The blog of cooking-ez.com

Well-cooked meat


Well-cooked meat
Have you ever noticed that if you like your meat well done, it invites strange looks? For instance, in a restaurant, when asked “How would you like that cooked?” If you reply, “Well done,” it is almost as if you are swearing…
29K 4.4/5 based on 20 reviews
Grade this page:

Last modified on: May 21th 2011

Keywords for this post:CookingMeatWell doneRestaurant
Well-cooked meat
Yes, it's true that this might apply less to chains of grill restaurants, but in a traditional French restaurant it happens to me fairly often: he raises an eyebrow with a slightly haughty look and asks, “Well done, well done?” or maybe “Are you sure, sir? It is quality meat,” which is a charming way of telling you: “As you appear to be a cro-magnon who is in the wrong era, or at any rate an oaf with no taste, I warn you it'll be like shoe leather.”

Of course, it's very tempting to reply curtly at that point, “Well done, which means done well, cooked just right!” , but be reasonable, don't go off on the offensive, develop this a little:

My dear sir, it so happens that I prefer my meat well cooked, and I consider that it has a far better flavour (which I enjoy very much) and this – as you should know – is due to Maillard reactions (who is neither a footballer, nor a reality TV personality, but a famous French chemist of the 19th century). He brought to light the complex physiochemical reactions which take place during the cooking process and which produce such delicious aromas and tastes.

You will already know, I am sure, that in North America they have a grade of cooking which goes beyond what any French cook would consider “well done” , known as “Chicago” . Between you and me, I agree that it's a little excessive, yet they probably serve the best steaks in the world, and over there, even in the most basic diner you can eat a perfectly-cooked piece of meat with both taste and tenderness to knock you off your feet.

You are no doubt going to object that “well done meat is tough” , and to that I would reply: not at all! My dear sir, you are looking at the issue the wrong way round: if to be tender your meat needs to be half raw, then your butcher is a rogue and is selling you old tyres in place of meat. Either that, or your chef is an ass who hasn't got a clue how to choose meat. If that is the case, and you are the boss, if I were you, I would sack both of them.

If not, I will have: baked potatoes and Béarnaise sauce to go with my well done meat, and for dessert, a crème brulée, thank you.



Lasts posts
Preservative oil, an asset for taste
Preservative oil, an asset for taste
When you prepare a dish using an ingredient that has been preserved in fat, for example a springtime mixed salad with tuna in oil or sun-dried tomatoes, you're probably going to make a french dressing (vinaigrette) next. In that case, why not use the preserved oil from the tuna or tomatoes?
8995 June 5th 2024
Don't throw away disposable piping bags
Don't throw away disposable piping bags
Nowadays, it's fairly easy to find what professionals use as piping bags, i.e. disposable or "single-use" plastic ones. They're practical, functional and inexpensive, but disposable? That's debatable...
2,1575 May 28th 2024
Should asparagus really be cooked in bunches?
Should asparagus really be cooked in bunches?
You'll probably read recipes here and there explaining how to cook asparagus "en botte", i.e. in a small package (the famous "botte"). Is this really the right way to cook asparagus?
1,5285 May 22th 2024
Wipe meats and fish before cooking
Wipe meats and fish before cooking
When you want to cook meat or fish, there's a very simple yet very important step to take before you even start: It's to dry, or wipe, each side of the meat or fish, sometimes called "dabbing" or "sponging". But why? And how? Let me explain.
3,1965 April 14th 2024
Toss the salad
Toss the salad
When you've finished preparing a salad, green or otherwise, it's usually time to add the dressing and toss. It's often said to "toss the salad", which means to season and mix. Is it easy? Not so easy...
4,3165 March 8th 2024
Other pages you may also like
Fruits which can ruin your jelly
Fruits which can ruin your jelly
There are many ways of making a fruit mousse, but one of the simplest is to prepare a fruit jelly (basically a fresh fruit coulis with gelatine) and then mix this jelly before it sets completely with whipped cream. The result is perfect for filling a charlotte, for example. But do beware;...
68K4.0 March 6th 2013
Is it really necessary to cream egg yolks?
Is it really necessary to cream egg yolks?
Let’s try and answer a question that crops up in cookery and patisserie, even if it verges on the existential: do the egg yolks in a custard recipe really need to be beaten until pale, or not?
37K4.3 February 28th 2018
Stand mixer tools
Stand mixer tools
Whether we call it a stand mixer, food processor, or simply refer to it by brand (Kenwood, KitchenAid, etc.), this machine is a valuable tool for amateur cooks, bakers or pastry chefs like ourselves. All these machines come supplied with 3 different tools. Let’s take a look at their names and...
32K4.5 November 2nd 2019
The 3 secrets of Parisian flan
The 3 secrets of Parisian flan
A flan Parisien, or boulanger, is a simple yet delicious cake. A cream, a mixture of milk, eggs and sugar, is poured into a raw pastry base and baked in the oven until the pastry and cream are cooked. This is the simplest version of the recipe, probably the original one, but nowadays the cream...
7,9664.7 July 21th 2023
The golden-brown finish on puff pastry
The golden-brown finish on puff pastry
Let's take a look at the tricky matter of producing puff pastry with an attractive, golden-brown finish. French pastry chefs call this "dorure" (literally, "gilding"). Behind this quirky term there lurks a real problem (and the solution): when using puff pastry (pâte feuilletée) for a pie, or...
40K 24.6 February 8th 2018
Post a comment or question
Posted by:
I am not a leaving thing
The 1 comment already posted on this page
  • That's an interesting post. It was worth visiting your blog. Hope to visit again.




    Gourmet Secrets
    Posted by vestereas9 august 11th 2012 at 09:12 n° 1
Follow this page
If you are interested in this page, you can "follow" it, by entering your email address here. You will then receive a notification immediately each time the page is modified or a new comment is added. Please note that you will need to confirm this following.
I am not a leaving thing
Note: We'll never share your e-mail address with anyone else.
Alternatively: you can subscribe to the mailing list of cooling-ez.com , you will receive a e-mail for each new recipe published on the site.

Back to top of page