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Taste HIGH STEAKS It’s that most singular and satisfying of meat dishes: the steak. We tackle the in’s and out’s of both its culinary preparation and cultural significance. T E X T BY RYAN JAR R ELL A t feats of strength, I’m no Hercules, and as a child, I showed no predilection toward athletics, either organized or otherwise. At hunting, I’m woefully uneducated. Have a mechanical issue with your car? I can, with the greatest skill and dexterity, Google potential solutions with aplomb, but beyond that I’m quite useless. Determined to establish some modicum of classical masculinity, I have determined that to regain some stature amongst my fellow man (and woman), I would conquer that archetypal victual of the victorious heroes of our time. To make myself relevant, I would learn to cook the perfect steak. Or by God I would die trying. In need of expert advice, I turned to two steakficionados in a city known for its deep- seated endearment for all things meaty. Aware that all articles about successful steak preparation lead inevitably to Argentina, I reached out to Chef Andreina Protti of local steakhouse Baires Grill. In addition to smashing any conception we might have that marvelous meat preparation is solely the province of the male, Chef Protti offers a few helpful hints. “Temperature is key,” she says, explaining that every aspect of preparation, from the seasoning to placement on the grill, must be done with the utmost in restraint and love. “The way we cook our meat, it’s magic, filled 154 with care for our diners.” On the other side of town, Sean Brasel, Executive Chef for Meat Market on Lincoln Road, also has some sage advice for amateur grillers: “Always let the meat rest and don’t mess with it so much,” he says. “Patience always pays off when it comes to steak!” Global Gourmand: Steaks Outside America Across the globe, there’s a veritable bevy of beasts that man has priced for their succulent chucks and toothsome tenderloins. The Sami people of Finland were well-known for their preference of Reindeer Steak above any other, while indigenous Australians preferred to spring for cuts of Kangaroo Meat. Interested in a more indigenous dish? Not only are bison steaks growing in popularity, the Department Of Fish & Wildlife’s 2011 Manual has an in- depth guide to that most ferocious flank of all: how to cut and prepare the meat of the American Black Bear.