The “Haunted House Protocol” for Meat So Juicy, it’s Scary

So, why do we really let our cooked meat rest before slicing? Is it because we’re lazy, otherwise busy with prep work or hit the cooking wine too early? Well, yeah, sometimes, but that’s more of a side effect…

Nathan Fillion fights the Dark Side in chef hat

…and why does the Dark Side always strike right in the middle of dinner prep? Am I right???

Is it because we’ve just put it through the fires of hell and we kind of feel bad about further harassing it? No. Stop being an idiot.

Well then, surely it’s because the juices are retreating like a frenchman from the front lines to the center of the cut, over-saturating it and leaving it ready to burst if cut into immediately…right? A common misconception…

Drunk frenchman flips the dreaded 'double bird'

Oh come on, Jacques... I tease my mother the same way and I mostly love her!!

…but not quite.

Now…with suspense properly built…let’s get to the bottom of this enigma in true Bossian fashion — by temporarily shunning simple bullet point methodology in favor of obtuse, meandering ANALOGIES…

…and SCIENCE!!

Come along with me as we pull our pimped out Mystery Machine up to the rusted and foreboding gates of the fabled Batshit Insanitarium, in search of answers.

The aromatic attendant back at the gas station may have shivered involuntarily and stared back through vacant eyes when told of our final destination this evening…peering from behind the tattered fringe off the worn bill of his RC Cola hat while projecting concentrated disbelief into our souls…warning us, in a warbling voice that hissed past his two remaining good teeth, that the Insanitarium is filled with evil energy and there ain’t dun been nobody up that way since his daddy was knee-high to a grasshopper…that survived…but we didn’t listen. We’re foodies who hunger for knowledge, damn it!! And while we know to never press down on our sizzling burgers, we will always press forth with our luck…

From the fleshy, uncooked Mystery Machine (a metaphor for our glorious cut of meat in this exercise) emerges a motley crew of characters. First, the spastic and always spooked Shaggy and Scooby…

Scooby Doo Dancing

...and this raises another point. You're an enterprising and supposedly bright group of kids and you've got a TALKING. GODDAMN. DOG… I mean, honestly…NOBODY in this super team ever thought for even a second about starting up a roadside circus or even an exploitative TLC Channel reality show and banking ungodly Scooby-Dooby-Dough? At least enough to fix up that rusted-out death trap they drive around in???

Scooby team in action Scooby Shaggy Freddy Daphne Velma

"Well, we've got the world's only known talking canine - and he's rather charismatic too…what to do, what to do…? I've GOT it... Let's go buy a VW bus and fight crime!! Yes, do let's!! Grab the flower decals and shag carpeting and let's go now!!!!"…Idiots.

(Wow, my therapist was right… This blog has really been a catharsis. I wonder if there’s a support group out there for fellow sufferers of Late-Onset Latent Scooby Resentment Syndrome)

…followed by the ever-cool Freddy Jones and his off-camera friend, P. Diddy. Now there’s a bromance you didn’t see coming…but stay with me – this is science.

Freddy Jones sporting ascot

"Just friends…swear. With fashion sense like this, I can barely keep the chicks off me..."

And finally, to make this a suitably respectable tale of horror, there’s the omnipresent sorority of busty, half-drunk college girls.

Hot sorority sisters in schoolgirl uniforms

Hey, I don't MAKE the rules… Don't like it? Go write your own story!!

Anyway, don’t get too attached to the girls – they died gruesomely in a horrific thong-related accident while you were ogling the photo. Tragic.

Buuuuut, we can’t grieve forever, so moving on… In the distance, a single clap of thunder electrifies the heavy night air…yet the soulful wail of a solitary wolf comes from much closer, nearly eliciting a Shaggy accident — but that part comes later…all part of the science. Eager to sink their teeth into this mystery, and because prolonged Diddy cameos don’t come cheap, our gang of remaining paranormal food investigators dashes into Castle Batshit like a moth to a flame…a big, juicy, mouth-watering moth… Crap, I’m sorry… You’ve got to be almost as confused as I am by now…

Angry drunk homeless guy gives the finger


Ok, ok — so our gang of stoic adventurers represent the internal fibers of your regal cut of steak…a blank slate of succulent bovine nirvana…mmmmm…just bursting with possibility…and possibly e. coli, but we’re gonna take care of that shortly.

The Insanitarium will stand in for your average grill or stovetop pan. And it’s actually not an entirely inappropriate analogy, if you’re anything like me… The culinary learning process seldom comes without its share of collateral damage and I’m sure my pots and pans still bear the haunting, inaudible shrieks of terror from kitchen failures long since gone from this world…

1950's scene of exploded kitchen and distraught housewife

…been there, honey.

So, anyway… Freddy and Diddy commit to investigate the middle level while Shaggy and Scooby brilliantly decide to split up and investigate the attic and basement — where the paranormal action is hottest (see where I’m going with this?)…

As the evening grinds on, the spooky activity increases to the b(r)oiling point…but Freddy and Diddy maintain their composure, keeping their cool and barely even breaking a sweat. Why? Well, sheer badassery aside, the center zone they are in has taken longer to heat up (with otherworldly activity) because, as we should all know, ghostly activity always localizes in the extremities of a structure before radiating inward to the core. (You really didn’t know that? Dude, I can’t do all the research for you.) If a ghost were to slice into Freddy right now, nothing would come out but an Old Spice-scented *whoosh* and a gentle island breeze. Diddy might ooze traces of chilled bitch-slap-flavored Ciroc but that’s pretty much it…

Meanwhile, both above and below, Shaggy and Scooby have been spooked right down to their basal ganglia due to the direct (supernatural) exposure. Nerves on a razor’s edge, and suffering severe traumatic stress, they are barely holding onto their kool-aid as it is… So when the ghouls start to rough them up, at the very peak of panic, you just know they’re gonna — *ZOINKS* — lose their shizzle all over the damn place…and that untimely release of fluids will just ruin the whole damn night, I assure you.

Had the ghosts just waited to attack until everyone got back outside and mellowed out some in the back of the van…a van with customized floral print detailing…and no windows…

Puff, the Magic Dragon

yeah, you know what I'm talkin' about…more than one "Puff Daddy" in this little saga. I can't be the only one thinking it.

…for, oh, say, about ten minutes, then Shaggy and Scooby would have had ample time to relax back to their natural state, more in line with the rest of the gang. At that point, the whole van could be leisurely tormented, without the offensive spilling of liquids.

Analogy: ACHIEVED.

So, as you can see, it really comes down to a three-point breakdown: 1) put something (or someone) under tremendous stress and anxiety, 2) sneak up right next to them while brandishing a sharp knife, and 3) watch it (or them) quickly evacuate their fluids.

Since you don’t want this happening to your perfectly grilled filet – spilling its juicy and hard-earned awesomeness all over your plate – giving the entire thing time to rest will allow the outermost fibers to cool back to their ideal temperatures and allow for much better moisture (and flavor) retention throughout the entire cut.

The final scientific analysis: Unless you want a high-strung talking dog pissing on your kitchen floor, wrap your meat in foil after cooking it and just walk away for 10 minutes before cutting in.

See, you just learned something. I’m so proud of you. Now go forth, my Bossian friends, and properly char some animal flesh.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go see a (french)man about a dog…


One thought on “The “Haunted House Protocol” for Meat So Juicy, it’s Scary

  1. Pingback: Spinach, Risoni and Lemon Soup with Pinot Grigio (or is it the other way around?) « Sauce Boss

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