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Meat Expander

No, not like in those unsolicited e-mails.
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Ever see expanded metal? If not, click on the link. It's made by making offset cuts through a sheet of metal and then stretching the metal. The result is a lattice-like screen or grid often used for making grates.

This is a proposal to prepare beefsteak or similar meat in like fashion.

A series of disconnected through-slices would be made in the cut of meat. This would probably be most effectively done with a press of sorts using a plate fitted with blades in the proper configuration.

A frame, made of stainless steel and maybe 3 times the length of the steak (length meaning the dimension perpendicular to the slices), surrounds the steak. Springs, hooks or other suitable tying mechanisms are used to tie the 2 ends of the steak to the frame in such a way that the meat is stretched and the slices open up in to diamond shapes.

The steel construction permits the meat to be cooked (grilled, broiled, pan fried, whatever) while in the frame thus causing the meat to set in the stretched configuration. After cooking, the meat is removed from the frame and served.

Other patterns could undoubtedly be produced but the simple lattice was easiest to demonstrate.

Why would one want to do this?
* Novelty is often a good selling point. I imagine this could be the gimmick of a particular restaurant.
* For the health conscious: it could make that recommended 4 ounce portion of meat at least look like more.
* The increased surface area would help the meat take marinade.
* The meat would cook faster
* For the less health conscious: the voids in the meat, beef for example, could be filled with correspondingly shaped bits of pork, lamb, chicken, spam, etc.
* For the not-health conscious: think of all the extra surface area for chicken fried steak breading/grease absorption.
* Why not?

half, Mar 19 2004

Flat expanded metal http://www.mcnichol...flat/em_flat_cu.htm
The inspiration, sort of. [half, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

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       I am aware of tenderizing methods which make many small cuts in meat (and by default would permit greater marinade penetration), but have never seen steak expanded and served in the proposed mesh format. Is that what the Japanese and Korean BBQ places do? I've only seen small strips of beef served in such places. But, I don't get out much.
half, Mar 20 2004
  

       "Step right up, folks. View the amazing man with the two-foot barbed band banana!"
FarmerJohn, Mar 20 2004
  

       This is a deeply weird idea. But the effect would be similar to those basket-weave fries/chips you get by grating potatoes crossways, which I like, so it gets my (savory) croissant.
DrCurry, Mar 21 2004
  

       Wow, I never thought anything about it was deeply weird. Cool.
half, Apr 01 2004
  

       If the meat's streched too thin, won't that make it dry out pretty fast during cooking? The more holes you make in a piece of meat, the more juice drips out. Seems like it would tenderise poor quality cuts of meat well though.   

       My only other objection is that I would no longer have to beat my schnitzel (yes, harhar) with my enormous kitchen hammer. And I like doing that at the end of a long day.
squeak, Apr 01 2004
  
      
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