Sous Vide is a method of cooking where food is placed in an airtight bag and submerged in a temperature controled water bath until it is ready. Even though it might sound like an advanced technique it is very easy and can help anyone cook more consistently. Food cooked sous vide also maintains the natural flavor of the food since it is cooked in a bag.
Until recently, sous vide cooking was limited to professional chefs with big budgets since the units would cost thousands of dollars. In the past few years, the cost have decreased drastically and the sous vide circulators have gotten smaller. Instead of selling a unit that is filled with water to heat up, new circulators are immersed into water in any container.
For my first time cooking using a sous vide circulator I used the Sous Vide Immersion Circulator from Kitchen Gizmo costing around $100. All I had to do was fill a pot with water, add the circulator, adjust the temperature, set the time and it was ready to go.
I bought a NY Strip home that was a little over an inch thick. For sous vide cooking, 1 ½ inch steaks or thicker are best but I couldn’t find anything that thick at the grocery store. I put the steaks in ziplock bags with some butter and garlic and lower the bags into the water bath, removing air as they submurged. Once all the air was gone I closed the bag and waited.
It was hard knowing I was practically boiling expensive steaks, doubting it would actually turn out, especially seeing the grey color the meat was turning.
One of the other benefits of sous vide cooking is I could now work on cooking my sides without really paying attention to the steak. I made some asparagus and mashed potatoes while I waited, not having to stress about cooking times for the steak since sous vide cooking is very forgiving.
Once the steak was done I removed it from the pot and still wondering if I had ruined my steaks since it looked practically gray. That is why the next step, searing, is so important.
I removed the steaks from the bag, reserving the juices, and seasoned generously with sea salt salt and pepper. I took a saute pan and allowed it to heat up before adding the steaks to the pan. Since the food is already cooked this is mostly for color and texture. After about 90 seconds on each side, the steaks were done.
For this steak I decided to made a pan sauce to go with it. While the pan was still hot I added wine to deglaze. After reducing by half, I added the juices from the steak, thyme and rosemary and reduced. Next, I added cream and simmered until it coated the back of the spoon and seasoned with just a touch of salt.
When I cut through the steak and saw that perfect medium rare I was completely thrilled. Cooking steak usually stresses me out worrying I will overcook the meat but with sous vide cooking that guessing game is taken away.
Now that steak is easy and can be done inside, I might just have to make this a regular thing.
Have you tried sous vide cooking? What should I try to cook sous vide next?