Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A recipe to bring out my inner hypochondriac

Okay, maybe I'm not adventurous, but I never claimed to be adventurous. If I had to choose between something delectable (and anyone who would use that word almost certainly does NOT have the same idea of what is good as I do!) but iffy as far as food safety goes and something that tastes just okay but is far less likely to leave me spending hours in the bathroom ruing the day I was born, I would happily pick "okay" every time.

So when I saw this in Barbara Swain's Cookery for 1 or 2 (1978), my first thought was, "Why surround a meat loaf with lettuce leaves before baking it? They'll just get all limp and nasty."

And then I felt a sliver of ice in my stomach as I started to understand. This is steak tartare, one of my biggest nightmares! It is meant to be eaten raw.

Reading the recipe made me even queasier:

This gives diners an opportunity to not only get E. coli from the raw meat, but also salmonella from the raw egg yolk. The entree variation revels in its potential infectiousness, requiring cooks to "insert raw yolk" into the raw beef patty so the diners can mix it in themselves, presumably not, with every motion of the fork, trying to figure out how they could get out of eating this mess without hurting the cook's feelings and perhaps preemptively envisioning hours spent messily writhing in pain when they realize there is no easy way out and they might have to eat the damn thing.

I'm feeling shaky and sweaty just looking at this concoction. I may have to lie down. Can I get food poisoning from just looking at a picture?


  1. WOW! How much butter do you think has been spread on those bread slices? Also, I think the texture of this meal would be, in 1 word, yucky.

    1. They were definitely generous with the butter, but health was not the focus for this meal....