Although cooking the perfect steak in a bag sounds like a strange concept to most people, it is the usual way that high-end restaurants produce their delicious steaks, without ever overcooking. Cooking beef in a bag and inserting it into a water bath is called sous-vide cooking. The water is set to a specific temperature, and the meat can be left in it for several hours and still never overcook. Sous-vide machines have recently become available at home, and cooking beef in a bag is increasing in popularity with home cooks.
Things You'll Need
- Beef steak or roast, room temperature
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Small vacuum sealer
- Sous-vide water bath
- Cast iron skillet
- 2 tbsp. butter
Rinse the meat under running water and pat it dry with paper towels.
Drizzle olive oil over the outside of the meat. Cover the meat evenly with the desired seasonings.
Insert the meat into the plastic bag. Remove the air and seal it using the vacuum packer.
Set the temperature of the hot water bath to the desired doneness of the meat. It should be 130 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare, 140 degrees Fahrenheit for medium and 160 degrees Fahrenheit for well-done.
Insert the sealed meat into the cooker. Cook the meat until the internal temperature has been reached, usually about 45 minutes for thick steaks and an hour and a half for roasts. However, the meat can also be left in the water up to eight hours and will never overcook.
Place the butter in the skillet and set it on the stove, at medium-high heat. Let it heat for two minutes or until sizzling.
Remove the steak from the sealed package and place it in the skillet for one minute on each side, to brown and caramelize the outside of the meat.
Tips & Warnings
- With a watchful eye and an accurate thermometer, a pot of water on the stove that is maintained at the heat you desire for cooking can also work if a sous-vide pot is not available.
- Only add salt to the steak after cooking; if it is cooked with salt on, the meat can become tough.
- J. Kenji Lopez-Alt; "Sous-Vide 101: Prime Steak Primer"; Serious Eats
- Sara Dickerman; "The Slowest Food"; Slate
- Edinformatics: What is Sous Vide Cooking?
- Jason Logsdon; "Beginning Sous Vide: Low Temperature Recipes and Techniques for Getting Started at Home"; 2010
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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