(Editor’s Note: Today’s review contains graphic imagery to a degree that Shameless Consumer management has decided to step in and offer this warning: Those with weak stomachs should get over it. Thank you.)
This week on Dollary Dursdays, we dive back into the shallow end of the pool known as the Dollar Tree frozen food section, break our necks on the linoleum flooring, and gently float back up to the surface holding the $1 chopped beef steak. I know what you’re thinking: A $1 chopped beef steak? That sounds economical and delicious!
Hold all comments until the end of the review, folks, I need to get this written down before the renal failure kicks in and I go fully comatose.
The $1 Chopped Beef Steak comes to us from Chef’s Requested Foods Inc, a processing company whose slogan roughly translates to English as, “now legally recognized as food in 1 country.” It’s made a name for itself digging through the dumpster outside of the Mongolian Buffet restaurants for uneaten leftovers and converting said foodstuffs into steak-like product. The “Chef’s Requested” in “Chefs Requested Food” is presumably short for “the Chef’s Requested we throw this tainted meat out for the customer’s own safety.”
Chef’s Requested has a substantial line of dollar store meat-like products and, considering the deluge of one star reviews on their Facebook page talking about grisly meat and a large portion of the steaks being injected with water, it doesn’t get much better from here folks. The Shameless Consumer Research Council was able to go back through their history and find that at some point between 2012 and 2014, Chef’s Requested changed its supplier, opting to drop its normal steak manufacturer and instead partnering with the dog food company to reduce costs, but further rejected their plans since dog food beef is a bit too high quality for their products.
In terms of this “steak,” I have to say I’m impressed by its ability to smell both like its been preserved in formaldehyde while also smelling like its been left on someone’s shelf for the past week at room temperature. After cooking, the steak managed to take on the smell of lightly brined roadkill, hot and fresh in the afternoon sunlight and just waiting to be basted with Jack Link’s Tennessee Whiskey barbecue sauce and washed down with a refreshing can of Schwepps.
So Chef’s Requested’s beef steak might smell like a dumpster fire outside of a porta-john recycling plant, but how does it taste? Imagine using a dirty sponge to wipe down a cast iron skillet that had just been used to cook a cheeseburger, throwing the sponge back on the skillet for a few minutes, and then eating the sponge. You’ve just imagined a more satisfying and nutritional experience.
Everything about this chopped beef steak can be best summarized as “…ish.” The steak is steak…ish, the bacon is bacon…ish, the salt water flavor injection is salt…ish. The quality of the meat is indeterminate as a slurry of mechanically compiled hunks of ground beef. Could be angus cuts, probably more likely to be a combination of low quality lips, butthole, and taint meat. This cut is more water than steak now, twisted and evil.
The $1 chopped beef steak doesn’t so much cook as it does gray, and what comes out of it is a soggy mess. You’ll remember way back in the far distant past of about two paragraphs ago I referred to this dish as a sponge filled with beef water, and as the delightfully animated gif below will show, I wasn’t lying.
You may never be hungry again. I’m so sorry.
As for the bacon, I once said that there is no such thing as bad bacon. I’d like to retract that statement. The bacon presumably was just as pumped full of water as the beef was before being cut and wrapped around the steak. The cut I got on my steak was almost pure white, all fat, and not the flavorful kind of fat either. The watery kind of fat, that makes you cry and lose faith in the powerful god of bacon.
Ultimately, the Chef’s Requested $1 Beef Steak is the kind of food by which your boss would be fully within his moral rights and legal obligations to fire you if you brought a bunch of them to serve at a corporate cookout, with the exception being that you work in an actual torture dungeon. It’s not so much a steak as it is a barely edible conglomeration of meat poorly cobbled together to serve as a vessel for lightly salted grease trap water, except not as tasty.
(Verdict: 0/5) – Chef’s Requested brings dishonor to the family name that is steak.