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Cooking (Mis) Adventure


Gar1eth
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(Note: All dates and times are approximate)

 

Ok I think it's looking good as regarding poisoning myself. I think I have survived. But let me explain....

 

Ok to start out with I have a confession to make. I'm a died-in-the-wool, old school carnivore. However even though I'm a carnivore, raw meat has always pretty much disgusted me. I can't tell you how many times over the years that I've had something like ground beef in the fridge, not cooked it when I initially thought I was going to, and ended up keeping it in the fridge a few days longer. Then when finally going to cook it, thinking about the 3 or 4 days it's been sitting there in my very cold refrigerator (some packaged mushrooms I had towards the back actually froze), and decided to throw the meat away for safety's sake. Yes I know people say to smell it -although it's not an infallible test-but most meat even when fresh smells sour to me.

 

This time, however, I threw my normal caution to the winds. Back on February 10 th I was at my local Safeway. In the meat section they had some specials. There was a bone-in ribeye with a sell by date of February 12th originally selling for 14 dollars, and now marked down to $4.65.

 

I hadn't fixed a steak at home in a long time. So I decided to buy it. I get it home and try to decide how to cook it. Normally I grill them outside. But I don't have a working grill at the moment. So I start looking at stove and oven recipes. Most of them suggest using an iron skillet. I think about buying one, get very close to doing it. But I decide I don't really want to right now for various reasons.

 

I also decide I want to marinate the steak. Yes, I know all you steak purists out there will be turning up your noses. But I love teriyaki steak. Unfortunately, I didn't have any teriyaki sauce. But I found a recipe that wasn't hard to make, and I had most of the ingredients-soy sauce, white sugar, vinegar, honey, garlic powder, olive oil. The only thing I didn't really have was ginger. But I tasted the marinade -and it was fine without the ginger.

 

I didn't get around to marinating the steak until February 12th-two days after I bought it-and this was the sell-by date. The recipe advised marinating for at least two hours. I decided I was going to marinate it all day. Well for various reasons, my all day extended to 5 days. I didn't get around to cooking the steak until yesterday February 17th (actually to be truthful it was in the wee hours of the 18th). I had looked it up online. And the advisories for steak were that it could be kept refrigerated for 3 to 5 days at home. Now I figured my refrigerator was at least as cold as the meat case at Safeway. And even though I had actually had the steak since the 10th, going by the sell-by date I was at 5 (ok 6 days). I was a little leery about being at the end of the advisory period. But I had been thinking about this steak for days now. It didn't smell bad when I took it out of the fridge. But of course it had been marinating for 5 days which might have covered up a mild foul smell. But I was bound and determined to cook it unless it looked awful. The steak was brown in color but I attributed that to the marinade.

 

For cooking method-I decided to broil it in my electric oven. I put it on 8 minutes per side (I like my steaks medium well). That was actually pretty simple except for the two times it monetarily flamed in the oven. The first time it happened I realized I don't have a fire extinguisher, and I wasn't sure whether I had baking soda or not. I looked over at the pantry and saw some baking powder which made me feel a bit better.

 

After that came the great experiment of eating the steak (Note-I had made some baked potatoes right before putting the steak on the broiler). Now it occurred to me that if the meat had spoiled, I was most likely going to be deathly ill. I was going to write this last night as a possible pre-illness testament. I was going to alert y'all that if I wasn't heard from over the next several days, I was most likely recuperating from food poisoning. But I fell asleep after eating-it was rather late. Right now it's been at least 8 hours since I finished eating. I feel fine right now. So I'm guessing I have dodged any toxin based ptomaine poisoning. If I become violently ill later in the day, I'll let the Forum know.

 

One other thing-was the marinade. After 5 days, I was worried that maybe the steak would be really mushy from the vinegar. But it wasn't. In fact the teriyaki taste while present wasn't very strong at all. I'm surprised that after that long a marinade, the taste wasn't stronger.

 

Anyone have any suggestions regarding the how I could have increased the teriyaki flavoring?

 

Gman

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I don't have an answer to your question, but marinade is something of a preservative, so I wouldn't have been too concerned to start with. Then again, I ate raw flank steak marinated in soy sauce back when flank steak was still inexpensive and unfashionable.

 

 

I wish I knew why the flavor didn't penetrate better.

 

 

 

 

In both the kitchen and the bedroom, nothing is fine without the ginger.

 

 

Yes, I definitely understand your point @Mikegaite, and ginger for the kitchen is relatively easy to obtain-or at least this type of ginger is

 

http://runningmagazine.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/ginger.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This type of ginger however has, alas, never shown up in my bed much less my kitchen.

 

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LDcHYEXuEp4/Uwt-VFfBgGI/AAAAAAABmkk/XEhxGSdXrLE/s1600/Ginger-red-head-fire-crotch-sexy-hot-shirtless-naked-ass-+muscle-hairy-chest-beard-gay-guys-men-tumblr-kissing-freckles-9.jpg

 

 

 

Gman

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I'm glad you suffered no ill effects of eating that steak. I think you, QTR, and others are right - the vinegar acted as a preservative. I am not as brave as you, however. Meat is either consumed, frozen, or tossed within a few days. In fact, I have frozen meat that has been marinating.

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I agree with QTR and others that the marinade would have acted as a preservative. It pays to be aware of what being out of date means. Certainly there is a safety margin between the label date and when the meat will be off. Packaging is often completely airtight now so until it is opened the meat will be relatively stable. Some spoilage only affects palatability not safety, some (but not all) pathogens are killed by cooking. Some foods, milk comes to mind, change their nature as they age, going through similar processes as people use in producing other dairy foods, so spoilt milk may no longer be fit for purpose but can be used (assuming you could be arsed cooking with it).

 

I aways scan the meat cabinet and often have a sharp change of evening meal plans as a result of steeply discounted stock.

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I agree with QTR and others that the marinade would have acted as a preservative. It pays to be aware of what being out of date means. Certainly there is a safety margin between the label date and when the meat will be off. Packaging is often completely airtight now so until it is opened the meat will be relatively stable. Some spoilage only affects palatability not safety, some (but not all) pathogens are killed by cooking. Some foods, milk comes to mind, change their nature as they age, going through similar processes as people use in producing other dairy foods, so spoilt milk may no longer be fit for purpose but can be used (assuming you could be arsed cooking with it).

 

I aways scan the meat cabinet and often have a sharp change of evening meal plans as a result of steeply discounted stock.

 

Hmm I also remember reading that stores use sell by and use by date more for their own standards. It does come down to storage and temperature. some things do last longer then the use by date.

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I'm glad you suffered no ill effects of eating that steak. I think you, QTR, and others are right - the vinegar acted as a preservative. I am not as brave as you, however. Meat is either consumed, frozen, or tossed within a few days. In fact, I have frozen meat that has been marinating.

 

I've thrown meat (and chicken) away multiple times in the past when they were probably fine, but I was worried. However this time I looked it up online. The guidelines from several trustworthy sites said steaks were good for three to 5 days after buying. In this case the sell by date was the 12th. My refrigerator is just as cold or colder than the meat case at the grocery. So while I realize 5 days might have been pushing it, I felt reasonably safe.

 

Heck it must have been my week of living dangerously. A good acquaintance of mine from Dallas whom I hadn't seen in over a year was in town over the weekend. I was able to get together with him Monday. We had leftovers from lunch. They were in my car for about 6 hours with the weather hovering around 50. Normally I would have thrown them out for having been in my car so long. (I've done it before). If it had been any warmer here, or if I had been back home in Texas, I would have thrown them out immediately.

 

 

I agree with QTR and others that the marinade would have acted as a preservative. It pays to be aware of what being out of date means. Certainly there is a safety margin between the label date and when the meat will be off. Packaging is often completely airtight now so until it is opened the meat will be relatively stable.

 

I'm not sure if it's the same here as in Australia. But the dates on most foods here are 'sell by' dates and not expiration dates. There are a few foods that have dates mandated by government. But most of the dates are manufacturer specific. (I've cooked raw eggs that were months old and been fine).

 

I doubt that our meat selections here are air tight for the most part as you will often see brownish looking meat which means air has gotten to it.

 

Some spoilage only affects palatability not safety, some (but not all) pathogens are killed by cooking.
True-it also depends on whether it is actual bacteria that causes the illness or whether the bacteria make a toxin. While you can often kill off bacteria, many of the toxins are heat stable. So even if the bacteria that produced it are killed off, the toxin can still make you deathly ill.

 

Some foods, milk comes to mind, change their nature as they age, going through similar processes as people use in producing other dairy foods, so spoilt milk may no longer be fit for purpose but can be used (assuming you could be arsed cooking with it).

 

True, I've been looking at a lot of reputable websites to see what the limits on food actually are. Plus my refrigerator is like being in the Arctic. I wouldn't be surprised if there were a perfectly preserved frozen Wooly Mammoth at the back. :p

 

I'm not quite sure what 'arsed' means in this case-did you mean 'bothered'?

 

Gman

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I'm not sure if it's the same here as in Australia. But the dates on most foods here are 'sell by' dates and not expiration dates.

Food Standards Australia and NZ sets the rules, and there are 'use by' and 'best before' dates. Use by is where there is a health or safety reason, and it's illegal to sell the product after that date. Best before means the product should be safe but may have lost some quality. The one package of meat I have in the fridge has a best before date and the milk has a use by date.

I'm not quite sure what 'arsed' means in this case-did you mean 'bothered'?

Yep, basically!

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I wish I knew why the flavor didn't penetrate better

 

Did you pierce the meat numerous times to a decent depth of the steak prior to marinating? That can help somewhat. All depends on how thick it was, isn't that always the case :)

 

Sometimes if you want to seal in any juices, a quick pan sear before broiling will help retain the flavor as well. An extra step but sometimes worth it.

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Food Standards Australia and NZ sets the rules, and there are 'use by' and 'best before' dates. Use by is where there is a health or safety reason, and it's illegal to sell the product after that date. Best before means the product should be safe but may have lost some quality. The one package of meat I have in the fridge has a best before date and the milk has a use by date.

 

Yep, basically!

 

Most of our food only have Best Buy dates. Milk and eggs have actual expiration. But I've kept milk I've opened at home for way longer than I would have thought I could. And I've also kept eggs a really long time too. While it's not infallible, you can place an raw egg to test it in a glass of water. If it floats to the top, it's definitely bad-bad eggs collect gas and become more buoyant although they can still be bad without being buoyant.

 

Did you pierce the meat numerous times to a decent depth of the steak prior to marinating? That can help somewhat. All depends on how thick it was, isn't that always the case :)

 

Sometimes if you want to seal in any juices, a quick pan sear before broiling will help retain the flavor as well. An extra step but sometimes worth it.

 

I did pierce it several times-maybe it wasn't enough. But thanks for the hint about searing. We never really broiled steaks at home when I was a child-we used the gas grill. I won't say the steak was as good as on the grill-but it wasn't bad. The roaster was a slight pain to clean up-yes I put foil in it. But the grill part had char on it. I think I removed some of the surface getting it off. And of course the two times the steak flamed inside the oven my heart jolted a bit.

 

Gman

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Anyone have any suggestions regarding the how I could have increased the teriyaki flavoring?

 

Gman

 

 

I, too, have been annoyed that marinade flavor does not last.

 

I'm going to state the obvious and tell you that I've always had to put extra sauce on the meat again after cooking to really taste it the way I like it.

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I, too, have been annoyed that marinade flavor does not last.

 

I'm going to state the obvious and tell you that I've always had to put extra sauce on the meat again after cooking to really taste it the way I like it.

 

 

But I've been to steak houses where the teriyaki flavor is much more 'there'. I'm wondering if they inject the flavor somehow. They wouldn't have time to marinate meat for days, would they? I also wonder if maybe I should have used more vinegar as that might have broken down the meat fibers more. And don't get me wrong. There was some flavor there. I just expected more.

 

Several people have conjectured that the acidity of the marinade may have helped keep it from spoiling. It might have been a factor. But I really doubt that my marinade was acidic enough. There wasn't that much vinegar in it.

 

So far so good. I'm still not sick. :)

 

Gman

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