on topic - they would put large platters of steaks on every table. We were in heaven.

            2. id say growing up we had steak often, and macdonalds never.

              1. Growing up we had steak 2-3 times a year at most on special weekends like 4th of July or Labor Day. It was T-bone - now one of my least favorites - and grilled until it was at least medium well. I ate it because it was a special treat, but there were lots of things we ate that I liked a lot better. Then when I was in college, my then future and now ex in-laws who had a lot more money than my family, would take us to one of the nicer restaurants in our smallish university town, and it was my first taste of medium rare filet mignon. I've been a steak lover ever since, and rarely order/buy anything other than filet.

                1. My mom used to make steak every few weeks. It was always a T-bone (until T-bones were harder to find and then it became rib-eye), with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I still like my steak with garlic powder.

                  1. I am lucky to be the daughter of a butcher ( don't know if that's what they are called today) who had his own business in a very small rural town. My 3 brothers and I grew up running around sides of beef hanging in the meat coolers and having people come to our house next door sometimes on a Sunday or late at night all excited that a deer ran into their car and could my dad please break it down for them. We thought nothing of having steak and other types of meat pretty much all the time. Now as an adult I just make sure my red wine intake is enough to take care of any cholesterol issues I may have.......

                    1. I can pinpoint a moment. I had always had horrible shoe-leather steaks because I was afraid of anything undercooked. Eggs, steak, burgers -- all well done.

                      Then my prom date's mother made the most beautiful dinner for us when I was 17. She was a former B&B owner, an incredible cook. Out to the table came prime rib, so rare it was still mooing, practically, and asparagus with beurre blanc, and creme brulee for dessert. I was freaking out internally over the mooing prime rib, but I took a deep breath and bit into it. Melted in my mouth. Perfection. I never ate another well-done steak again.

                      1. The time would have been about 1950 or so. Charcoal was just becoming popular. Dad would cut out the side of a 5 gallon can and fill it completely with charcoal and light it with his acetylene welding torch, feeding the coals with pure oxygen till you could forge horseshoes on the thing! My uncle worked at Livestock National Bank in the same building as the Golden Ox. (Kansas City) He and Dad could buy huge strip steaks from the kitchen. Dad would get the rack from the oven and place it over the "grill" and flash grill those steaks; they were exquisite!. I was 8 at the time and I'll never forget them. I was hooked.

                        1. My mother, Mater Beige, bless her little cotton sox, was/ is a SHOCKING cook. That woman can do things to steak that make it only fit to strap to your feet and walk across the Kalahari.

                          So, in 1976, we were in living in London, and there was a **gasp** chain of steak-houses called ?Black Angus, or something like that. Mum and Dad took us there and I had my first really REALLY good steak... like one that had juice coming out of it when you cut it.. that was moist and tender, and not a lump of grey, stringy pap.

                          It was also the first time I had sour cream on potatoes and garlic butter.

                          Truth be told, it may have also something to do with the fact that my parents ordered me (aged 12) and my brother (aged 9) "Irish Coffee's", not realizing they were alcoholic.

                          I have since had amazing, sublime, orgasmic steak all over the world, but NOTHING compares to that first amazing realization that steak was something actually GOOD.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: purple goddess

                            since before i can remember, certainly before i was able to cut it up for myself. My grandmother would buy these beautiful rib eye or top round steaks, cook them just past rare, and slice them thinly for my brother and me. it was easily as good as her hamburgers (always from fresh ground round).

                          2. There are some experiences here that mirror my steak exposure as a child. Mom usually bought meat on sale and it was not the good stuff. She's cook the beef right out of it but it was what we had. At that time, I preferred hamburger meat over the dry, tough shoe leather like product we were served. If I had my druthers, I would have avoided beef at all costs but Mom got it pretty cheap so it was our main protein.

                            At age 16 (in the late 70s), I started working at a Ponderosa. One of the cooks took a shine to me and wondered why I always ordered a double 5 well (with cheese and mushroom sauce on the side.....yum!). I told him my story and why I didn't really like steak. So, he started to wean me off that double burger cooked well and would cook them towards medium. Then he wanted me to try a NY Strip cooked medium - his treat, no obligation other than trying a real steak. Granted, Pondo didn't have the best product out there but that perfectly cooked medium strip changed my view of steak forever. That was my turning point.

                            I can sometimes eat a steak medium rare but it has to be a high quality piece of meat. I probably cook it at home more towards medium rare but when I go out, I order medium. Filet mignon is the cut of choice because I usually get consistent product when out. At home we pick up whatever looks the best; t-bone, strip, ribeye.

                            The funny thing is....for the life of me, I don't recall the cook's name.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Dee S

                              My Mom always made London Broil, and in our family of eight, everyone was allowed only one or two thin slices. I remember a few times getting to the table a couple of minutes late and there was none left: No loss, because it was NOT cooked to perfection, it was overcooked and dry. Then when I started going on dates, a fellow took me to The Sizzler, insisted I get a sirloin done medium (big spender!) and that is I had my ephiphany. Of course I have moved up in the world of steak since then. I thought I was the only one that discovered good steak this way!

                            2. I had an experience similar to several other posters - although my Mother was an extremely good cook she, unfortunately, liked steak with the life cooked out of it. I really didn't like it at all. We didn't have it that often as we were low on money as a kid but.... we were always allowed to have whatever we wanted on our b-days. My brother was furious with me that I'd ask for mac n cheese (none better than my Mother's homemade) and hot dogs rather than steak. When I was 16 my sil and brother came to take care of me while parents went on vaca. Told SIL I really didn't like steak and she told me I had no idea how a steak should be cooked. Gave me medium rare and I now eat very very rare and love steak.

                              1. I don't remember when I started eating steak. As a kid, I didn't eat it, because my older sister didn't like it and I wanted to be like her. Most of the time our home was an 'eat what's put in front of you' home, but with steak, my parents didn't care because the substitute was a hamburger, which was cheaper. So my sister and I would eat hamburgers and everyone else would have steak (well done, cause that's the way my dad liked it).

                                My dad still tells the story of me staying at a friend's house and being given the option of steak or liver. To the great astonishment of my friend's mother, I picked liver. I loved liver as a kid and still do, but no longer would pick it over a good, rare steak.

                                1. Steak was never something my Chinese parents would often buy. However, my dad loved steak because it was something he rarely got as a poor kid growing up in Taiwan and when he finally got to the states, it was like heaven. The thing was, he never knew how to cook it well and rarely ordered it in restaurants since we stuck mostly to Asian ones. The first steak I can remember ordering was from the Norm's at Valley and Del Mar. Ordered it well done because I didn't know any better and my parents always said to have meat fully cooked. Despite it having the texture of shoe leather, there was something addicting about having a slab of beef on your plate. Over the years I upgraded to better cuts from sirloin, to NY, T-bone and finally to steak nirvana, the ribeye. Over time I also learned the error of my ways and had it prepared bloodier and bloodier from well-done, medium well, medium, and finally to medium rare. I've never looked back. I've also convinced my parents to have steak a little bloodier, although I make it on the medium side for them. Something about blood being "dirty" in Chinese culture. They love the ribeyes from Costco as well.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: taiwanesesmalleats

                                    I'm not sure Norms's (RIP) can do steak any other way but "well done".

                                    And, honestly, I would be a bit hesistant to eat any meat served up by Norm's that's anything shy of "well done".

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      So true. Regardless of how I got the steak at Norm's as a kid, it always turned out terribly. Oh the things we do/eat when we're young.

                                  2. I can remember being a very little girl and my father explaining that his favorite was porterhouse, so that was my "favorite" too. We had steak, but I think my mother overcooked it. God knows she incinerated hamburgers.

                                    I remember having prime rib (in Texas) when I was 16 ~~ Dalhart Texas, and it was the best thing I had ever eaten in my life.

                                    1. Actually, when I was in grade school, I can recall being able to pick my birthday meal; I chose sirloin steak and french fries every time. It wasn't prime cut, just supermarket meat, and it was broiled. I loved the meat, but also the crispy fat; I was hooked early. Flank steak made fairly regular appearances on the menu back then; it was far cheaper (relatively speaking) than it is now.

                                      These days, I prefer a good pan-seared rib-eye with sherried mushrooms. French Fries optional. ;)

                                      I've just always been a happy carnivore.

                                      1. It is actually quite recent. I am 20, and did not like steak until this past summer. I had never really enjoyed steak, but this past summer, I visited a friend's home and his family cooked steak and shrimp for us. (I didn't like shrimp until this summer either...but that's another story). Strangely, I had always been very picky about steak and shrimp, and hadn't really liked it until that point. His aunt cooked the steaks very simply, and I fell in love. So, I eat steak now :) Can't get enough of it either :)

                                        1. Do you mean steak (as in well done with BBQ sauce) or STEAK (properly seasoned and medium rare). The first as long as I can remember...as a hunter and eater of wild meat and then at Ponderosa Steak House - the hieght of haute cuisine inthe 1970's when we came south. The latter when I started cooking in my later teens.

                                          Our kids have no idea what it is like to live without good steak properly seasoned and cooked. They crave it. We eat steak two or three times a week - from all the major ungulate and non ungulate groups...cow, elk, bison, caribou, muskox, kangaroo, camel you name it. Not sure what they would eat at Mac D's. They have been there the odd time with others and claim it is horrible. It has been so long I could not remember MacD's myself! Properly educated kids quickly understand good food esp. STEAK.

                                          How can anyone get bored of a great cut of steak!

                                          1. I don't remember not liking a nice, rare or raw steak. It was just my mom and myself for a long time, so what she ate, I ate. And being an only child, she just pretty much treated me like a small, immature adult lol, which meant that I got to listen to her talk about how a steak that is over-done is too tough and kills the point of a steak, and other such kitchen "snobbery" lol. I idolized my mom and grandma, both of whom take their steaks rare, and loved cooking shows on tv just about as much as cartoons. I guess I got lucky that I had a mom who could cook very well. Not a lot of fancy stuff, but all of it was very good.

                                            And there is just something about a tender chunk of cow, I don't know how a child can resist.

                                            1. My mom and dad and both sets of grandparents enjoyed steak a lot. We had it at home and we had it out. Rare or medium rare. Lamb chops were cheap back then too, so we had plenty of them medium rare also. Sometimes for breakfast with pancakes on sundays. I can't remember a time when I didn't love steak. In fact I loved it from such a young age that I can still remember fantasizing about eating ten or more steaks in one sitting if I ever got the chance. I really thought I could do it.

                                              1. Fell in love in earnest back in 1996 when I moved to Columbia, Missouri for graduate school and began blowing much of my student loan money on the NY strip and shrimp combo at CC's City Broiler. It's a dark, intimate, old fashioned steak and chop house that serves up beautiful steak to the strains of Sinatra. (God I miss that place.) In any event, I think that's when I became a serious steakhead.

                                                1. I loved steak as a child and still do....my mom used to make a great marinated flank steak and then occasionally she would broil a t-bone or porterhouse for the three of us(dad, mom and me)......if we went to a restaurant I would generally order some kind of beef dish such as London Broil with mushroom sauce.....and hardly ever ordered from a kids' menu....My mom always said I had expensive tastes.

                                                  1. My parents lived through the Depression, so the only steak we saw was a round steak cooked en casserole with rice as a Swiss Steak. I knew there was such a thing as steak that was a lot different than that - television, movies, the usual - but it was never served, and I don't even remember seeing it in grocery stores. It may have been in the small-town restaurants we went to, but the fanciest thing we ordered was fried chicken or an open-face roast beef sandwich. (roast beef always tender but always cooked through, of course.

                                                    And then, somehow, it was the summer of 1960 and I was in New York City (gasp!) with my 6-year-older boyfriend (gasp #2!), and he wanted to go to the Tad's Steaks in Times Square. Steak, baked potato, salad and garlic toast for $1.29. Expensive for us, but cheap for the time. The price was in neon outside the building. He talked me into trying it rare, although I believe mine was ordered medium-well. Well, of course I loved it, despite the quality of the meat. It was also my first experience with sour cream.

                                                    Ah, meat...howIluvya, howiluvya.

                                                    1. I'm 61 and remember distinctly the FIRST time I ever "enjoyed" steak. I was in my teens, on vacation with Mother and Daddy. We stopped at a motor court that had kitchenettes; and there was a grocery store right around the corner. We walked over to the store and Daddy found some rib steaks that looked really good and were very reasonably priced. He picked out the 3 nicest ones and we headed back to the motor court.

                                                      Daddy broiled the steaks in the tiny stove's broiler; then topped each one with a dollop of margarine. The steaks were cooked medium (pink in the middle), so they were very tender and juicy. That was my introduction to a GOOD steak. Up until that time, I had always preferred a bologna sandwich to steak.

                                                      As I matured and started cooking my own steaks, they just kept getting rarer and rarer. Now, my hubby and I, when we eat our, specify that we want our steak "VERY rare" . . . and it usually takes at least one trip back to the kitchen before the cook understands what we want.