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On the sous vide issue, I very much agree with Toasty. Wait – I _am_ Toasty.
Separate from sous vide, many experts will tell you to take your steak out of the fridge a couple of hours before cooking. This is food-safe (and I’m no-compromise on that topic) and brings all the beef to a warmer temperature. It just makes sense.
Because a beefsteak that’s incredible and charred on the outside yet literally cold on the inside is not often our goal.
So we pull the steak early and let it come to room temperature.
Sous vide has many, many possibilities, but let’s focus on the one: I think many folk here will use the term “hot-tubbing”. You don’t have to buy ANYTHING extra. You use a pot of very-warm water and a Ziploc bag. Instead of bringing the beef to room temperature, you bring it to eating temperature. For me, that’s 135 Fahrenheit. Anything below that gives you some risk of bacteria growth and 135 is actually not the cutoff, but it’s a good medium-rare and I’m conservative about food safety.
Cut it no more than 1.5 inches. Give it a couple of hours. Monitor the temperature to your preference. The steak will be precisely done to your satisfaction, and the time in the water bath will also have a tendency to tenderize the meat but don’t go overboard on that. A couple of hours.
Take it out and sear the exterior in a NASA-hot pan. This should be cast iron, and the hottest surface you’ve used in your life. Glowing is not amiss, but use some serious good hotpads to protect your hands.
Rest, slice, serve.
I can tell you more about sous vide, but there are forums that are probably better for the topic.
I took 30-day aged sirloin to a New-Year’s eve dinner of the “everybody bring a course” style. Cooking beef from cold sounded like too much time away from the action, so I fired up a sous-vide setup to 135 degrees fahrenheit. We lost a few degrees during the trip across town in the wretched weather, but had things back to 135 in time for the main course. I admit that I was wider than 1.5″ and longer than two hours, but hubris or not I think I know what I’m doing.
We heated a large cast iron skillet, without oil, and tossed in these kinda huge-ish hunks of beautiful aged sirloin. Then we sliced each hunk and placed it on a plate with puree blanc, and oven-roasted beets, and three sauces. And a rosemary garnish. My best advice is – always let a pro chef guide your plating. The pictures are on another camera but I promise to post some when I get them.
Puree blanc was just equal amounts of turnips, parsnips, and potatoes, mashed well. Add a little blue cheese just at plating (so it doesn’t melt and blend) for interest. Chef did that.
Oven-roasted beets were by me and, yes, just that. No dressing. No vinegar. No nothing at all. Just beets. On the other hand, YUM. One of the few dishes of the evening that was completely eaten, and I thought I had about twice as much as people would eat.
The three sauces were a homemade marrow-bone beef jus from the chef, a homemade whiskey-mushroom sauce that I made from a recipe (see steamykitchen.com) and a Bearnaise sauce that was a stick of butter, a cup of 2%, a cup of heavy cream, and 2 envelopes of McCormick Bearnaise sauce. Don’t smirk – it’s a good product.
They did a great job with the plating. But I don’t have photos.
I’m envious, bordering on jealous, that you can get prime.