A Hairy Experience

Nothing promises a good article like the headline “Cook Accused of Stuffing Hair into Steak.” But at the risk of looking like a steak-stuffing amateur, I admit I was not sure how someone, specifically someone working the line at a Texas Roadhouse in West Bend, Wisconsin, would choose to stuff hair into a steak. I mean, there’s the stuffed flank steak method of cutting the steak almost in half horizontally and then rolling it up. Or there’s the time-honored Stilton-stuffed steak in which you only carve out a small pocket.

Sadly, the aggrieved 24-year-old cook at the Texas Roadhouse was short on either training or ambition, or both. Irritated by an overcooked steak that was sent back, he reportedly placed the new steak on a plate, then “cut a slit in the center of the steak and pushed something into the meat.” I’m sorry—“pushed something into the meat” is simply not a phrase that’s found in Jacques Pépin’s Complete Techniques. If it were, Kevin Hansen would surely not have shown up at the police station afterward “complaining of hair in his steak. ‘I started eating it,’ he said in an interview. ‘I noticed the hair after three bites.’” The criminal complaint notes that “several strands of what appeared to be hair [were] coming out of the middle of the steak.” Authorities found the presentation so déclassé that the cook now faces “a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 3 1/2 years of imprisonment.”