I had a Sous Vide Supreme water bath, and two strip steaks I purchased from my meat CSA, so it was time to get all science-like and try a new cooking technique. Could I produce a steak that was cooked to the same doneness all the way to the edges that still had a brown exterior crust? Lets find out.
I began with two strip steak that were about an inch thick. I let them come to room temperature.
I seasoned them with salt and pepper, then sealed them in individual vacuum bags. The nozzle on the vacuum pump sits over the blue ring on the bag.
I pre-heated the water bath to 135 °F — the temperature for medium-rare beef — and added the bags.
I removed the steaks after 45 minutes, and let them rest for an additional ten minutes. Notice the dull, brown, unappetizing color.
I prepared some side dishes while the steaks rested, including Lyonaise potatoes sauteed in pork fat. When the potatoes were done, I removed them to a warm bowl, heated the remaining fat at medium-high, and quickly seared the steaks for a minute per side.
Have a look at the cross-section: perfectly pink meat all the way to the edges (that’s fat on either side).
I plated the steak with the potatoes and some wilted sopinach with caramelized shallots.
The steak was definitely cooked: it was soft and easy to slice, had a god chew, with the fat just softened enough. I can’t think of any reason why I shouldn’t cook steaks like this all the time. How water from my tap is already at 131 °F, so it takes no time at all for the water bath to come up to temperature. The 45 minutes of cooking time is enough to prepare accompaniments. Steak dinner in less than an hour — you can’t beat it.
I’m already thinking ahead: cook and hold the steaks, light a charcoal grill, and finish with a quick char before serving. No more variably-cooked meat for me!