I have gone from being someone who says, "I can't have one more appliance." To someone that has allll the appliances, and trust me I don't have room to store them. Kitchen size aside however, I love to cook. My husband also enjoys cooking, though he primarily likes to experiment with proteins. I purchased a smoker for him for Christmas a few years ago and he has enjoyed the challenge of learning all the different aspects of it.
He became interested in Sous Vide last year, I had never heard of it before, but he began to research it and determined that we needed one. I was skeptical that what essentially looked like we were boiling meat could yield anything close to restaurant quality.
Well, we finally tried it out. I have to tell you, the results surprised me. We're definitely novices but I already have a few tips and tricks to share. So here it is, a steak house dinner for two!
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One of the great things about the Sous Vide is that you can cook two different cuts of meat at the same time. We went to the butcher and I immediately saw a petite filet that would be perfect for me, but my husband was eyeing a T-Bone steak. Now, normally this would mean that I would have to gauge what point to start cooking the filet so that it would cook and finish at the same time as the T-Bone. The Sous Vide eliminates that concern.
What is a Sous Vide?
The word "sous vide" actually means "under vacuum." The process involves vacuum sealing your food and then cooking it in water kept at a precise temperature. Apparently high end restaurants have used the method for years. The equipment you need is minimal, and not as costly as I would have imagined.
We received our Sous Vide as a shower gift, however the model that we received is between $100-$150 to purchase. We got ours from Williams-Sonoma, but you can actually order the same one through Amazon. The nice thing about a Sous Vide is you can do it right in a pot that you already have. I also recommend that you get a vacuum sealer (honestly I'm using it for lots more than just sous vide). It's not necessary, but it does make it easier. We have the Greyon brand which was a little more affordable than Food Sealer and we've really liked it. You can just use a Ziplock bag with the air pushed out if you don't have one.
So to cook an 8 oz filet and a 12 oz T-Bone, this is what we did:
Step 1: Fill your pot to the waterline of the Sous Vide, clipped to the side. Set the Sous Vide to 130 degrees for medium rare steak.
Step 2: While it's heating up, season your steak. We have a black pepper rub that we use. I also use kosher salt and thyme.
Step 3: After seasoning, vacuum seal your steak. I didn't include thyme this time, but next time I will. The sous vide process really helps to amplify the herb flavors that you put in the bag.
Step 4: Finally, once it's come to temperature, submerge your steak in the water and walk away for an hour. (Cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of your meat, ours took 1 hour and was perfectly medium rare).
Step 5: After the steak is done cooking remove it from the bag and sear it in a cast iron skillet or pan with butter and thyme. Give it a little butter baste and then let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
The searing gives it that delicious grill flavor, and when cut open the meat was the perfect temperature.
Is it a bit of a process? Yes at first, but once you know what you're doing it goes fairly quickly, and the hour that's it's cooking is free time for you to prepare your sides or catch up on a TV show.
In all honesty, I think I'm pretty good at cooking steaks stove top and finishing in the oven, but I've never been able to consistently get a medium rare center, and certainly I've never been able to get two cuts of meat done at the same time at the same temperature.
We are huge steak house connoisseurs (we got married in a steak house if that gives you any idea how much we love them), and for us, this was the closest at home experience we've had.
I'll be experimenting more with other proteins and will report back as I learn more! Have you ever used a sous vide?