Sous Vide Steak


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Steak is one of the most popular foods to cook sous vide and since everyone in my family likes their steak medium rare, I decided to adopt the sous vide method instead of the typical grilling method.

Before we start, we need to pick the right steak.  The thickness of a steak should be at least 1.5 inches thick, either bone-in or boneless.  The reason to pick a thicker piece is because we need to sear the steak after sous-vide cooking.  A thinner piece will tend to overcook during the searing process.  Below is an excerpt from the Anova site and a complete guide can be found here .

Strip, Ribeye, and Porterhouse Steaks

Highly marbled cuts like a grain-finished Prime-grade ribeye and strip should be cooked a few degrees higher than leaner steaks like tenderloin as their copious intramuscular fat helps keep them moist while delivering plenty of flavor.  Fattier steaks also have natural insulation which means they’ll take slightly longer to reach the correct internal temperature.

Very rare to Rare:  120°F (49°C) to 128°F (53°C), 1 to 2 1/2 hours.
Medium-rare:  129°F (54°C) to 134°F (57°C), 1 to 4 hours (2 1/2 hours max for temperatures under 130°F/57°C).
Medium:  135°F (57°C) to 144°F (62°C), 1 to 4 hours.
Medium-well:  145°F (63°C) to 155°F (68°C), 1 to 3 1/2 hours.
Well done:  156°F (69°C) and up, 1 to 3 hours.

Here is how we made a mouth-watering sous-vide steak.

Ingredients:
2 Steaks (about 1 pound each)
Salt
Pepper
12 garlic clove

Direction:

  1. Preheat Precision Cooker to the desired final temperature according to the chart above.  I like my steaks medium rare, so I set my temperature to 129°F.
  2. Generously season the steak (including the edges) with salt and pepper. (picture 1)
  3. Put the steak into a bag and add 3 garlic cloves to each side of the steak (if you want herbs, you can add that to the bag as well).  Seal the bag with a vacuum sealer.  (picture 2)
  4. When water has reached the desired temperature, drop the bag(s) in the water bath.  (picture 3)
  5. You can connect your cell phone to your precision cooker and use the app to set the cooking time to 1 hour.  (picture 4)
  6. Remove the steak from the bag and pat dry with paper towel.  Preheat a cast iron skillet and add one tablespoon of grape seed oil until it starts to smoke, add your steak to the pan. (picture 5)
  7. Sear one side for 15 to 30 seconds and flip the steak and sear the other side for 15 t0 30 seconds.  Repeat this step once until the steak gets a nice brown sear.  Make sure not to cook for too long.  Immediately serve with your favorite vegetables/side dishes.  (picture 6)

steak

Note:  With sous-vide cooking, you can cut the steak right after searing, the 10-minute resting period can be skipped.

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Sous Vide Soy Sauce Chicken


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Sous vide cooking is new to me, a lot of my friends have already owned a Sous Vide Precision Cooker for a couple of years.  I heard many good things about it but never thought about buying one until after the Thanksgiving holiday when there was a big sale.  I purchased mine (Anova brand) and used it the very first time yesterday.  Basically sous vide cooking is putting food in a bag and cooking it in a water bath.  This technique is about bringing food up to a precisely controlled temperature to deliver super-juicy, flavor-packed results throughout the entire piece of meat.  I personally don’t like the idea of cooking food in a plastic bag, but if I use those vacuum sealer bags that are BPA free, I think that is acceptable.  Below is my first recipe – A Chinese soy sauce chicken –  the meat was cooked just right, very tender and juicy.  Please note this soy sauce chicken doesn’t need the searing step after the water bath.

Ingredients:

1 3-4 pound free range brown chicken 黃毛雞
3 slices Fresh ginger
3 Star anise
3 Bay leaves
2 stalks Green onions
6 cloves Garlic
7 Tbsp Brown sugar
300ml Light soy sauce
300ml Water
2 Tbsp Mei Kuei Lu Chiew (Cooking wine) 玫瑰露酒

Directions for making the sauce:

  1. Measure all ingredients and set aside (picture 1).
  2. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil to the frying pan, stir in ginger, garlic and green onion and cook for a minute. (pictures 2)
  3. Add a tablespoon of Mei Kuei Lu Chiew (cooking wine) and then add in 300 ml water. (pictures 3-4)
  4. Add in sugar, anise and bay leaves. (pictures 5 and 6)
  5. When the liquid is boiling, add a tablespoon of Mei Kuei Lu Chiew (cooking wine) and soy sauce. (pictures 7 and 8)
  6. Turn off fire after the sauce is slightly bubbling, transfer the sauce into a bowl and let it cool. (picture 9)

sauce

Directions for sous vide cooking:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and put the whole chicken in for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  This step will firm the chicken skin and allow the sauce to coat the chicken evenly.  (picture a)
  2. Fill a pot of water, clip the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to the side of the pot, download the app and connect Anova to your phone.  Use the phone to set the temperature that you want the food to finish at. For this chicken, I set it to 155.5 for 6 hours.
  3. While the cooker is heating up the water, put chicken in a bag and pour sauce into the bag.  Toss the chicken to make sure sauce gets on all sides.  (pictures c and d)
  4. When water has reached the desired temperature, seal the bag using the water immersion technique (drop the bag into water slowly and air will come out, use binder clips to secure the bag).  Place the bag in the water bath and let it cook for 6 hours.  (pictures e and f)
  5. When the timer goes off, remove the bag from the water bath.  Take out the chicken and let it cool.  You can save the sauce and use it next time, just re-boil and freeze in the freezer.

anova

Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before cutting.  Serve with white steamed rice.

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