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Jul 28, 2014 09:20 AM

How do you cook a grey steak medium rare?

I believe plenty of people eat with their eyes and not with their tongue/mouth.

I think a medium rare piece of meat is the ideal doness. Incidentally I also find my friends who prefer well done meats think they taste excellent when I served sliced medium rare beef in dressed in thick dark soy.

This brings me to the question of whether if there is a way to cook a steak to medium rare yet have the colour of a well done steak?

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    1. my college boyfriend served me rare steak by candlelight -- I loved it & had no idea it was rare!

      2 Replies
      1. re: thymeoz

        You're sure it was steak, tho, right?

      2. It's called a hard sear. High heat, short time, then pull.

        5 Replies
        1. re: letsindulge

          That will not make the Steak Grey throughout.

          1. re: chefj

            Actually, the steak would be blueish and red inside, as in a "black and blue", or Pittsburgh steak.

              1. re: chefj

                I was just adding to the conversation and didn't assume you didn't know, so... please don't feel like I was trying to school you.

                1. re: monavano

                  No problem,
                  You just replied to me rather than Letsindulge.

        2. Nope, no way.

          My best suggestion for trying to continue to entice your friends to eat midrare beef is to cook something like flank or flap, and let them pick the more done pieces.
          Maybe they'll dabble into the blood where the good stuff is.

          22 Replies
          1. re: monavano

            I was completely mortified when someone last week asked me to cook wagyu scotch fillet to well done.

            High sear or charring wagyu is not an option as they flare up due to the very high fat content.

              1. re: Hobbert

                I think I'd pass out...

                1. re: monavano

                  Eh, I prefer my steak medium well so I don't really get all this hand wringing. At the end of the day, people are enjoying their meals so who cares? I'm just puzzled as to why the OP would be "mortified", specifically. Why should s/he feel embarrassed?

                  1. re: Hobbert

                    I paid $120aud a kilo for the wagyu. Compared to a regular scotch fillet of about $25aud per kilo.

                    Its basically a beef form of a foie gras.

                    The more you cook it, the more it looses the fat and juices. You will pretty much end up with a fairly ordinary piece of beef and a big mess of rendered fat in your pan. You loose that smooth buttery texture which is what wagyu beef is all about.

                    1. re: peanutking242

                      I know what wagyu is. Solution: don't serve it to people who prefer steak cooked well done. I'd love a nice roasted chicken over having my steak disguised as being more well done than it is.

                      1. re: Hobbert

                        Chicken is a great choice when entertaining well-done guests.
                        As I said, you have to choose something that won't make you cry cooking it!
                        And no, I don't really cry, I'm just being snarky.

                        (I cry on the inside, just a little)

                          1. re: Hobbert

                            I served the wagyu more like a special and rare treat. Its uncommon to get that sort of grade of wagyu locally as they are usually reserved for high end restaurants or being exported.

                            If I serve chicken to a guest who prefer well done steak, Wouldn't he/she feels a little left out?

                            This brings me back to my original question. serving the steak grey to meet expectations. yet having it medium rare to retain what the food is suppose to taste like.

                            1. re: peanutking242

                              I don't think that Hobbert was suggesting that you serve chicken only to the well-done steak guest, rather, just serve chicken as the protein for everyone.
                              Singling someone out because they eat well done would be mean!!
                              You might as well put them at the "little kids' table ;-)

                              1. re: peanutking242

                                Of course you don't serve one person something different. Why not serve wagyu to people you think will appreciate it instead of trying to make it look like something else?

                                1. re: Hobbert

                                  If you know ahead of time that you've got well doner's on your hands, you need to either choose different steak, or another protein.

                                  I like pleasing people and don't feel it's my place to push food or food doneness on other adults.
                                  MANY here feel differently, but I say live and let live, enjoy food the way you like it, and most of all, relax and enjoy.
                                  You want salt? Sure!
                                  You want A-1? No problemo!
                                  You want hot sauce? Have at it!

                                  1. re: Hobbert

                                    here's my predicament. the guest that prefer the well done steak is my mates plus 1

                                      1. re: peanutking242

                                        Personally, if I were a guest, I would just help myself to sides and not eat the steak. But, I can see how some would be annoyed that you won't cook a portion to their desired level of doneness. Maybe grab a filet mignon or some other cut you feel won't be desecrated by being prepared well done?

                                    1. re: peanutking242

                                      If I knew this ahead of time, I would just buy a different, cheaper cut for that person and cook it the way they want it - and not say a word about it being a different cut. They'll never know the difference and won't feel slighted.

                                  2. re: peanutking242

                                    Yup, that would make me weep. Sob, really.

                                    1. re: peanutking242

                                      Like I say to my wife. Why, would I make something nice like this for them? They would be more excited to get a frozen pizza or a fast food burger on their plate?

                                    2. re: Hobbert

                                      I don't get the sense that the OP is saying that anyone should eat steak like she does.
                                      There have been very heated discussions on CH about serving steak that you feel is ruined.
                                      As I wrote, I'm more than happy to serve well done steak to guests, and hand over my bottle of A-1.

                                      I grew up in a well-done family- that's just the way it was and what I came to know.
                                      No dithering over doneness, ever. It was well-done, period.
                                      Which was fine.
                                      But, as an adult, I began to realize that not everyone eats steak like that, and some like it bloody.
                                      Real bloody.
                                      So, my tastes began to change as I experimented with eating steaks that were less done, and now, I'm a midrare girl, and can't imagine going back.
                                      So, I can appreciate that people like their steak well done and absolutely no judgement, and am more than happy to please them when entertaining- which should be the goal, IMO.

                                      That said, there are many here who wouldn't dream of capitulating.

                                      1. re: monavano

                                        Grr...well I "capitulate" every night with my husband, at least about the steak....also "well done" boneless skinless chicken breasts, salmon, shrimp, frittatas....Gah! He DOES order his filet mig-non (inside joke) just MEDIUM well.

                                        It 's especially frustrating because my dinner may be done perfectly, and I don't know WHEN to pull his. I used to just leave it in the oven, but I would jump up and pull it out after awhile.

                                        Now I start his early but that often means two dirty pans.

                                        Sorry....back on topic. I've noticed meats I've vacume sealed sometimes turns grey before it's cohorts

                                2. re: peanutking242

                                  Did you have any clue that your guest likes steak well done?
                                  When I know my guests eat steak well done, I buy steak that won't make me cry cooking it.

                              2. To me medium rare goes with the colour so I'd say no but maybe you should try sous vide to get a constant temp throughout while getting rid of the colour? That way you could try to get the lowest temp possible to colour it, hopefully loosing as little fat as you can.

                                14 Replies
                                1. re: CaptCrunch

                                  Great idea, or maybe, the low-in-the-oven until temp is reached, then a really quick, hot sear.

                                  1. re: CaptCrunch

                                    Sous-vide won't help it at all. "Medium" is anywhere between 130-140ºF so let's just say that 130-135 is medium-rare. I've enclosed a photo of a côte de boeuf I did at 4.5h/131ºF followed by hard sear and a blowtorch: notice the pink. A porterhouse at 5h/133ºF and finished the same way is also pink.

                                    If not showing any pink is the objective, either served with the lights dimmed, blindfold everyone, or slice and hand-paint each cut surface with a brush dipped in boiling water.

                                    1. re: wattacetti

                                      I know :). Meat stops being pink at 141F so there is no hope of medium rare if 141 all the way but if you really have to serve that protein grey might as well try for the lowest possible temperature with a method that promotes even cooking.

                                      1. re: CaptCrunch

                                        Apologies - I misread your response. You're right in that capping at 141-142 would make it not pink but would avoid generating jerky.

                                        1. re: wattacetti

                                          No problem! Price of apology will be... lets see... Oh, I know! A côte de boeuf!


                                        1. re: wattacetti

                                          OK, now I'm seriously considering a sous vide machine.
                                          I have a question- why sear AND blow torch?

                                          1. re: monavano

                                            It goes faster. Start the sear on one side, melted butter, salt and a little sugar on the other side with the torch. Flip and repeat.

                                            1. re: wattacetti

                                              Thank you- I'm looking at the Anova circulator- will wait until Oct. when they have a bluetooth model to consider pulling the trigger on that one.

                                          2. re: wattacetti

                                            We used a quick sous vide when fixing a well done steak for the DILs when they were pregnant. You have to adjust the sous vide temp according to the thickness of the meat. We throw it on a hot fire. If you have a very thick steak I would have the sous vide at 140F. You are avoiding the layer of 180F or more to get the middle at 140F.

                                            1. re: wattacetti

                                              Sous vide side-steps the issue of the over-overcooked layer on the outside of a normal well done steak, or the possibility of cooking it the slightest bit past the point of no-pink. If I had to eat a well-done steak, sous vide is probably the way to keep it juiciest. Not that it helps THAT much.

                                              It might also be able to change the color of med-rare steak, now that I think of it. You know how beef coming out of the bag has that unappealing gray surface (the interior is red as usual, of course) even when cooked rare or medium rare? In theory, you should be able to make all your beef gray by slicing it thin before bagging in a single layer and cooking. Obviously, you'd never do this under normal circumstances due to the inability to sear and the poor aesthetic appeal; just pointing out that it should be possible.

                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                You've just made me think of something and it's more trouble than it's worth and will have many crying "frankenfood".

                                                Sous-vide thin slices in a single layer as described. Chill immediately, remove from bag and dry slices. Use transglutaminase to reassemble the steak. Re-therm and then high-heat sear.

                                                End result: medium-rare all-grey steak. Probably slightly more tender than the initial steak as well because of the slicing and reassembly.

                                                  1. re: wattacetti

                                                    I don't know why but transglutaminase makes me laugh.

                                                    "The good news is I found a way to nuke your food the way you want it nuked without sacrificing the tenderness. It looks dead enough but its hopefully not shoe leather

                                                    The bad news is I had to disassemble your steak in little slices and put it back together with meat glue. Once I was going I said "why not?" and made a sculpture of a horse with the resulting meat."