SF Bay Area
Food and drink that has us seeing gold
Reservations for a show-stopping, state of the art steak, although worth every penny, often comes at a cost with white table cloths, butlered waitstaff and wine by the bottle out of a book. However, even without the frills, a perfectly cooked steak can offer you an experience nothing short of royal. I have always found the process of cooking therapeutic; time to myself knowing that effort for effort, you get what you give. Further to this, people delight in their heart and their eyes when you have created something worth raving about.
I discovered the process of sous vide steak and am an advocate for the method! With a few do’s and don’t’s, sous vide steak is anyone’s game.
1. Choosing the Steak
If you get this right, this is where your investment pays off the most. You need a steak that will be tender, juicy and full of flavour. For this reason, do find the time to hunt for a steak that is well-marbled for texture and flavour, and thick enough for you to play with to achieve that pretty and pink medium-rare middle; an inch-thick is perfect! As a butcher, I always welcome questions and queries! So don’t be afraid to ask us.
Ask your butcher to vacuum seal your bags. If your butcher doesn’t want to vac seal your bags... find a new one!
2. The Water Temperature
Sous vide machines will regulate a constant and precise water temperature to achieve a consistent result. However, not everyone is privvy to a sous vide machine and it is possible to sous vide your steaks in a pot of water over the stove with a digital thermometer. It is important to keep the water temperature as constant as possible! I have seen many people come undone at this point by being careless. Ongoing temperature fluctuations can easily affect the ‘doneness’ of your steak so if you are not using a sous vide machine, make sure you keep a keen eye on your thermometer and don’t allow it go more than a couple of degrees above or under your desired.
Where a sous vide machine transmits heat evenly to the water, doing it over a stove top will not. Avoid letting the vacuum-bagged steak sit dead at the bottom of the pot where there will be too much direct heat.
For a thick steak we recommend maintaining the water temperature at 53 degrees Celsius/127 degrees Fahrenheit and bathing your steak for an hour.
3. The Finish
A charred exterior on a steak is the hallmark of a perfectly finished product. Once you have finished the sous vide part, remove the steak from the vacuum bag and remove any excess moisture. Heat the grill or griddle pan until it’s hot like Hades. Place the steak on the grill for a quick minute on each side. Remove and let rest for a few minutes. Season with freshly ground salt, pepper and sumac to help bring out the flavours of the steak.
With a little practice, sous vide steaks eliminate the guesswork and the process can turn out steaks cooked perfectly from edge to edge.
Let us know how you go!
The Butchers Hack