Rib-eye Scotch Beef steak cooked sous vide
2 Scotch Beef rib-eye steaks, about 2.5 cm thick
1/2 tsp dried green peppercorns, crushed in a mortar and pestle
1/2 tsp herbs de Provence
2 tsp light olive oil
Knob of unsalted butter
Small garlic clove, squashed and halved (optional)
Sous vide is a fail-safe way to cook steaks without under or over cooking them, even if you leave them in the water bath a little longer than planned. This step by step guide takes you through this cooking method favoured by chefs around the world.
Sous vide, or “under pressure” cooking is a simple method of cooking food submerged in a water bath, vacuum sealed in special bags. It is particularly good for tenderising tougher cuts of meat without over or undercooking them. But while the cooking method is simple, food hygiene rules must be adhered to. Food is cooked at much lower temperatures therefore must be cooked for longer times in order to kill common but very harmful bacteria present, mostly, on the surface of meat.
There is much on the internet to read about sous vide cookery and plenty of good books, and there are apps available for your smart phone or tablet which will calculate precise cooking temperatures and cooking times with the barest of input from you as to the type of food, thickness etc.
49°C for rare
56.5°C for medium rare
65.5°C medium well
Step by Step Guide to cooking in a water bath:
Fill the water bath and set the temperature on your sous vide cooker or wand to heat the water.
Mix the peppercorns and herbs together. No salt at this stage, add that before browning after the sous vide cooking.
Pat the herb rub onto the steaks and place the steaks side by side (not overlapping or touching or use two smaller bags) in a food safe zip lock bag. Expel all the air and seal the zip.
When the water in the pan is the right temperature submerge the steaks and set the timer to 1 hour.
Remove the steaks from the bag, saving any juices, and pat dry on kitchen paper. Sprinkle a little salt onto the steaks.
Heat the oil in a sauté pan and when hot add the butter and garlic, if using, and brown the steaks on all sides for 2 or 3 minutes in all, turning a few times.
Remove the steaks to warmed plates.
Not all cooking equipment is 100% accurate, you will need to try out your sous vide equipment to find your perfect levels of doneness. Typically the range of temperatures can be:
49 – 53°C for rare
53 – 58°C for medium rare
58 – 62.5°C medium
62.5 – 70°C medium well
Cooks tip: if you want to make a very quick sauce, add the cooking juices from the bag to the pan with a splash of brandy, a little cream or crème fraîche and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and bubble till syrupy. Spoon over the steaks.