I had some of the guys over from work recently for 60-day dry-aged steaks. These were as prime as beef can get and they cost me a fortune. And when you overcook them, they taste like dust. One of the guys insisted, though, that I cook his to well done. I'm still furious about this. It was an utter waste of top-quality meat. What should I have done?
If your friend likes his beef well done, how does this harm you exactly? You have no doubt heard stories of famous chefs who stand on principle and refuse to cook beef past medium - maybe they even look heroic in your eyes. But there are two other points to consider here. First, there's this country you might have heard of called Argentina, where arguably they know more about beef and how to cook and eat it than any other people on earth. Most Argentines cook their beef to well done. Second, your most important job as a host is to show your guests a good time. You can always endeavour, as diplomatically as possible, to persuade your friend to try his steak a little less done than usual. But ultimately he's the one who has to eat the thing. Get over yourself. Just cook the man his steak.
Chris Nuttall-Smith is a food writer and restaurant columnist. Have an entertaining dilemma? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.