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Getting Blood from a Steak

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By SphynxCat

Those of you who deliberately don't eat meat probably won't want to read this. The rest of you, help yourselves!

There are alternatives when you don't have a regular donor.

One of them is a nice rare steak. It can be expensive, but it can also make the difference between maintaining control and "vamping out" or losing control in a potentially dangerous situation. You will notice I'm specifically NOT claiming it a "suitable" replacement -- merely, like fast food, a way to tide you over in times when, for one reason or another, you're without a donor.

I've seen postings from people who've complained about reactions from eating raw meat, whether they feel yucky, get sick, or whatever. While eating it raw IS an acquired taste in and of itself, you should know that raw meat can, and often does, have various types of bacteria on it, and thus the possibility for food poisoning is always a risk if the outside isn't thoroughly cooked. (If you are used to eating rare or raw meats you will have less of a problem than if you are used to eating more thoroughly cooked cuts of meat.

In any case, a small amount of cooking will take care of the bacteria problem AND allow you to get even more blood from it than if you tried it raw. I'm going to assume most people can figure out how to eat a steak...here are instructions if you want to, ah, bleed the steak instead.

The only caveat I have for my instructions here is that I cook with an electric oven - if you have gas or some other oven-cooking method, your cooking times WILL VARY from what I have listed here.

You will need:

  • A sharp knife, either no serrations or very small serrations - no bread knives
  • Cutting board that keeps the meat at an angle or has a drain trench around the edge
  • Cup of some kind (no aluminum, pewter or lead) -- CLEAN ceramic coffee mug works fine
  • Optional: salt -- sea salt or kosher types are recommended
  • And, of course, the steak...

Find yourself a halfway decent cut of meat. The example I'm going to use here is a flank steak; they're usually around an inch thick. If you have it, spend the money for one labeled "organic" or "grain-fed" rather than anything without either label - this reduces the risk of mad cow disease, since any farm using the "organic" label is stringent about their quality, and "grain fed" means there are no cast-off meat parts added into the cattle feed.

Turn the oven on to "Bake" at 500 degrees. "Broil" means the burner coils stay on, as opposed to shutting off when they reach temperature. (You can use the "broil" setting, but you have to REALLY pay attention -- the "bake" setting allows for some "oops" factor for people not used to doing this.)

Once it reaches temperature, put the meat in. You only need to cook this to rare, but depending on the cut and thickness of the meat, the time it takes will vary, especially if you keep opening the oven door to check. :)

You can use the following "squish test":

Rare
Let your hand dangle and shake it gently to relax it. Touch the side of your hand between thumb and index finger. The muscle will feel like rare meat -- soft and wobbly, yielding to the slightest pressure. The meat will be cool and red in the center.

Medium
Stretch out your hand and tense your fingers. Touch the muscle again and you will feel the springy firmness that develops as meat cooks. Medium steaks have the same resistance. The meat will be warm and light pink in the middle.

Well Done
Now ball your hand into a fist and touch the muscle. It should feel hard and unyielding, with all springiness gone. When the surface of a steak feels the same way, the meat is well done. The meat will be warm and brown all the way through. If you've gotten to this point for a steak you intend to squeeze, it's hopeless, there's no blood left in the meat. :(

I try to err on the "rare" side -- use less cooking time -- because if it's not done enough, you can always warm it up some more...but you can't take medium well and turn it back into rare.

Once it's done, pull it out and do a test slice about an inch in from the end. Cut against the grain (on a flank steak you're usually cutting across the short direction) AND at an angle. This gives you more surface area to bleed the meat from. If the meat is cooked perfectly, you'll see a ring of brown around the edges of the slice with a red-to-pink center -- not quite as red as rare, but not pink either. Also, the internal visible texture should match the outside visible texture.

If the inside still has the clingy texture of raw meat, then it ought to be cooked just a little longer in order to be able to squeeze the blood out.

If the test slice looks ok, start slicing the rest of the meat. As you slice, you'll need to periodically pour off the blood that's collected -- this is where that cup comes in handy. :) Once you've got the meat all sliced up and the blood poured off, if what you've collected so far isn't enough you can always squeeze that pile of meat that you've just finished creating. Squeezing each slice individually works better than grabbing a handful.

I've estimated that a pound of flank steak will net me an easy 1/4 cup up to as much as 1/2 cup of blood when cooked and cut in this manner, and up to twice that when squeezed as well. (In my opinion, squeezing the meat renders it pretty much inedible outside of using it in recipes since I like my steaks rare, but it all depends on what you plan to do with the meat afterward and whether you'll eat it.)

If the beef blood is too bland (which will most likely be the case if you're used to having donors) you can add a little kosher or sea salt (which I highly recommend over plain or iodized table salt) to the blood to give it a little more flavor. In the amount mentioned above, 2-3 twists of a sea salt grinder and stirred around with a spoon should flavor it nicely.

No, it's not the same as having a regular donor give you blood, but it will help keep you sane.

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© Copyright 2001 - Present by SphynxCat, SphynxCat's Real Vampires Support Page. This article is part of SphynxCat's article collection, and is reprinted on Sanguinarius.org with permission from the author.

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