One of the reasons why I cook and experiment to a mad extent is because I keep halal. And one of the issues of keeping halal means that unless the food is prepared in a halal manner, I pretty much won’t eat it. I could eat it and I am willing to confess that I have once or twice in my entire life but the guilt overwhelms me, so much so that I can’t really remember what I eat, more the agonizing that follows after.
But I do admit that there will be some things that will be forever out of my grasp. Anything with pork obviously – which well, I don’t miss since you can’t really miss things you don’t experience. A lot of French food since they tend to douse their cooking with wine. That I sob a little.
And then, there are some of those really, really odd meals that I really wish I could try if they are made with halal meat. Like steak tartare.
Steak tartare seems like a bizarre choice to mourn considering there are plenty of other food stuff out there that I will miss. But in a strange way, I’ve always been fascinated by steak tartare since well, it’s raw beef. I suppose if I like raw fish I should like raw beef.
I told my mum about it on a drive home, that of all things I wish I could eat and will never have the chance to – it’ll be steak tartare. She asked me, why not.
“Because it’s pretty much raw beef. And since you can’t eat this in Paris since well, it’s not halal and in Malaysia…well, I don’t trust that the handling of the meat here is hygienic enough for us to eat steak tartare and not get food poisoning.”
“I mean, look at the way we handle our meat. It’s clean but not clean enough. I’ve no idea where I can get super fresh meat unless I see the cow being cut in front of me.”
“Oh. You’re right.” She paused for awhile, as though to think. “Hey…I’ve an idea! You know what you can do. The best time to get fresh met is during Raya Haji (Eid ul Adha), when they sacrifice the cow. You can queue, get the meat and you can definitely get the freshest meat then!”
“Umi, I think there’s something seriously not right that you’re asking me to get meat meant for the poor to make a French dish meant to satisfy the pretentious side of me.”