Sous-vide or not Sous-vide

What is sous-vide?! That IS the question. Well, I didn’t know it was a question until I visited London last year and had the pleasure at eating at Dinner By Heston Blumenthal in the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park. During dinner we had a chicken course that was made using the Sous-vide technique. I can tell you of all the memorable food we ate that evening (and we did eat copious amounts of food) this dish stood out. I thought to myself I had to learn how to make this back home and incorporate the technique in to my cooking, especially on the BGE.

Sous-vide chicken
My favorite dish at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Fast forward several months and I was given the Sous-vide Supreme by my lovely wife Debbie as an anniversary gift. Yesterday was the maiden voyage of this wonderful machine and here is the result for your reading pleasure…

So, the process is actually very simple. You decide what you want to cook, the desired temperature (e.g. rare, mid-rare, etc.), vacuum seal the food, and place it in a water bath set to that temperature of doneness for a certain period of time. Easy!

Using my sous-vide Supreme for the first time

The latest tool to my arsinal
The latest tool to my arsenal

Next we cut the Flank Steak in to smaller pieces to fit in the sous-vide machine. This is the perfect time to add salt & pepper to each piece before they get sealed.

Cut in to smaller pieces for the sous-vide machine
Cut in to smaller pieces for the sous-vide machine

Here is Debbie setting up the bags for the meat so they are sealed correctly and able to hold the protein in the water bath without leakage.

Yes there are bottles of wine in the background. It is worth noting that we were operating this machinery completely sober and as a result no one was at risk in the making of this Flank Steak 🙂

Vacuum sealing the steak
Vacuum sealing the steak

Here is one of the pieces completely sealed in the vacuum bag and ready to enter the warm water bath set up and ready to go.

Here is one of the pieces sealed with salt & pepper
Here is one of the pieces sealed with salt & pepper

Next we place the vacuum sealed bags of steak in the warm water bath (below). We set the machine at 140 degrees as that is the temp beef reaches when medium rare.

The water is at temp for the meat to go on
The water is at temp for the meat to go on

After 8 hours the meat is done and ready to come out. As you can see below it doesn’t look pretty as there is no color (caramelization) to steak. That comes next.

After 8 hours submerged in 140 degree water
After 8 hours submerged in 140 degree water

Here I am searing the steak in a cast iron pan with butter and garlic. The steak is seasoned with salt and pepper already. You can add more to taste.

Searing the meat for that nice crust
Searing the meat for that nice crust

And here is the finished product perfectly medium rare Flank Steak served with Debbie’s Asparagus Risotto. This was an excellent first meal cooked using the sous-vide technique. My wheels are already turning as to what I want to do next. I cannot wait to combine this technique with the Big Green Egg.

Steak is perfectly mid-rare with Asparagus Risotto
Steak is perfectly mid-rare with Asparagus Risotto

 

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