Beef. It’s what’s for dinner

Are you an unabashed, unapologetic omnivore? A pal recently turned me on to a very simple and utterly scrumptious way to prep your steaks for major mouthwater. It’s worth a try the next time you grill.

But first, the consumption of meat itself merits addressing. I’m sympathetic to the philosophical and practical arguments put forth by the ever-growing number of herbivores in our country. For a while, in my early 20s, I was a practicing herbivore myself. Quite possibly the world’s greasiest herbivore, I’ll admit, but a non-flesh-eater nonetheless. I think I figured that my decision to eschew hamburgers somehow made it OK to stuff an unearthly number of french fries and grilled cheese sandwiches down my gullet. Hey, vegetarians need comfort food, too.

There was one line of wishful thinking put forth by my fellow veggies and I. We reckoned that one fine day, after we had not consumed animal flesh for a certain length of time, the sight and aroma of meat would not only be unappealing to us, but downright disgusting. We trusted that the longer we could hold out in our flesh-less ways, the sooner that much-desired effect would settle into our senses. Once that state was achieved, so our thinking continued, we could congratulate ourselves for not just being healthier people, but for being higher people, having successfully negotiated a critical step up the ladder of evolution.

Lofty stuff. Too bad it never happened, at least not for me. I held out for a couple of years—french fries, grapes and beer was a favorite dinner—trying to brainwash myself into believing that my desire for meat was genuinely fading away. But, alas, I melted down one sunny summer afternoon while attending a positively evil barbecue bash. Overcome by lust and drool, my base and vulgar lizard brain assumed command and forced me to chomp into a deliciously prepared burger, the kind with black grill lines and juices oozing out of every sizzling sluice. I wondered if the first big bite would gross me out in some way; perhaps even inspire a dramatic, party-stopping, projectile chowblow. I needn’t have worried. Somewhere in the midst of burger No. 3, I found myself in a quasi-altered state, a sort of dizzy, gut-bomb nirvana.

Which leads me, 25 years later, to this sinfully good meat tip. Believe it or not, the secret way to bump up the flavor a notch on your next rib-eye experience is to simply apply a coating of the two most common elements you have in your kitchen. Namely sugar and salt. Yep, sugar. Just prepare a plate with a 50-50 mixture of the two, thinly coat each side of the steak and get it on the grill. I’ve tested this deceptively simple rub thoroughly in the last two months, and it is dadgum yummy. I think you’ll agree.

You can evolve later, you know. Now is the time to enjoy your omnivorousness.