When you have some extra time, but do not want to spend all of it in the kitchen, try the Sous Vide method of cooking.
The technique is basically low-temperature cooking, which has been bantered about since the late 1700s, but modernized with this new technology. There is a lot more detail to this style of cooking, but it boils down to this: Put your food in a Zip-lock bag, take the air out, zip it up and immerse in a container of water that your sous vide device has already set the tub to a certain temperature based on what you’re cooking. This process will cook your food over a period of time. The most amazing thing is when you cook a steak, it’s the same temperature throughout the entire piece of meat.
I recommend the Joule which can run close to $200, but well worth the investment. All of the devices come with applications for your i-Phone, so you can enter what you’re cooking, the specifications and it tells you what to do from there.
Last night on Sullivan’s Island, we decided to stay in and watch a big game. There was also an amazing sunset coming, so I definitely wanted to grab a glass of wine at the inlet and relax, which meant not running around cooking a dinner. So I grabbed the golf cart and jetted up to the nearby butcher shop and picked up two amazing prime steaks. The sun was starting to fall, so I bought their pre-made Mac ‘n Cheese. It’s pretty good, to be honest, but just the very traditional cheddar, milk based preparation. (On a cloudy day — or if you want to skip the sunset cocktails, you should make this amazing Mac ‘n Cheese.)
I did a quick drive-by to Harris Teeter for locally-grown tomatoes, feta, basil and then the herbs for the steak. The shopping took 15 minutes and I would only need another 15 to get things rolling and make it to sundown.
When I got home, I took out a small tub and filled it with hot water as I only had two steaks. While the water was heating, I sliced the tomatoes in 1/2-inch slices and laid them out, overlapping with a basil leaf in between. I like the tomatoes to be room temperature, so just let them sit out until ready to serve. At that point, I sprinkle some freshly-crumbled high quality feta, dried oregano, drizzle olive oil and sherry vinegar to taste. Salt and pepper to taste.
I seasoned, seared and bagged the steaks and placed them in their 90-minute bath. I went for drinks, knowing when I got back, it would take no more than 30 minutes to have a full meal ready for the game.
Ingredients of the Steak
- 2 prime boneless prime New York strips, cut 1 1/2 inch chick
- 1 bunch of fresh thyme
- 2 large stems of fresh rosemary
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Fill your tub with hot water from the tap and insert your sous vide. Set your temperature via the app that comes with your sous vide device, allowing it to reach the desired temperature. For these steaks, they would cook at 129 degrees for 90 minutes for a perfect medium rare, so choose as you like
- While the water heats up, let the steaks get to room temperature and liberally sprinkle kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper on both sides
- Put the skillet over high heat for 10 minutes. Sear the steak for a minute each side, then let cool for 5 minutes
- Place the steak in the Zip-lock bag and put the herbs on each side. Make sure you get all of the air from the bag, seal and submerge the meat in the water once the correct temperature is reached
- When the steaks are done, you will notice you have a certain amount of extra time to take them out, your application will tell you how much
- When ready, wipe the skillet and put back over the high heat, wait for 10 minutes before taking the steaks out of the bags, discard the herbs and sear them again, one minute on each side
- Put on a platter and drizzle extra virgin olive oil, chopped fresh thyme, kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Serve immediately