Saturday, January 17, 2015

D.I.Y Sous-vide Steak

Again, this is a method rather than a recipe. But the results are so delicious, we at Discover Great Taste really hope you'll give it a try.

Sous-vide (French for "under vacuum") is a fancy way of preparing food while keeping all natural aromas and juices in the food, resulting in a very tasty and tender end-result.
In the culinary world, many complex and expensive equipment like vacuum machines and special sous-vide cookers are used to do this. But you can easily get the same result yourself, using simple, household tools only.

Here is what you need for your basic Do-It-Yourself Sous-Vide Setup:

A Large pan with a thick bottom
A quality Zip-Lock bag
1 drinking straw (optional)
A decent cooking thermometer

... and that's it!

Of course if we are going to make Sous-Vide steak, we'll need... steak! For this recipe we got an exceptional dry-aged Sirloin or Entrecote. This meat came from Irish, grass fed cattle and is beautifully marbled. The dry-ageing process intensifies the flavor and makes the meat even more tender. The price is also rather exceptional, but to a true meat-lover, like us here at Discover Great Taste, it is worth every penny.

The Sirloin is a cut from the hind quarters of the animal. Except for the strip of fat down the side, Sirloin is often very lean and can be very tricky to cook as it is easily overcooks and looses its tenderness.

This is where the sous-vide method is an excellent way to do justice to this beautiful piece of meat.

It is important to use a thick slice of meat. 2cm minimal. This method will not work with thin slices. So ask your butcher to prepare a thick slice. This one is about 400 grams and 3cm thick. It will serve two persons.

Get your sous-vide setup going by slowly warming the water. Make sure your pan is large enough so it will easily fit the bag. You can put a plate or silicone mat at the bottom of the pan if you want.

We like our steaks medium-rare so we keep the water at 50-53˚C. For a rare steak, we'd go 47-50, for medium somewhere between 54-58˚C.

If you are going to eat a steak like this well-done, I'm sorry, you're on your own. We can't be friends anymore. :-)

Season the meat with salt and pepper and put it in the bag, along with a knob of butter. Leave the strip of fat on for now, we'll discard that later. You can use the drinking straw to suck out as much of the air as possible. Wrapping the bag tight before closing the zip will do as well.

The only reason for removing the air is to prevent the bag from floating in the water. That's why we feel that buying a vacuum machine is a bit overdone.

Place the bag in the water and monitor the temperature closely as it will surely drop. And then it's for a long, slow cook to get the entire piece to 53˚C. We cooked this 3cm thick, 400 gram piece for 1,5 hours. 

After the cooking time, quickly remove the meat from the bag and pad dry with kitchen paper. Brush with olive oil and season again with salt and pepper. 

Heat a heavy bottom skillet until it is smoking hot and sear the meat at both sides. Don't forget the edges. Be very careful not to take more than 30 seconds per side. You don't want to overcook the meat at this point.

After 1 minute, add a good knob of butter, two crushed garlic cloves and some fresh thyme. Baste your steak on both sides for another 30 seconds per side.

The result: beautifully medium rare right up to the sides. No juices running out at all.

And there it is. A magnificent Sirloin steak that will be succulent and full of flavor.
This method works for any meat, poultry and fish. Even vegetables profit from this way of cooking.
We hope you go ahead and give this a try. 
Please let us know how it went in the comment section below.


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