I have been meaning to casually mention/sneak into the convo/flat out brag that I ended up with a thermal circulator at home. I did not pay for it. It was a gift that proves if you drool over something hard enough, Julia Child will somehow make it happen. She is the spiritual transglutaminase in my life. Molecular enthusiasts would find that clever.
Critics of the sous-vide technique have called it “dead-cooking”. That is true. This is actually what makes it so great with some products. The less certain foods are handled, the better the integrity and final outcome can be.
I recently bought 4 AA grade 16 oz. ribeyes from Galen Weston Jr. He charged me $6.06 lbs. That is an awesome loss leader. I took them home and came to realize;
a) 16oz. steaks are ridiculously big enough to emotionally abuse even the toughest of colons so better clear the schedule… and
b) AA Grade Beef is not comparable to Prime/Wagyu/Kobe, which you get use to working in the industry... Evidently, my palate was an only child.
So sous-vide it is.
Marinade with red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, shallot, toasted mustard seeds, thyme, rosemary, black pepper and vacuum seal each steak individually. Place them in the fridge with all the care, emotions, and excitement of holding a new child.
No rush here, let it graze on its juices for at least 24 hours.
To sous-vide, set the temp. for 110f. I love rare. In fact, someday there will be a tombstone with Jerek “Kept it Rare” Bowman somewhere. Anywho, the steaks are placed for 2.5 hours* in the bath.
*longer if terms like "danger zone" appeal to you...
After said time, you get to remove them. Notice the tenderness? ISN’T IT STUPID?? HA! At this point you need a charcoal bbq that can hit 600 degrees. Get that going.
Okay, remove the steaks from the baggies and empty the liquid flavour of holy greatness into a sauce pot on low heat. Check the seasoning. Should be substantial. You are eating 16 ounces of red meat- might as well quadruple the sodium quota here.
Season the steaks. Using the bbq on full-metal blast, scorch the surface areas as fast as possible. The idea is to caramelize the exterior while retaining the fantastic tenderness in the inside. So, like, 1 minute on each side (and keep the lid down) only. Remove the steaks from the grill, let rest for 3 minutes, pour the reserved juice over them and serve. As a side I usually go with a spinach risotto because it’s starchy, fatty, cheesy, helps absorb strong booze and spinach is good for you.
I must thank Colin Van Sickle for moving to Baku and not wanting the hassle of owning a thermal circulator anymore. I still am in shock.
The link is a video of Heston Blumenthal's Perfect Steak. Damn. He is good.