Sunday, January 12, 1969

Cutting steaks from the New York strip loins was a time consuming task.  The first step was to sharpen our knives and use a leather strop to put a final edge on the blade before starting.  We developed our own style which focused on cutting off most of the fat and making each steak uniform in size.  Waste was never an issue.

This batch of loins had an extended “tail” of meat which we trimmed off and cut into portions for Swiss steak.  Sumo pounded a seasoned flour into the beef with a metal meat mallet.  The result was tenderized meat with a glue-like coating.

These tenderized steaks were braised and placed into roasting pans with sliced onions between layers.  The final step was to cover the browned meat with beef broth and slow cook for two hours.  Sumo’s secret ingredient of the broth was dark brewed coffee.  He claimed the enzymes in the coffee made the meat more tender.

As we prepared for the Steak BBQ, cement steps were being poured in the new staff club.  Reb had constructed the wooden forms and was directing the work.  It was funny to watch a Lance Corporal giving orders to a bunch of Sergeants.  They were all doing the heavy jobs and sweating while Reb guided their efforts.

The Swiss steak was a hit.  It was easier to eat than a BBQ’d steak and more flavorful.  Sumo was an excellent cook, and he taught me more than I ever learned in Steward School.

Next Edition:  Changes at Hill 37

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