Food Geek Friday: Dyed Meat

Yeah, that’s not a misspelling… 

So the other night I’m at my parents’ house for dinner – Mom bought steak.  Dad wasn’t feeling well so Mom asked if I’d grill them.   Being a compulsive label reader, I read the label as I was cooking but choose to ignore it since that’s what was purchased and it’s stay and eat with them or go home and cook a second dinner for myself.

I’m not ridiculous.

I cook the meat for what should have been an appropriate amount of time.  We cut in and it’s all really, REALLY red.   They looked raw.  Not rare, RAW.  They’d passed the “touch test” but they sure didn’t look like it.

I do a very un-Texan like thing and pop them in the microwave to finish off.   (It’s SHAAAAMEFUL but sometimes I do it.)  Mine looks over-cooked but is the proper texture for my done-ness.  My parents’ steaks still looked extremely undercooked – even though they’d cooked much longer than mine - but also tasted to their desired done-ness.  Dad even said that his was done the way he wanted; it just looked undercooked. 

That’s when I tell them what I read on the packaging – our steaks had been injected with red dye.  I’d read about beef being injected with red dye to look fresher and more appealing on the shelves.  I never realized how that dye would also affect the cooking process. 

I’m sufficiently grossed out.