The 2016 New Year’s edition of Culinary no-no

Normally we publish the no-no on Sunday. However this edition needed to go up in advance of New Year’s Eve.

The following is a re-posting of a previous no-no.


The federal government says it’s dangerous.

A local website called it “barbaric.”

Some contend if you looked at it under a microscope, you’d never eat it again.

Don’t tell that to Judi Jacak of Allenton. Jacak submitted her Christmas Eve ritual to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and it was published in today’s paper.

“We always begin Christmas Eve by going to Mass at 4 p.m. After Mass, the 20 of us, including two girlfriends, meet at the house for snacks, wine and gift opening. It’s a tradition for us to have cannibal sandwiches and peel-and-eat shrimp. The raw beef is served with sliced sweet onions and salt and pepper on rye bread. Half of us love it, and half of us hate it. But tradition is tradition, and we’ve had a few converts over the years…”

Cannibal sandwiches.

That would be your…

Placed on top of some…

Add some…

Sprinkle black pepper.


With all due respect to Judi Jacak, I’ve always associated raw beef and onions with New Year’s Eve, not Christmas Eve.

In the mid-90’s when I worked at WTMJ, I was filling in for Charlie Sykes on the morning of December 31. The out of touch local daily newspaper had decided, not surprisingly, to publish an article bashing that Wisconsin year-end tradition of the so-called cannibal sandwich. So I began my program making raw beef and onions the opening topic du jour.

The phone lines went bonkers. My favorite call was from an octogenarian who claimed he had been eating raw beef and onions for decades, he was still alive, kicking and healthy, the newspaper was full of it, and nothing was going to stop him from enjoying steak tartare that evening.

According to the USDA, that elderly gentleman and all the other callers who weighed in to say they love their raw beef are complete fools despite my favorite caller saying he was close to 90. From the USDA website:

Is it dangerous to eat raw or undercooked ground beef?
Yes. Raw and undercooked meat may contain harmful bacteria. USDA recommends not eating or tasting raw or undercooked ground beef. To be sure all bacteria are destroyed, cook meat loaf, meatballs, and hamburgers to a safe minimum internal temperature of 160 °F (71.1 °C). Use a food thermometer to check that they have reached a safe internal temperature.”


I don’t know of anyone who has perished welcoming in the new year by devouring uncooked beef. And I don’t know anyone who uses a meat thermometer when cooking hamburgers.But even this combination that could very well be considered a no-no can be turned into a no-no by its own aficionados. I know from my exhaustive research on this week’s topic. Some raw beef and onion lovers are screwing it all up.

Some are using white bread.


Rye bread. Rye bread, Rye bread.

Some are using mayonnaise.


Some are using mustard or horseradish.


No condiment is used on the RYE bread.

Some are using two slices of bread.


This sandwich is to be eaten open-faced.

Look, get fresh quality ground beef from a reputable butcher, serve soon thereafter, and you’ll turn a no-no into a wonderful celebratory, completely survivable yes-yes.

Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. Please pass the pepper.


Is a no-no going bye-bye?

2 thoughts on “The 2016 New Year’s edition of Culinary no-no

  1. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs (01/02/17) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

  2. Pingback: Culinary no-no FLASBACK: Cannibals | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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