Happy New Year! This year I vow to create recipes using techniques, ingredients and/or cooking methods that I have not demonstrated thus far on my blog. In the past, many of my recipes were simple, fresh and pretty straightforward, however for cooks like me, it’s time to break that ceiling and provide a cooking blog that I can be a bit more proud of, and share my culinary skills with all of you. I hope to hear that you feel the same way and will challenge yourselves a little more, and step outside of your comfort zone. Food can be so much more exciting and delicious than you think, and it really doesn’t take much more effort than you are already putting into your meals.
Sous Vide is a technique that finer dining restaurants have been using for years and in fact, you’ve probably have eaten many a dish cooked “Sous Vide.” An immersion circulator is a device used to create a constant water temperature and moderate heat. It sounds much more complicated than it is, but these units are available for home cooks everywhere and basically a one-stick wonder. The circulator easily clips on the side of a large pot and after selecting the temperature of the food that you want after cooking, it gradually adjusts the water temperature accordingly. Please read the instructions on your unit before preceding.
Meat, chicken, fish, eggs, vegetables and desserts can all be prepared Sous Vide and I am here to begin your recipe log for such dishes. To start, you need to purchase an immersion circulator and a supply of large plastic bags, or a vacuum sealer bag system. I happen to have both, because I vacuum seal my groceries as they come in the door, especially when I buy big bulk, so they stay fresh longer. I do find this tool useful in so many ways, other than Sous Vide.
I chose steak as the first culprit because it’s easy to do and there are many meat eaters going Keto in the New Year. Strip Steak is a cut of beef that tends to be a little chewy if cooked on the grill, or broiled it in the oven – a perfect cut of meat to Sous Vide. After a dusting of salt, pepper and fennel pollen (another ingredient that should definitely be a part of your pantry) and in it goes into a bag and into the 130F degree water bath. You can walk away at this point and let the meat slowly cook for 2-3 hours until it reaches 130F – that’s what makes this technique easy and useful. No stressing about overcooked meat because the circulator moderates it for you.
After a few hours, a quick sear in a pre-heated pan drizzled with Grapeseed oil, and you are ready to have one of the most tender tasting steaks. Oh, and did I mention the cost of Strip Steak is about half the price of Rib Eye or Tenderloin. Just think about how you are recouping the costs of the immersion circulator and enjoying a great meal.
2 – 16 ounce Strip Steaks
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fennel pollen blend
- Fill large pot with warm water and clip immersion circulator on the side. Set temperature to 130F.
- Remove steaks from packaging and sprinkle with salt, pepper and fennel pollen on both sides. Let rest on counter until water temperature is 130F. Place in vacuum sealed bag, or large plastic storage bag.
- Immerse bag into water (if using a storage bag, lower in slowly, pushing air up toward top of bag and release last bit of air, then seal). Clip bag to side of pot with office or kitchen clips.
- After 2-3 hours, remove steaks from water and bag. Pat dry with paper towels. Add 2 teaspoons Grapeseed oil to an iron skillet and place over high heat. After 3 minutes, add steaks and sear on each side for 1 1/2 minutes (Cook longer if you don’t prefer medium-rare).
- Remove and let rest on cutting board. After 5 minutes, slice into 1-inch thick pieces and serve with mixed greens or vegetables. Enjoy!