The doneness of meat

Apropos of nothing, I thought I’d take a moment to document the varying degrees of doneness of red meat.

Blue-Rare does not, as the name might suggest, mean your meat is blue. (Have you ever even heard of a mammal, let alone any animal in the entire kingdom, with blue flesh? Honestly, people!) On the contrary, blue-rare means your meat is seared on the outside and completely red throughout.

Rare is rare, not raw. The outside is seared and it is 75% red throughout the centre. A better choice for leaner cuts, and a true celebration of the animal and its sacrifice for our dining pleasure. Not for the faint of heart, and definitely not for those who like their meat tough, miserable and grey.

Medium-Rare, my personal favourite (except when it comes to a bone-in rib-eye steak, which ought to be medium, in my humble opinion), means the outside is seared and the interior is still 50% red. Again: the interior is 50% red. Not pink. Not brown. Red.

Medium is seared on the outside with 25% pink showing inside. Yup, medium still has colour, folks. A gorgeous pink colour. If you don’t want your steak to look like the image to the right, don’t order it medium. In fact, don’t bother with steak at all; order chicken.

Medium-Well, which is, well, tragic, merely offers a slight hint of pink on the inside. Frankly, we’re approaching shoe-leather territory. It is worth noting, however, there remains a slight hint of pink inside the meat. If you’re ordering your steak medium-well because you’re too ashamed to actually order it well-done, below, see above re chicken.

Well-Done, sacrilegious, is broiled until 100% brown. This is the end of the road. There’s nowhere to go but out the door and to a McDonald’s. Honestly. This animal died so we could cook it and eat it, and you want to annihilate it? And what of the sweat and tears by the farmer, the butcher, and the chef, raising, slaughtering and respecting the meat from cradle to plate?


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