Steak Problems

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Joined Feb 11, 2018
Hi Chefs
Had a steak sent back tonight saying it was overcooked (medium well, should have been medium rare) . Which it appeared to be, but looking closer there seemed to be a grey ring around the outside and pale center. And it felt very soft like a medium rare should be. The raw steak looked pale pink, no fat almost rubber like texture. Why do steaks cook in this way? Poor quality beef?
Thanks
 
1,749
492
Joined Aug 15, 2003
More info would help but yes, most likely poor quality. If the cow was on the younger side when slaughtered sometimes that can lead to pale looking meat (think veal vs. beef), grass fed vs. grain fed, amount of fat, etc.

What cut was it?
 
25
0
Joined Feb 11, 2018
More info would help but yes, most likely poor quality. If the cow was on the younger side when slaughtered sometimes that can lead to pale looking meat (think veal vs. beef), grass fed vs. grain fed, amount of fat, etc.

What cut was it?
It was quite a large ribeye, 4kg. The quality of our beef varies so much from our butcher which makes life very difficult.
 
972
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Joined Jun 23, 2015
BIG steak. What grade meat do you buy? Do you temp it? Do you trust you butcher, I have had them try to sub lower grades?
 
1,749
492
Joined Aug 15, 2003
Well, it's not always your butcher fault in the sense that he doesn't get to choose what meat he is sent (I'm assuming), but maybe he should know better than to send you the pale ones. Sounds like you have to talk to your butcher or find another source for meat.

the 4kg wasn't one steak obviously, right? That's 9 lbs...I assume you're talking about the sub-primal ribeye...

You also don't say where you are located...

Did you have problems with the rest of the meat? Or just that one steak?
 

pete

Moderator
Staff member
4,483
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Joined Oct 7, 2001
I had this happen to me the other night, as a customer. I ordered a NY MR. When I first cut into it I thought it MW, but on closer inspection I realized that it was MR, just a pale piece of meat. The texture was correct for a MR but the color wasn't. This place is the only "steakhouse" in town and we wanted a quick steak and didn't feel like driving for a really good steak. The place uses lesser quality steaks not bad, just not really good either) as they want to keep their prices low and I am aware of that so I just assume that they didn't start out with the best quality steak.
 
25
0
Joined Feb 11, 2018
Well, it's not always your butcher fault in the sense that he doesn't get to choose what meat he is sent (I'm assuming), but maybe he should know better than to send you the pale ones. Sounds like you have to talk to your butcher or find another source for meat.

the 4kg wasn't one steak obviously, right? That's 9 lbs...I assume you're talking about the sub-primal ribeye...

You also don't say where you are located...

Did you have problems with the rest of the meat? Or just that one steak?
It was rest of the meat as well. Also thought it could be down to oxidisation, but it had only been out of vac pac for a day
 
25
0
Joined Feb 11, 2018
I had this happen to me the other night, as a customer. I ordered a NY MR. When I first cut into it I thought it MW, but on closer inspection I realized that it was MR, just a pale piece of meat. The texture was correct for a MR but the color wasn't. This place is the only "steakhouse" in town and we wanted a quick steak and didn't feel like driving for a really good steak. The place uses lesser quality steaks not bad, just not really good either) as they want to keep their prices low and I am aware of that so I just assume that they didn't start out with the best quality steak.
Very frustrating as a chef. As far as I'm aware there isn't a grading system for quality of steak in the uk
 
1,749
492
Joined Aug 15, 2003
It was rest of the meat as well. Also thought it could be down to oxidisation, but it had only been out of vac pac for a day
Yeah I doubt that it's oxidation. Oxidation tends to turn the meat gray and is pretty easy to identify.

Sounds like a simply quality issue. I would either talk to your butcher or change where you get your meat. If your butcher is able to identify these sub par cuts and prevent them from getting to you then you should be fine. I'm assuming that he/she will be willing to help since you (I assume) buy beef from them regularly.

If they can't or won't try and work with you, I suggest you find a new source for beef.
 
2
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Joined Apr 21, 2019
Could it be some sort of brine has been added to the steaks before you receive them? That might account for the soft/rubbery texture and the grey colour after cooking.
 
26
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Joined Feb 19, 2019
Very frustrating as a chef. As far as I'm aware there isn't a grading system for quality of steak in the uk
That truly is sad - I mean - every place should have a grading system for all sorts of protein

And - agree with what has been said - sounds like an inferior quality meat and definitely would take it up with the supplier.
I've had a similar case a few years back (not beef, but pork) and the supplier did everything he could to convince us, that it was prime quality.
In the end, I invited him for dinner, cooked him one of his own pork chops and when he sent it back to the kitchen, complaining that it was not a good quality....let's just say, the next order we received were quality cuts from quality pigs ;)
 
4,526
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
That truly is sad - I mean - every place should have a grading system for all sorts of protein
I have always had my own grading system and it was enforced at the back door for anything (not just protein) coming in. At one place I didn't have good access to a vendor with whole fresh fish, my meat guy used to go to a big city to pick up his meat and I worked out a deal with him where he would go to seafood vendor that was right down the street from his meat vendor and pick up fish for me (for a percentage). I kept refusing fish he brought until one day, he asked me to educate him on what to look for when selecting fish. Problem solved.
 
26
9
Joined Feb 19, 2019
I have always had my own grading system and it was enforced at the back door for anything (not just protein) coming in. At one place I didn't have good access to a vendor with whole fresh fish, my meat guy used to go to a big city to pick up his meat and I worked out a deal with him where he would go to seafood vendor that was right down the street from his meat vendor and pick up fish for me (for a percentage). I kept refusing fish he brought until one day, he asked me to educate him on what to look for when selecting fish. Problem solved.
And that is the core of it - education
Most of the time, the vendors believe word for word what the supplier is telling them and pass this on to the customer - who, is an expert in this field.
I've worked with so many vendors over the years that, in the beginning, kept sending me their young, fresh out of college type sales people who, yes, could wear a suit really well, could pronounce even the most obscure ingredients from god only knows where, and yes, I'm sure they were all eager and hungry for business - BUT - you gotta know your produce....
Not saying that I only buy from vendors who cook themselves - but there is a pattern to my madness hehe
Almost all the vendors that are currently supplying us - I think 90% of them cook at home, for their families, using their own produce - AND, have educated themselves plenty :)
 
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