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Feb 6, 2010 09:06 PM

Eating Raw Beef and Raw Steak - need guidance

Alright, Hounds, here's a question:

I've recently had some fairly tasty Ethiopian dishes involving raw beef. It occurred to me that the dishes, while tasty, are really just a mix of basic spices (berbere') and raw cuts of beef. Hence, I'm pretty sure I can make this at home for pennies on the dollar.

But, for some reason I can't get over the "eating raw beef" idea when I combine it with home preparation. There's some special psychological voodoo that lets me believe that a professional kitchen somehow is safer for raw beef prep than my home kitchen.

So, I'm wondering: How can I obtain, process, and consume raw beef as safely as possible?

- Can I just go get a nice cut of steak from a grocer or butcher, wash it off, carve some slices, and wamo, dig in? Or is that very unsafe?
- Do I need to shave off the surface layer of the beef cut, to get rid of aerobic bacteria?
- What am I missing here?
- In a different thread, a hound recommended dropping the raw meat into boiling water for a little while to get rid of surface bacteria. Would that pretty much do it?

From my understanding, ground beef is dangerous due to the mixing of surface bacteria with the meat, so does that mean I have to remove the surface of the steak I plan on using?

Hounds, unite, and give me your knowledge!

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  1. A good butcher can help you out...

    Tell them your needs; a fresh high quality cut of meat with as little connective tissue and fat as possible.

    Preparing it at home is often safer than a restaraunt, as you have control over the sanitation.

    1. I prefer to get larger pieces of beef and cut them down myself, usually reserving the most tender pieces for a raw application (which enjoy alone, kinda skeeves my husband out lol!). I just make sure everything is clean. I also, for both taste and possibly psychosomatic reasons season my meat with things that are somewhat unkind to bacteria. Salt, pepper, honey, garlic, soy sauce, and ginger are common seasonings I use, as well as occasionally lemon or lime juice. It reminds me of something like raw beef jerky.

      Some particular combinations I like to season my raw beef with are seasoned salt/honey/pepper, soy sauce/honey/cayenne/garlic, garlic/salt/maple syrup, garlic/lemon juice/cilantro/onion.

      1. fr1p,

        You always run a higher chance of getting sick if you consume raw meat. There is no way around it. At the same time, it is usually not as dangerous as you think. There are a few things you can do to minimize risk First, make sure the cow is not sick -- this is the difficult part. Second, fresh meat. Do not let the meat sits at room temperature long. Third, cut and throw away the very surface of the beef or boil the surface of the beef or pour high concentration of alcohol. Fourth, if you have access, use UV radiation.

        Ground beef is dangerous because of its high porous surface area, so bacteria can multiple much faster.