I’ve had customers describe the degree they’d like their steaks cooked in countless ways, including ‘Still Mooing’ and ‘Cremated’.
I’ll always oblige the request of a customer, because the customer pays my wage.
However, there are some widely held misconceptions about the ‘degree of doneness’ in steaks.
To start with, the red liquid that flows from a cooking steak is ‘sarcoplasm’ (not blood), and the pink colour of cooked meat is the remaining pigmentation.
Blood is drained from the animal at slaughter, and any residual blood coagulates during storage or the early stages of cooking.
It’s a simple fact that the only way to remove the pink colour is to cook the steak long enough to render out all the juicy fat, contracting the muscle fibre so tightly that any remaining moisture takes the colour with it.
Obviously this leaves you with a grey coloured steak as tough and dry as a worn out shoe.
The truth is that you only really have the option of raw, rare, medium or well-done. You can’t have a well-done steak which is still juicy.
Sorry to say it, but if you ask for medium-well (no pink, but still juicy), the chef will often play it safe and just give you well-done anyway.