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May 6, 2019 at 6:13 pm #3493
Long time listener, first time poster here.
I did a search and found this same question being asked once before, but not really answered: I’ve been doing sous vide cooking for quite some time now, but am absolutely new to home dry aging. This weekend I will be unwrapping and cooking (some of) my first dry aging project, a whole prime ribeye subprimal. I’ve read a lot of the opinions regarding rind trimming, and would like to keep my trimming thereof to a minimum. The theoretical minimum there being “none”, I was wondering if anyone had tried leaving all of the edge rind on a dry aged steak that was cooked sous vide for multiple hours and, if so, what was the effect (if any) on the texture of the rind?
Obviously the ideal would be for the rind to be completely reconstituted and as soft…or at least nearly so…as the rest of the meat. But given the extreme reduction in water content that has occurred my hopes aren’t very high on that front. But I could live with it being softened at least to the point that it was no longer jerky-like in texture. Does even that much occur?May 6, 2019 at 7:05 pm #12366
Welcome to the light, Mr Parker!
Since you are experienced with sous vide you are aware that beef cooked that way isn’t too appetizing in appearance. That’s the reason you need to take it a step further to achieve the maillard reaction via searing. Yes the sous vide softens the “rind” and to some people that is an acquired taste. My wife tends to trim off some of hers, while I love the taste.
RonMay 6, 2019 at 7:32 pm #12367
Yes, I’m well familiar with the reverse sear component of using SV for steaks, not to mention several other pre/post-SV treatments for other types/cuts of meat as well. I live in Texas, and have raised more than a few eyebrows when telling my fellow residents that I actually cook whole briskets in a hot water-submerged plastic bag for 36 hours before smoking them for a mere 4 hours. I’ve convinced a few that the technique is worth trying, but a few others give me a look like I ought to be given an armed TX Rangers escort to the nearest state line. 😛
And I’m not so much concerned (at least not at this point) with the taste of the rind as I anticipate that, as you say, it may well be an acquired taste/personal preference issue. At this point I’m just wondering about the degree to which I should expect the texture of the rind to be transformed, and how much time in the SV bath is required for any significant softening to occur. In any event, thanks for the welcome and the response.May 6, 2019 at 8:42 pm #12368
LOL! I’ve heard of guys getting escorted to the state line for putting beans in their chili as well!
Actually the softening will occur in a relative short time, but there is still an initial “tug” when biting into it the first time. What works for me is 90 minutes at 134º s.v. for medium rare and then 45/45/45/45 sear at 400 to 450º for a beautiful maillard cross hatch.
RonMay 6, 2019 at 10:00 pm #12369quote RRP” post=14591:
Well, yeah. I mean, wars have been fought over less. Beans in chil?! **spits on the ground**
Thanks for the info. I’m planning on a 3-4 hour cook at 130ºF followed by a sear in a ripping hot cast iron skillet, so I’m going to try leaving the rind on and see what happens.May 6, 2019 at 10:37 pm #12370
Good – please remember to report how it went!
RonMay 24, 2019 at 4:59 pm #12418Peter SeymourMember
Any update how this cook went? I wonder if the stronger flavor of the untrimmed rind might permeate the steak during the long bath and possibly put off those that were not liking that flavor.May 24, 2019 at 5:40 pm #12419
Sorry for not posting an update sooner, but life can be quite the distraction at times. B)
So I hacked off an end piece consisting mostly of rind, with just enough inner meat to try a small taste. After a 3-hour sous vide bath I found that the rind had indeed softened up considerably and had become fairly pliable. However it was still far too tough and chewy to eat. The flavor actually was not bad at all, but it was impossible to chew and so had to be trimmed off. That said, I used the cut-into-steaks-before-trimming method, so I was able to be very conservative in my trimming and eliminate what needed to go by only shaving off the outer 1-2mm or so. In fact the vast majority of the trimming loss (which was ~33% of the post-aging weight) was due to the elimination of excessive outer fat rather than the rind. Here was the weight loss by phase:
- Original vac-packed weight: 17.5 lbs
- Weight after 42 days of aging: 12.5 lbs
- Weight after trimming: 8.0 lbs
Here are the steaks pre and post-trim, for comparison. As you can see there was an excess of internal fat as well, but there wasn’t much I could do about that. I may well try a Choice subprimal next time, rather than Prime:May 24, 2019 at 5:51 pm #12420Peter SeymourMember
Thanks for the update and pics! That was a LOT of fat to remove. I have not had that much yet but will see next week or so when I process my most recent prime boneless ribeye.
I like removing the cap as one piece before steaking the center and the cap separately. That way I get to have the best steaks of the beast (ribeye cap) on their own and when it works out just for me. I foolishly cooked two cap portions the other week and now my wife has found her favorite cut. Oh well, the centers are still good…June 14, 2019 at 12:37 am #12439john moranMember
I’m a huge fan of SV – When I first heard of it my first thoughts were that the terrorists had infiltrated America. But I gave it a try and now I cook all of my thick steaks using the process. And yes, you have to sear the outside for that good flavor. It’s my belief that of the sear of a steak now matter how it’s cooked only penetrates a very thin layer of the outside of the steak, not the middle of a thick steak. To me getting it cooked to the correct doneness is key. The meat market I work at sells most steaks in the 2″ thick range including prime graded ribeyes & sirloins. Nothing is worse that a burnt outside and a raw inside (rare does not mean raw btw).
Count me a fan…use it for a LOT of things.
rack of lamb — in-bleeping-credible if you like a properly done lamb. Sear afterwards in bacon grease for a true mouthgasm.
leg of lamb
re-heating vacuum packed smoked foods like ribs, chops…etc. Keeps things from drying out.
pre-cook chicken for the grill.
Anyway…my $.02 worth…YMMV.July 7, 2019 at 3:58 pm #12483TheaKeymaster
Eager to head what your thoughts were after sous vide-ing bark on???July 7, 2019 at 8:15 pm #12487quote BagLady” post=14758:
Those thoughts are included in the detailed update (with photos) I posted 5 weeks ago, 3 posts above yours.
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