Tuesday, September 21, 2010


One year ago my friend Hanna and I decided to throw a dinner party. We were both inexperienced except for a vegetarian party we had thrown on our summer in Dublin, but she had given me Nigella Express the year before for my birthday so we decided to use a recipe.

Nigella Express: Good Food, Fast 

We chose Steak Slice with Lemon and Thyme thinking it was simple and filling enough.

The ingredients included:
  • 1 rump steak "1 inch thick weighing approx. 1 1/4 lbs"
We are not fervent meat cookers, but we went to Whole Foods with high hopes, "Oh how responsible of us".

We looked through the meat glass case for "Rump". ..Rump, rump, rump.... rummmppp.

No rump.

Knowing what "Rump" means, and NOT seeing it, we were obviously embarrassed to ask the guy behind the counter for... Rump.

"Can I help you girls?"
Me: "Ummmm...." I couldn't.
Hanna: "Yes, umm... do you have" she looked down at our scribbled list one more time just to make sure, "...Rump?"

He laughed. He laughed at us. He didn't even care enough or, maybe, know enough to say: In America we call it "Round Steak". Or "Bottom Round Steak". Which was apparently the problem.

Instead he laughed at us. So, once he pulled himself together, the three of us together decided which American name sounded most like Rump. Or rather, he informed us which cut was from the cow's rump.

Ugh! Nigella! This was even the book's American version! With ounces and Farenheit and pounds!! Whyyyyy did you have to have us embarrass ourselves like that?

Of course, it wasn't a big deeaalll, but it confirmed some more hidden fears I have of food vendors judging me. And, in the end, rump was the toughest meat I have ever tasted in my entire life. Fail Fail Fail.

Mission: Cook Meat

So... I realized that I have not bought meat to cook myself since then.  Just precooked meat, or Organic lunchmeat, or eggs. I eat it out all the time. I was traumatized by the butcher, I guess.

But now that I have left college and real life is upon me- I need to cook meat, apparently.

So at Whole Foods, I avoided human contact/the meat case/butcher, and  I bought the cheapest organic steak that was prewrapped. It was only back at home that I realized it was in fact... bottom round. The Rump had returned.

Tonight I decided to beat it with the bottom of a glass bottle and then marinate it in Apple Cider Vinegar.

I read to do that online.

Then added mustard and put it into a buttered pan over medium heat that already had onions in it. 

Don't know what I'm doing.

My Rump.

My Dinner.

And the meat was still tough.

Learn this lesson, Caroline: Next time, No Rump.