Cooking steak – ignore the whole “room temperature” thing

Today’s awesome guest post and video is offered by Head Chef Yankel of ButcherBox. If you’ve been around Mark’s Daily Apple for a while, you’ve likely heard of ButcherBox, a company close to the core Primal values of clean eating, great flavor and healthy sustainability. I’ve been a happy customer and proud affiliate since their…

via 5 Steps To the Perfect Steak—and a 4-Recipe Video — Mark’s Daily Apple

I’m a big fan of Mark Sisson and the work he’s done with Primal Eating. But this article simply repeats an old cooking myth i.e. needing to bring steak to room temperature before grilling. It just doesn’t matter. If the steak is cold it will take a little longer to cook. That’s it. You need to pay attention to the internal temperature and maybe flip the steak a time or two more. But that is truly it.

People do weird things because it’s grill-lore (don’t get me started with people who smoosh the burgers down on the grill and lose all that juice) but it’s time to rise up and ignore what makes no sense and just cook the damned thing.

Brisket #2 (electric boogaloo)

The forecast for today was torrential rain with the snow level dropping to 4000′ so no hiking (as I write this I am warming my feet in the sunshine). I decided to take advantage of the weather and try another brisket.

I picked up 17.5 pounds of USDA Prime brisket at Costco. I started the Big Green Egg at 4:30 this morning and got the brisket trimmed (ineptly) and on the coals at 5:01. This time rather than use tiny wood chips, Ian brought over a bunch of post oak and I put 3 or 4 sticks (it was pre-coffee) on the bed of coals. I damped things down to 300° and have monitored ever since. If anything I’m worried about this brisket as the Egg has been a bit over 300° more often than not. Chewy and tough? We shall see.

At this point I have another hour or two and then will remove and rest the meat. I would have liked more time – but 17+ pounds of meat simply doesn’t cook quickly.

Unhappy Meals – Michael Pollan – New York Times

Unhappy Meals – Michael Pollan – New York Times By the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma this article suggests that eating “food” as opposed to “nutrition” makes sense. Not a revolutionary concept perhaps but something that I take to heart. It is too easy to get caught up in making sure I eat protein for instance. I know that my body does best when I increase the level of protein I eat and lay off some other areas. But that doesn’t mean my body handles all good protein sources equally. For some trouble I have some trouble with eggs if they are cooked wrong; my body just doesn’t like it. But yogurt? Yogurt is something that usually calms down my stomach if it’s upset and gives me a decent boost of energy (of course there is a lot of sugar buried in most yogurt). Since I am running a weight loss bet with my brother, sisters, and mom I plan on spending some time experimenting with food that makes me feel good, helps me train, and sheds the pounds.I recommend the book by the way. I don’t know if there is anything new in it but it puts the entire package together nicely and suggests the right outcome for food-goodness; eat vegetables. Thankfully I like a lot of vegetables but somehow they are not always convenient so I skip them in favor of a piece of bread or a cracker or a hunk of meat. But read the book. If it has caused one change in me it’s that I am paying slightly more for grass-feed organic meat these days. No more grain-fed stuff if I can avoid it.

Gli acquazzoni di aprile portano i fiori di maggio

April showers bring May flowersI’ve never thought too much about this phrase but it is interesting and a nice platitude that the pain and suffering now can bring good results later. The converse must also be true: the cycling I am not doing now will bring about no flowering of ability in May.It’s also interesting to note which words are capitalized in languages and which are not. As a native English-speaker I think of the rules as fairly straightforward, e.g. names. I vaguely recall from German 101 that many (all?) nouns are capitalized. And in Italian we have lower-case months of the year. Honestly I like this e.e. cummings approach to capitalization. I don’t know what extra information capitalizing April or May brings. Sunday today so I am following the Swiss custom of not doing any work. I got up, cooked up some bacon, and then fried a lovely pot roast in the bacon drippings in preparation for a new beef bourgignon. Like everything done in a slow cooker it doesn’t look very good right now. This is also a new recipe I am experimenting with. I like my old recipe a lot, it tastes great, but it does require more-or-less constant tending which is problematic. The old recipe calls for two bottles of Burgundy or something hearty like that. It always seems fair that you taste the wine before putting it in the soup. Usually this is no problem but in a recipe that takes 5 hours the cook often winds up ready for bed before the dinner is done. So I am trying a new slow-cooker recipe but I am skeptical. I suspect at the end I will have very tender beef with a slight reduction in wine sauce but it won’t have the right pop.I also plan on trying out a tofu bourgignon (the sound you just heard was the entire nation of France gasping) since we have a vegetarian with us for dinner tonight.