I Tried The Trending ‘Emergency Steak’ Recipe From The ‘50s And WTF

I Was Bamboozled, Hoodwinked And Led Astray By This ‘Emergency Steak’ Recipe

Photograph advertising the Grand National Baking Contest.
Scary Mommy, Katie Bingham-Smith and Bettmann/Getty

I love to cook. I grew up with two parents who made lots of homemade creations — everything from peach cobbler to homemade pizza and donuts. My mom and dad are both talented chefs and could win any baking competition, and my siblings and I grew up with a love of spending time in the kitchen too.

I found out after getting a bit older and wiser the reason we always had homemade bread and chocolate chip cookies was because my parents couldn’t afford Oreos and Wonder bread on my father’s salary since he had six mouths to feed. I remember a night sitting around our dining room table eating liver, heart, and onions from a deer my father had shot and processed himself.

So, when I saw the recipe for the trending “Emergency Steak” which was originally published in a 1950s Betty Crocker cookbook and is making its way around the internet again, I was intrigued.

Then when I saw this version of the recipe (which got five stars) that suggested cutting the faux steak into strips, dunking it in egg and flour, then frying it up, I had to try it. I figured it would resemble the chicken fried steak my dad used to make on chilly winter nights, and my kids would love it so much it would become a staple in our house.

I told my three kids, who were pretty excited; they all love steak. However, I left out the fact that this “steak” was really burger fashioned into a loaf and fried. Oh, and I definitely didn’t tell them there were Wheaties or milk in it. 

So, after gathering my ingredients from the grocery store, I set out to make a bomb Friday night dinner. One reviewer said her whole family loved it and the recipe had gotten five stars, so it was surely going to be a mom win. 

But that’s not what happened at all.

Instead of sitting around the dining room table enjoying our feast as the happy family that we are, there was gagging, poking, and me trying not to throw up in my mouth.

First, let me say I know I followed the directions right because I read the recipe about ten times. After letting my loaf made of burger, milk, onions, and Wheaties chill in the fridge, I was supposed to be able to cut it into strips for frying. 

Courtesy of Katie Bingham-Smith

That ended really fast after I felt like I was handling cat food. This meat wasn’t anywhere near firm enough to be cut into strips, so I gave up and made patties to fry, which still disturbed me a great deal.

As I was frying it, the kids asked me why it smelled like someone had taken a crap in the kitchen. After coming down and taking one look at the mess that was happening in the frying pan, and seeing the box of cereal sitting next to it, they all declared they weren’t hungry.

I lied and told them the cereal was for something else.

My energy and patience were fading fast. I had burger and Wheaties under my fresh manicure and I was getting pissier with each passing moment.

I couldn’t even begin to make this presentable, and I had no hope my kids were going to eat it after all the work I’d put into this dish our dog wouldn’t even eat.

Courtesy of Katie Bingham-Smith

I decided to shut down my senses and try a bite in hopes that it would be so good my kids would be driven to try it.

Ummm, I couldn’t even pretend to swallow this.

Upon first bite, I could taste the Wheaties. Now, I like Wheaties on their own but bran mixed with onions, meat, and milk is something that’s not going to make its way down my throat.

Instead, this “Emergency Steak” made its way into our garbage and I will never, ever mix cereal with ground beef for any reason, ever. It’s been three days and it’s still haunting my dreams.

Betty Crocker, I love you. I love your recipes, your cake mixes, and lord knows I’ve had many nights alone with tubs of your frosting.

But “Emergency Steak” made with burger, milk, and Wheaties? What the actual fuck. And this is coming from someone who has chowed down on deer organs.

Take it from me and just make a damn meatloaf.