Author Topic: When serving steak  (Read 5192 times)

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Thipu1

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Re: When serving steak
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2012, 10:44:58 AM »
I think it would be best to ask, as well.
We usually just get a count.. say, 3 well done, 3 medium, 2 rare.. we'll throw 3 on the grill first, wait a few minutes, throw three more on, wait a few, then throw the last two on. That way they're all done at the same time. It'd not as chaotic as it might sound. :)

With a small group, this is exactly what we would do.  Asking the degree of doneness people would like is easy and makes everybody happy. 

Also, it's better to undercook than overcook.  You can always throw the meat back on the grill for a minute or two. 

SuperMartianRobotGirl

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Re: When serving steak
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2012, 09:04:08 PM »
So I have had this handled in a number of ways when I've been served steak, as I said. One time, they brought out the steak, and it was a bit rarer than medium, and the wife said, "Oh no, that's not cooked through yet" and told her husband to put it back on the grill. One of the men there said, "It looks perfect to me - can you please keep one off the grill for me?" The wife said that wouldn't be possible, they weren't done yet, and they put them all back on the grill. They seemed even beyond well done to me, but the wife talked about how perfect they were and said something like, "Everybody congratulate (huband) for how well he cooked the steaks!" And then to him, "They're really perfect." I just stayed silent and felt uncomfortable. The guy who had asked for one to be kept off looked angry. I don't know if I'd get angry but it was a buzz kill anyway.

But then I can imagine others might have been served steak more to my liking and felt equally off. I've been to dinners where they've all been to me perfect, every single steak. I have to guess someone there felt they were all underdone and was equally uncomfortable.

I guess I'd want to ask each person how they like them, or at least serve them cooked to a variety of degrees.

But like I said, I've really just kept away from steak.

Sharnita

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Re: When serving steak
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2012, 10:46:39 PM »
If I were the guest whose preference had been dismissed i would have given her my steak too.  I would have been beyond  angry to be treated like a child, a very young child, and have her completely override mypersonal tastes and then confirm that I had been wrong with her praise of the steaks that were done beyond my taste.

Lynnv

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Re: When serving steak
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2012, 12:39:12 AM »
I would have been pretty angry too. 

I do think steak is one of those things that should be served (at least to some degree) to a guest's preferences.  I don't expect my mom to be able to get me a bloody rare steak...but as long as she is trying and doesn't get it further than medium, I won't complain. 

But I do think that this is a case where the meal is doomed to be a disappointment to half the guests (at least) if personal tastes aren't taken into account.  And ensuring that half of your guests will be unhappy with a meal strikes me as poor hosting.  Too many people find a steak that is not cooked to somewhere in the neighborhood of their preferences completely unpalatable (I won't eat a steak cooked past medium) or inedible (my sister considers anything less than well done to be raw meat and serving it to her would ensure that she would eat nothing on the plate since the juice might have touched something else).

That is why I never serve steak at a party.  Because I am really good at cooking a steak to rare (for me) or medium-rare (for DH).  Anything else is a complete guess on my part.  And I am liable to burn it while trying to get it to well-done.  I don't do burgers either as, again, I am pretty good at what DH and I like, but not so good at anything else.
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Sharnita

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Re: When serving steak
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2012, 01:23:17 AM »
I can even forgive a guess and a miss.  However, when a person explicitly syas "there it is - I like it just like that" and you puposely take it away and cook it so that it is significantly different, that is power tripping.

Ceallach

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Re: When serving steak
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2012, 01:31:57 AM »
I think that steak should only be served when it's a small enough or casual enough group to meet people's preferences.  I've had this work well at BBQs where they know to whack mine on 15min before they start cooking the rest!  But I think at formal dinner parties it can be a recipe for disaster - you don't want people running back up and down from the table all the time to get meat cooked to different degrees, and most home kitchens don't have facilities to cook multiple steaks at different times/temperatures/lengths and time it perfectly to be served together.

Once when I was about 14 we were staying with my grandmother and she had guests.  She'd bought steak for dinner as a treat, and it was definitely cooked Medium-Rare.  Lots of red inside.   I like my meat well-done and have a very weak stomach for the redness.  Due to various aspects of the situation it really didn't seem appropriate to speak up about it.   (Seems strange now as my grandmother and I were close, but as I recall she'd been a bit stressed making the meal this particular evening - it was hard having her little house so full - and now we were all seated at the formal dining table and she was conversing with her guests, it just would have been really rude to say anything in that context). 

I remember my mother giving me an encouraging and knowing smile across the table as I politely ate the bits I could and tried to do that cut-it-small-so-it's-not-there thing with the rest of it.  I made a valiant effort!  I'd hate to be in that situation again, although as an adult I find I can worry down more things without it being so traumatising.   :) 
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Sharnita

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Re: When serving steak
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2012, 08:38:11 AM »
Could your mom have taken your steak and slipped away to cook it a bit more without really disturbing Grandma and the guests?

Perfect Circle

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Re: When serving steak
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2012, 09:32:29 AM »
I have served steak at dinner parties and it isn't that bad. I ask for preference and then cook on two cast iron pans if there are more than three people eating. It's quite easy to tell how done the meat is by pressing on it gently. It may be just a question of practice to get the feeling for it, but it's never failed me as a method.
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TootsNYC

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Re: When serving steak
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2012, 11:17:02 AM »

cheyne

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Re: When serving steak
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2012, 06:10:36 PM »
So I have had this handled in a number of ways when I've been served steak, as I said. One time, they brought out the steak, and it was a bit rarer than medium, and the wife said, "Oh no, that's not cooked through yet" and told her husband to put it back on the grill. One of the men there said, "It looks perfect to me - can you please keep one off the grill for me?" The wife said that wouldn't be possible, they weren't done yet, and they put them all back on the grill. They seemed even beyond well done to me, but the wife talked about how perfect they were and said something like, "Everybody congratulate (huband) for how well he cooked the steaks!" And then to him, "They're really perfect." I just stayed silent and felt uncomfortable. The guy who had asked for one to be kept off looked angry. I don't know if I'd get angry but it was a buzz kill anyway.

But then I can imagine others might have been served steak more to my liking and felt equally off. I've been to dinners where they've all been to me perfect, every single steak. I have to guess someone there felt they were all underdone and was equally uncomfortable.

I guess I'd want to ask each person how they like them, or at least serve them cooked to a variety of degrees.

But like I said, I've really just kept away from steak.

Bolding mine.

What does a guest do in this situation?  He asked politely for a medium rare steak, and was refused by the hostess for her own reasons.   Does the guest then have an obligation to suffer in silence?  In this case I don't think that a guest is obligated to eat any of the meat, or even pretend to. 

Steak is a weird food.  We all have our own preferences on the doneness.  If you are bold enough to serve it at a dinner party, I do believe that the guests preference must be taken into account.  The expense alone would make a host(ess) want her guests to actually eat the steak and not cut it up and leave most of it on the plate.

Ceallach

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Re: When serving steak
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2012, 06:25:11 PM »
Could your mom have taken your steak and slipped away to cook it a bit more without really disturbing Grandma and the guests?

Unfortunately not - it was a teeny little house (nan's retirement unit) and if she'd gotten up from the table nan would have wanted to know what she was doing, plus no way to hide that she was taking my plate away.  It would have been really blatantly obvious. Plus it would have been awkward if others had started to say "oh I'll have mine redone for a bit too!" and essentially taken over the whole dinner with an implied criticism of the hosts cooking.

She did clear the table really fast after dinner though, so nan didn't notice I'd left some on the plate!
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Pippen

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Re: When serving steak
« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2012, 06:18:21 PM »
I would avoid it too. Well done is an absolute travesty in my opinion and the reason a lot of people like it WD is due to the blood. A whole eye fillet is much easier to handle and sliced into steaks after cooking is a much easier option. Searing it and then resting it in a warm oven for a very long time will make it med-rare but without the blood which keeps the well done people happy and is still acceptable for the 'still mooing' folks.

Lynnv

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Re: When serving steak
« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2012, 10:37:04 PM »
I would avoid it too. Well done is an absolute travesty in my opinion and the reason a lot of people like it WD is due to the blood. A whole eye fillet is much easier to handle and sliced into steaks after cooking is a much easier option. Searing it and then resting it in a warm oven for a very long time will make it med-rare but without the blood which keeps the well done people happy and is still acceptable for the 'still mooing' folks.

And you can always grill/pan-fry a slice or two to make the really well-done people (I have a couple in my family) happy without a lot of hassle or problem.
Lynn

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