Möbius Steak: Accepting Delicious Defeat (Filete de Moebius de carne)

Copiado íntegramente de MR ONIONS NEIGHBORHOOD

I didn’t fail the test. I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.

— Ben Franklin

Not everything goes as planned. You study something, follow the directions, and you find your end product is a total flop. I always think it important to refer to them as “learning experiences” and to try and find something positive despite the lack of success.

Do you recognize this formula?

x(u,v) = (1 + .5v cos .5u) cos u
y(u,v) = (1 + .5v cos .5u) sin u
z(u,v) = .5v sin .5u
where 0 ≤ u < 2π and −1 ≤ v ≤ 1

Probably not. It’s a means of representing a möbius strip. I love the concept of the möbius strip so much that my thesis for my master’s in music composition was titled “Möbius”. The fact that you can trace a path and end up on the opposite side amazes me. Absolutely amazes me. Want to know what’s even crazier? When you divide a möbius strip. You would think that if you divided it in half you would end up with two, but that’s not the case. (You end up with a larger loop with two twists!) Dividing the strip off center gives you a small möbius strip and a larger loop with an extra twist, interlocked. I was watching this video on Youtube by the ever amazing Vi Hart and was struck with what I believed to be an amazing idea. Mixing science and cooking got me thinking that to involve some mathematical concepts would be a lot of fun. This question came to mind almost immediately:

Why not make a möbius strip out of meat?

The awesome folks over at RareCuts still had a solid supply of meat glue, so I thought it might be fun to give it a go. I picked up some flank steak from there, since it was a nice long cut, and went about trimming and fashioning the shape I needed.

I trimmed the meat to a nice long strip and beveled the ends that would be connected. Next I sprinkled on some of the transglutaminase, then pressed the ends together. (Almost immediately you can feel the bond being created.) Next I wrapped it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to set overnight.

My plan was to sear it (remember, it only has one side!) in a hot pan with some butter …

… but as soon as it hit the pan the bond broke. Someone informed me that flank steak has large muscle fibers that swell when cooked. Even if it had a good bond, when the muscle fibers swelled it just tore apart the bond, much like Chris Farley putting on a little coat and flexing.

Not to be deterred, I thought I’d give it another shot with some of these skirt steaks I got from RareCuts. (Note, the pictures below are made up of a combination of two different pieces of skirt steak. I had the same results with both pieces, so I pick and chose the photos that showed each step best.)

Trimmed, glued, sealed. (Note the glove: transglutaminase can be sticky.) I had two skirt steaks to try out. I was thinking that maybe some added pressure would help make a stronger bond; sadly, I ran out bags for my vacuum sealer so some Ziploc bags with a weight on top would have to do for now.

After a day, I rubbed them with some salt and the same herbs de Provence blend I used for the meat sphere. I used some olive oil I had that infused with cardamom, lavender, and juniper.

Skirt steaks don’t need a lot of time cooking, which I thought would be perfect for this. A dry rub and a quick sear was all this tasty little piece of meat needed. Now, since the möbius strip has only one side, if I continued to rotate it around then I would have theoretically seared all sides. Since it’s thin this was actually really easy to do. (Cue foreboding music; you can see one of them starting to come apart, right near the pan.)

And it held! Or at least I thought. The minute I started to divide the möbius strip, the bond began to fall apart.

In an effort to still demonstrate the results of dividing a möbius strip made of meat I forced a bond: let’s say it was with something inedible that was later discarded along with the meat pieces of meat it was touching. I think that bond might’ve held had I put more pressure at the site of the bond by vacuum packing the cut of meat, but I couldn’t afford to keep trying this. After three attempts (one flank steak, two skirt steaks), I decided to put this one to rest with an assumption that I could possibly do this if I were to give it another try.

I always try and take a lesson from my failures and if anything the only thing I learned was that I can be extremely stubborn. And that skirt steak is amazing. Determined to find another interesting use for the transglutaminase, I persevered through more failure, then turned my gaze to seafood …

… to be continued.

Enlace sugerido por MARTA MACHO-STADLER

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