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I sometimes get meat that tastes really strongly of iron and blood, usually when the meat is visibly bloodier, but not always. To me it's more of an effect or an assault on the senses than a mere taste and I don't like it, although to each their own.

What are some of the best ways to prepare and cook these cuts to reduce their bloody flavor as much as possible? Please include a way or two that is 'quick and dirty' when time is scarce, and also allow for still being able to serve it on the rare/medium-rare end of the spectrum. I also don't want to just completely cover the natural meat flavors up with spices and added ingredients (although I'm open to good pairings that naturally offset or complement what's going on- like the classic liver & onions).

Do people soak meat in water? Would letting the meat season overnight or let the meat air out do the trick? Also is there a way to predict which meat cuts will taste like this, through visual inspection or knowledge of the cuts?

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  • I wonder where you are in the world and whether you are paying extra for the grass fed beef? Or are you in Iowa buying corn fed beef?
    – Willk
    Feb 14 at 16:21
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    @Willk - everywhere I've lived in the US (five cities on both coasts and in the midwest) has had corn-fed beef as the cheapest and "default" available. Grass-fed beef, in my experience, always costs more. Feb 14 at 18:04
  • For the last two months I've gotten beef shipped in from a subscription service that I decided to give a try. It's around 120/mo which includes several cuts of grass fed beef, a pack of bacon and a pack of salmon. I don't know the policy here of mentioning brands names, so I'll keep it anonymous unless it's ok. It's mostly great stuff though and it's not a bad deal for the convenience, though it is slightly little more pricey. Depends what you value more but I just wanted to give it a try. I've been kind of on a health kick lately and I also like to experiment.
    – gcr
    Feb 15 at 2:56
  • I've noticed the blood smell/aftertaste is more noticeable on meat that's been frozen, fwiw. I won't answer that because there's nothing to be done about it, but it might be a clue... Once way to reduce it is with a sharp sear on the flat sides, which seems to drive the smelly juices out, while still allowing a proper (138F) inner cook.
    – dandavis
    Feb 15 at 19:16
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If your beef has honest-to-goodness blood in it, complain to your butcher.

More likely, what you're seeing/tasting is myoglobin, which does have a bit of a metallic taste when it's not cooked. You can get rid of this in two main ways: osmosis and heat. So here's how to do that.

  1. Dry brine it. Put the beef on a drying rack set on a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Salt liberally on all sides and set uncovered on the bottom shelf of your fridge overnight. This will pull a lot of the myoglobin out, while also improving flavor, juiciness, and texture. Pat it dry with more paper towels before cooking/searing later.
  2. Cooking with special equipment. If you want to serve it pink with no metallic taste, you'll want to cook slowly, and at a low heat. That's where immersion circulators (i.e. sous vide) and combi ovens shine. If you have access to these, try cooking your meat to 135F (medium rare, closer to medium) and then sear in a hot cast iron or carbon steel skillet (maybe with crushed up garlic, thyme, butter, etc.)
  3. Cooking with common equipment. If you don't have access to these tools and the cut of meat is reasonably thick (2" or more), then you can set your oven to the lowest setting (other than plate warming) and just wait. Use a good thermometer to detect when your steak gets ~10F below your target temperature, then transfer it to a screaming hot skillet to sear.

Please include a way or two that is 'quick and dirty' when time is scarce, and also allow for still being able to serve it on the rare/medium-rare end of the spectrum.

You'll need to dry brine it, otherwise this is a "pick one" situation. However, if you're cooking skirt or flank steak, then you can still get good results by cooking very hot and very fast, though it will tend to dry the meat out a bit more.

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  • Thanks, I will explore all these options. A lot of food for thought, and a lot of thoughts on food! Yes I get meat sometimes with blood or what looks like blood, including grass fed mail shipments, straight from the packaging- depending on the cut. At least it is red liquid that drips. But never from NY strip, ribeye or t-bone
    – gcr
    Feb 15 at 2:53

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