Sous vide is French for “under vacuum” and refers to the method of cooking food in vacuum sealed pouches at precisely controlled temperatures.
I was introduced to sous vide cooking a few years ago when I had the pleasure of being a guest judge at the Culinary Institute. One of the graduating chefs prepared two steaks and presented them on the same plate. The first steak was grilled the traditional way while the other steak was prepared using the sous vide method. Given that the steaks were the same cut, and likely from the same tenderloin, I was amazed that there was such a difference between the two. Sure, both were good, but the steak sous vide was far more tender and seemed to melt in my mouth. A clear winner! The chef knew this, of course, and then took me back to show me how it was prepared. It didn’t take long before I was doing research to find an at-home option. And here it is…
This little toy wasn’t cheap, but I have used it a lot more than I originally expected. I have used it routinely for turkey breasts, chicken, fish and vegetables and have been pleased with the results. The Sous Vide Supreme now comes in a demi version, which is slightly smaller and a little less expensive. I would recommend getting that one unless you are cooking for the masses.
On to the steaks!
- 2 six to eight ounce cuts of Filet Mignon
- Steak Seasoning
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 ounces Stilton cheese
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3-4 strands of chives
- Vacuum Sealer
- Sous Vide Supreme
1. Preheat Sous Vide Supreme to 134 degrees for medium rare.
2. Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel and vacuum seal in individual pouches.
3. Place the steaks in the sous vide machine and cook a minimum of 45 minutes, depending on the size. Thicker steaks should cook about 1 hour. Remove pouches from the machine.
The steaks will look a little odd coming out of the machine. In fact, they don’t look appetizing at all but are fully cooked at this stage.
4. Open the pouches and dry steaks with a paper towel. Sprinkle with steak seasoning and set aside.
I use Omaha Steak’s Seasoning most of the time, but you can also use a mixture of salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.
5. Heat vegetable oil in skillet (do not use non-stick pan) to medium high. When oil is shimmering and begins to smoke, add steaks and sear to brown each surface, about 30 seconds on each side. Remember that the steaks are fully cooked, so this step is merely to make them look presentable!
6. Remove the steaks form the pan and serve.
Since the steaks are only seared for a minute or so, they need not rest like they would coming from the grill. The juices inside were not subject to the intense heat and should not bleed onto your plate.
For the sauce:
The steaks are great on their own, but I usually serve them with a simple Stilton sauce.
Heat the cream in a small pan on medium. When the cream begins to simmer, crumble the Stilton into the cream and mix to blend. Using scissors, cut the chives into small pieces and add to the mixture. Stir the sauce and continue to simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
And here is the finished plate!
Another advantage to this method of cooking is that the steaks are uniform throughout. The entire steak is medium rare, not just the middle.
Another great thing about sous vide cooking is that the food will not overcook. Since the temperature is constant, you can leave your steaks in the machine for an extra hour or so without a problem.
Happy cooking! Another view another night. So tender: