Braising the Steaks

This past weekend was a real scorcher for much of the country, with temperatures so hot that you could fry an egg on just about anything. Air conditioner fried eggs are my new favorite fried, morning delicacy, by the way. I spent my early parts of the days this past weekend cooking and cleaning. I only ventured outside later in the day, because as the saying goes, if you can’t stand the heat, get into the kitchen. 

When I got home on Friday night, I was dealing with my own temperature issues right inside the apartment, something that has affectionately come to be known as “The Great Defrosting of 2019.” The door to the freezer had been left slightly ajar, not much but just enough, to have my freezer act as if it was a very cold refrigerator.

“EGAD! The meat!” I screamed. What you don’t know is that much like a Manhattan millennial or a divorced Dad in a family of six, I subscribed to Butcher Box earlier in the month. That means that I have close to $100 of meat in the freezer. My apartment isn’t a Brazilian Steakhouse; I don’t need that much meat thawed at once! Fogo de ‘shut the freezer door.’ Chao!! But there I was, 12:30 Saturday morning, scrambling to finish thawing defrosting meat and freezing thawed meat. A butcher’s worst nightmare, save for the one where they show up to slice pigs but the pigs are naked except for the fact that they are wearing the butcher’s underwear. 

The two most affected pieces of meat were a fresh pack of chicken and a steak I’d bought at Target about a month ago. So naturally, I cooked both, but first, I cooked the month old steak.

Saturday morning I’d just made bacon; fried it right on my forehead, no less, so I was in the mood for meat. It’s like an aphromeatsiac (patent pending, 2019) and I siphoned off some grease to save for later in the week cooking.  What remained was, even by Olivia Newton John’s standards, a lot of grease, so I just heated it up and fried the steak. 

Drumroll please......... that was the best steak I’d ever made. I don’t even know what I did. It came out cooked on the outside and slightly raw on the inside, the way I felt and looked anytime I got close to a window. I honestly don’t know; I pressed it into the sizzling oil, which technically is bad; I kept touching it and flipping it, sometimes barehanded, and I tasted it while it cooked. But, despite all of my prodding and trodding, it remained steak, through and through. I removed it from the oil, but not from the heat, as everything was hot because of global warming, and I tented the meat like I was camping in the woods. I had everything to gain and nothing to lose, the exact opposite of camping in the woods. 

I had steak for dayzz. No, actually, I ate it over a few days. I had to savor the flavor of the steak. The microwave cooked it, but nevertheless, it resisted. And by that, I mean it became a lot tougher and chewier from being cooked by a microwave. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that I can cook a steak well, and even on the hottest day of the year, I can still bring the heat in the kitchen. 

*No steaks were braised in the writing of this post.*