Intro: Amateur Sous Vide Steak
Who doesn’t love a good steak?
How many of us can actually cook a good steak?
Conventional cooking methods are like a Russian roulette for me - I either end up with it nicely browned on the outside, but almost blue, or relatively browned and well done. The only way I can cook a decent medium rare/medium steak is by using the sous vide method and a VERY hot BBQ.
I call this method "sous vide for amateurs" because you can cook this at home without any expensive equipment.
Step 1: INGREDIENTS
This recipe should be enough to feed two people.
You will need:
- 450g (1 pound) sirloin steak (1 ½ -2-inch thick)
- Salt and pepper
- Herbs (optional, I’m using thyme)
- 2-4 garlic cloves (optional)
- Spices (optional, I’m using cayenne pepper for an extra kick)
- 2 large Ziploc bags
- 2-4 large paper clips
- Kitchen thermometer
- Something to weight the steak down (I’ll explain later)
- The biggest pot you can find
- Paper towels
Step 2: ASSEMBLY
Season both sides of your steak with salt, pepper and optional spices. Place in the Ziploc bag together with the herbs and garlic. Seal the bag and remove as much air as possible, but do not close the bag completely.
Step 3: WATER DISPLACEMENT
You don't need any special equipment to vacuum the air from your plastic bag. There is this thing called the water displacement method which allows you to get rid of the air in a very easy way.
Simply fill the sink with water, put your bagged steak inside and press it down. Make sure you don't get any water inside the bag, submerge it as much as you can and keep the top of the bag above water level. The water pressure will push all the air out of the bag. Seal the bag completely and take it out.
I strongly suggest that you use another Ziploc bag and double seal it. You can also benefit from weighing the meat down with anything heavy you have at hand. I put a stone pestle inside my second bag and then seal it. This way the meat will be completely submerged during cooking.
Step 4: COOKING
Grab the biggest pot you can find, fill it with water and heat it up. You will need a thermometer attached to the pot (I use paper clips to secure it) for the duration of the cooking. Once the water has reached the desired temperature lower your Ziploc bag inside and secure it with the paper clips.
I keep my stove setting at the lowest level to keep the temperature as low as possible. Monitoring the temperature is essential as the water can overheat. If that happens, simply use a cup or jug to remove some of the hot water and replace it with cold water.
Cooking times depend on the size and thickness of your steak, so you might have to adjust your cooking times. I only ever cook 450g (1 pound) steaks and aim at medium-rare, so I cook mine at 54-57°C (129-134°F) for 45 mins.
Rare: 49-53°C (120-128°F)
Medium-rare: 54-57°C (129-134°F)
Medium: 57-62°C (135-144°F)
Medium-well: 63-68°C (145-155°F)
Well done: 69°C and up (156°F and up)
I recommend cooking the steak for 45 to 60 minutes. Since you do not use an actual sous vide cooker you won't be able to control the temperature and you might end up overcooking it.
Step 5: AFTER SOUS VIDE
When the timer goes out, take your bag out from the pot and remove the steak. Discard any garlic and herbs, then pat it dry with kitchen towels. The meat will most likely be gray/brownish in color, so do not get discouraged, it's completely normal.
Step 6: GRILL
Place the steak on the grill and cook for about 2 minutes, turn every 20-30 seconds until deep, brown crust develops.
Step 7: GLAZE
You could glaze it with melted butter for extra shine.