You’ll remember from earlier posts that I have a relatively new sous vide machine that has been teaching me a lot about tenderness, cooking technique and new ways to make old favoites (see my earlier blog posts on sous vide baby back ribs and my first use of the machine on pork chops). The sous vide experiments continue, and this latest one was most definitely a success!
I’ve been really intrigued to see how the low temp, slow cooking technique works on beef – expecting that it would make it super tender. My expectations were obviously too low! I cooked 1 1/2″ thick boneless ribeye steaks in 150 F water for 5 1/2 hours, and they were UNBELIEVABLY tender – like butter. I could practically cut mine with a fork alone. I think I said “mmm” with every single bite!
To prepare the steaks, I simply sprinkled them with salt, pepper and garlic powder, then vacuum sealed them. As mentioned, they were then cooked for 5 1/2 hours at 150 degrees F. When the time was up, I removed them from the pouches and patted them dry with paper towels, then flash seared them in a grill pan on high heat with a touch of olive oil. That’s it!
I will say if there was any downside to choosing ribeye, it was the fat content. When cooking on the stove or the grill, much of the fat is rendered, but in the case of sous vide, there is nowhere for the fat to go, and the heat really isn’t hot enough to render the fat. Therefore, the natural fat stays intact, making the resulting steak more fat-heavy than it would normally be. It’s easy enough to cut around it, of course, and a good, fatty ribeye cannot be beat for flavor, but I think the great tenderization you get from sous vide means a leaner cut of meat would be equally successful. Next time, I’m cooking filet mignon to see the difference.