One of my biggest passions outside of poker is food and I end up applying a lot of the same principles to food and cooking as I do poker. I find cooking fun, I think the more I cook the better I’ll get and I even watch training videos!
Steak can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. You can take a far simpler method and produce steak that tastes just as good (or maybe even better!) but I really like the end result of the sous vide method.
1) Get some awesome meat. I got two ~850g/30oz t-bone steaks from James Whelan Butchers out in Blackrock. This worked out as the perfect amount of meat for 4 people.
2) If the meat isn’t entirely one piece truss it with some twine so it cooks evenly and stays intact during the searing process.
3) Season liberally with salt (I use kosher salt) but not pepper. The pepper tends to burn during the incredibly high heat of the sear so I add it afterwards.
4) Vacuum seal in a food safe vacuum bag. I usually double bag the steak at this point as I have had leaks before. You don’t want a slow poached 25 euro steak.
5) Weigh the steak so you can feel awesome about your upcoming meal.
6) Insert the steak(s) into a preheated 54.5c/130f sous vide water bath. I have the SousVide Supreme Water Oven which is a nice convenient sealed unit but other cheaper options are available.
7) Wait anything from 40 minutes up to 8 hours, this really is the beautiful thing about sous vide as during a dinner party it allows you to plan the food around the people, not the other way around.
8 ) Remove the steaks from the sous vide machine and debag, keep any juices left in the bag for a pan sauce.
9) Preheat a thick bottomed pan as hot as you can get it. I use a Saute Pan but Cast Iron pans are probably a tiny bit better. Add a high smoke point neutral tasting fat to the pan while it’s heating up, I used duck fat.
10) Once the pan is smoking hot insert the steaks, one at a time into the pan for no more than 90 seconds per side, use tongs to flip and press down to get a really good sear. Do not keep checking the underside for the crust as this will only slow down the process and risk overcooking the steak.
11) I rest my steaks for a couple minutes after the sear on a wire rack so any juices don’t ruin the crust. With sous-vide resting isn’t needed nearly as much as with regular high heat methods so I could just serve right now. I also season with pepper now.
12) Slice against the grain and serve!
The Finished Product
I served the steak with oven baked sweet potato fries, seasoned with Old Bay seasoning (the nuts!), caesar salad with bacon and pull apart rosemary honey dinner rolls
The steak was awesome. I think the fries could have done with a tiny bit more crunch but I messed up the timing slightly and the steak was getting cold.
All in all a great success! And yes, I did really buy 4 cow shaped steak boards just for this dinner party.