On the menu tonight – Sous Vide New York Strip!
What in the world is Sous Vide (pronounced Soo Veed)?
Sous Vide cooking is the process of sealing food in an airtight container —usually a vacuum sealed bag—and then cooking that food in temperature-controlled water. The only special equipment you HAVE to have is the sous vide cooker, which can be had for around a hundred bucks. While you can cook the food in ziplock type bags (and I have done that a LOT), it’s better if you get a vacuum sealer to seal the food in that. A vacuum sealer can be used for a lot of things, so it wouldn’t be a uni-tasker (as Alton Brown would say). Here’s a link with some pictures of the cooker.
Back to the steak! This dish is top shelf worthy, I’m not kidding, but it isn’t something you will whip up in 30 minutes. If I want a steak, I will plan at least a week out. I’ll start by doing a dry age in the fridge. The day of the cook, I’ll bring the steak to room temperature (do this no matter what method you plan to cook your meat) and then season with Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. That’s it, nothing else. Maybe, sometimes, hardly ever, I’ll put a sprig of fresh rosemary and/or thyme in the sous vide bag. If you plan to marinade the steak, sous vide is awesome! By vacuum sealing the meat with the marinade, it gets that flavor in quicker.
Cooking sous vide, you put that vacuum sealed bag in a vessel of water (it could be anything that will hold enough water and be able to clamp the cooker to a side. It cooks at a precise temperature and will never rise above that temp. SO, whatever temperature you like your steak, set it to that temp and BOOM! Your steak will come out PERFECT every time. Here’s the best part. Since the temp never rises above the desired temp, you can set it to cook at a certain time (of course allowing time for the cook) and you can stop it when you’re ready. With a steak, you probably don’t want it to cook more than about 2 hrs beyond the finish time, but that’s a BIG window to work with.
But there is one more step after you take it out of the bag. Since the steak has been cooking in the bag, it doesn’t have that beautiful sear. You will need to finish it either on the grill or in a cast iron pan. I like to fire up the grill as hot as I can get it, then I’ll sear the steak on each side for about a minute – that’s it! It is already perfectly cooked, so the only thing you need to do on the grill or pan is get the sear you want. If you decide to sear it in a pan, you can do it with butter and the thyme and/or rosemary while basting it. When I grill it, I’ll sometimes put a pat of compound garlic butter on it after it comes off the grill.
I keep talking about steak, but there are a BUNCH of things you can do with a sous vide cooker. I invite you to do some googling for some of the many things you can do with it. You want perfectly cooked chicken? Sous vide! Again, it has to be finished after or else you end up with very flabby, soggy, undesirable skin. SO, you could sous vide the chicken to not quite done and then finish it in the fryer, without worrying whether the chicken is cooked through.
I hope you’ll explore the world of sous vide cooking. Let me know what YOU make.
New York Strip - Sous Vide
New York Strip - Sous Vide with mashed potatoes
- 16-20 New York Strip steak
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Mashed Potatoes:
- 1.5 - 2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 stick butter
- 4 oz cream cheese, cubed
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Compound Butter:
- 1/2-1 stick of butter, room temperature
- 1 garlic clove, minced through garlic press
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
The Dry Age:
When you get the steak home from the store, remove it from it's wrapper and pat it dry
Put the steak on a plate, uncovered
Every day, turn the steak and pat both sides dry (you could also put the steak on a wire rack to allow airflow on both sides)
Season the steak with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Seal the steak in the vacuum bag (if you don't have a vacuum sealer, you can use a good quality re-seal-able bag. Consider double bagging)
Set up the sous vide cooker including vessel with water
Add the sealed steak to the vessel and set the temperature to your preference of "doneness", I like my steak medium rare and I set it at 129 degrees. Below is chart of the various levels of cook
Medium rare 125° F to 130° F 1-4 hours
Medium 135° F to 140° F 1-4 hours
Medium well 145° F to 150° F 1-3 1/2 hours
Well done 160° F and above 1-3 hours
While the steak is cooking, you can start on the mashed potatoes. Boil the quartered potatoes until fork tender
Drain the potatoes and put back in the pot
Add the butter, cream cheese, milk, salt, pepper, and mash
Taste and adjust seasoning as needed
For the compound butter, mix together the butter, garlic, and salt, then refrigerate
Pre-heat the grill or cast iron pan to high
Take the steak out of the bag, pat dry
Put on the grill and let it sear for 30 - 45 seconds, then give it a quarter turn for the cross-hatch grill marks
After it has cooked another 30 seconds, flip and repeat the process for the other side
Plate the steak with the potatoes and add a pat of the butter on top of the steak
I know not everyone is going to dry age their steak, but DO give it a try At the very least, when you get the steak home from the store, take it out of that pack with the "diaper" underneath it. If you plan to cook the steak that night, pat it dry and put it on a plate in the fridge uncovered. It sounds counter-intuitive, but the steak will be juicier. If you aren't going to cook the steak the day you bring it home, pat it dry and re-wrap as tightly as you can with saran-wrap and put in fridge or freezer.