Things that make you go “Nom nom nom.”

Yesterday afternoon I was in the Big Chickenhouse with Landlady’s Brahmas, making some revisions to the nesting arrangement. Some of them have taken to sleeping on the top shelf and raining copious chickenshit down onto/into the milk crates where the eggs are supposed to go, so I cut a piece of old plywood and covered the top shelf with it. The egg count is creeping upward (five yesterday, though somebody hasn’t figured out the concept of a ‘nesting box’) so they’re starting to earn some of those hundreds of pounds of pellets they’ve gone through.

Anyway, as I said I was scraping chicken shit off a shelf when my phone rang. (forgive another digression: When I lived in the city, I really hated my cell phone. I called it my electronic tether. All it ever did was let people hand me bad news and unwanted tasks. I used to turn it off for days at a time and dread the inevitable angry messages when I turned it back on. But since my life changed, my cell phone works for me. That’s an unexpected benefit.)

(Ahem) Anyway, as I said my phone rang and it was my neighbor H. And she said something incredible, something I don’t recall anyone ever saying to me before.

She said, “Do you want a New York Strip Steak?”

“Um…is this a trick question?”

“No, see, I’m thawing some steaks, and [J] doesn’t want this one because he doesn’t like the color but I swear it was red when I froze it two weeks ago and I think it’s fine. I’d hate to throw it away.”

“Yes. Yes, that would be wrong.”

She laughed. “So…”

“I’m over at [Landlady’s] right now, up to my elbows in chicken shit and have to finish what I’m doing. But you can expect a visit very, very shortly.” As you can well imagine, I was as good as my word.

Now: I’ve mentioned before that I haven’t always been the gushing fountain of useful skills you see before you today. And I had to admit to myself, on my way home with my wonderful slab of deceased bovine goodness, that in the absence of a barbecue I’d never actually cooked a steak in my life. I’m aware you don’t pan-fry them, not ever, not unless you’re planning to use it to re-sole your boots. And you’d be proud of me, for this time I actually remembered that I possess that greatest of all possible research tools, right there blinking on my desk. Or it started to blink when I switched it on.

And almost as fast as you can type “how do you broil a steak,” I was rigging my second-best bread-cooling rack over my iron skillet on the broiling shelf of my oven, and pre-heating them just right. A little salt, a little of this liquid smoke a kind reader just sent me, into the oven, watch the clock most carefully…

And yes, it’s true I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s true I make this shit up as I go along most of the time, and my failures can be uncomfortable and sometimes even my successes are inadequate. but I gotta tell you, once in a while,…

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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11 Responses to Things that make you go “Nom nom nom.”

  1. czechsix says:

    The horror….the absolute horror.

  2. Joel says:

    Dude. By my standards that’s good stuff.

  3. MamaLiberty says:

    Broiling works fine, but the salt and other seasonings should actually be put on after cooking. “Seasoning” is whatever you like it to be. :) I use liquid smoke on lots of things, in tiny amounts.

    My first husband loved to BBQ, but insisted on a charcoal grill. Everything he made on it tasted like burned charcoal soaked in lighter fluid. Got to the point where I just took mine inside and pan fried it. Not the best way, and you don’t want to cook it long, but beats the heck out of lighter fluid flavor.

  4. czechsix says:

    Well, hell, you can get mesquite out there, right? Fine stuff for doing caveman cooking. Let a good pile get nice and hot, ash out to a decent pile of coals…and toss that steak right on top of the coals. You’ll get a good sear, flip it once to sear the other side, then brush what little ash is left off and let the feast begin.

    Oh, and ML…yeah, that BBQ charcoal doesn’t work too well, does it? Sometimes I’ll do the seasoning as you say, but more often than not I’m doing large grain sea salt, some fresh cracked pepper, and a garlic rub. If I’m feeling like a cheap bastich I’ll use granulated garlic, but it’s usually just salt and pepper.

    I hear ya Joel. BTDT.

  5. coloradohermit says:

    DH actually prefers when steaks have darkened a bit. Aged just right and more tender he says. Makes shopping in the reduced for quick clearance bin a cinch. So, it sounds like your New Year is off to a very good start!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Juniper coals are pretty good to cook a steak over.

  7. jon spencer says:

    Pan fried steaks are one of the best ways to cook one.
    It is best done where the smoke from when you put the steak into the really, really hot frying pan will not bother anyone.
    Outside over a wood fire would work fine.
    You do need a pan or griddle made from cast iron though.
    Because you have to get the pan hot.
    Here is a simple recipe from the food network.

  8. blindshooter says:

    A really hot pan is a fine way to do a slice of dead cow, crusty on the outside and rare in the middle. Don’t take long if the pan is really hot, for me about 3 min per side depending on how thick the cut. I’m eating leftover beans……

  9. Keith says:

    I’ve got the dubious benefit of absolutley shyte phone reception. Mr Murphy ensures that it only stops me getting the calls that I wanted to get.

    Some friends who have frequent barbeques, currently have some horse meat hanging up to mature. They fried some up (in a wok) last time I was over, beautiful. It’s not the first time I’ve knowingly eaten horse, and it won’t be the last either.

    The same friends are planning a “strange meats” night. Apparently they’ve got a good source of sea gulls, moles and weasels. I’m told that cat is good too. if the one I’m looking after at the moment, decides to piss on my kitchen floor again…

  10. Tennessee Budd says:

    MamaLiberty, I can see why he was the first husband. I haven’t used lighter fluid since I was a teen, & that’s–well, awhile ago. A chimney starter is the way to go with charcoal. Better yet, cook over coals, as czech said.
    Nothing wrong with frying, but you need egg, milk, & flour to bread it, & a half-inch or so of good lard (or bacon grease) to fry it in.
    Joel, it sounds like you found what works, & that’s what matters. If it tastes good, it’s right. Everybody else who gives advice, myself included? Scroom.

  11. Chocs says:

    Oooo nice one Joel! 😀 I love a good steak and don’t get to have it often :)

To the stake with the heretic!