Monday, January 24, 2011

Stovetop "Sous Vide" Episode 2: NY Strip Steaks – Pretty and Pink

The duck breast we did in Episode 1 of our stovetop sous vide series last month was so spectacular, I couldn't wait to give it a try with some nice thick steaks. I had no doubt that it would work (thanks to the laws of physics), but would the extra time and attention be worth the payoff?

Well, that depends. As far as the taste and texture of the meat goes, it was pretty much the same as any perfectly cooked steak I've ever had. Not to sound all braggy, but thanks to having done thousands of them, I can produce a pretty decent, medium-rare NY Strip steak in
about 15 minutes.

It will be nicely browned and crusty outside, warm and pink in the middle. So for me personally, I'm not sure the extra wait is worth it purely for the textural advantages is provides. Don't get me wrong, the results were fabulous, but do I really need to wait 2 1/2 hours to get my beef on?

The real advantage to this technique is not a superior-quality final product (like it was for the duck), but the fact that you're guaranteeing a perfect medium-rare (using 130 degrees F. water, or 140 for medium, or 150 for medium-well, etc.). So, if you've never had any luck getting large, expensive hunks of steak cooked to your idea of perfection, then this is the way to go, for sure.

Since we went over the basics of this procedure in the previous post, I won't rewrite all the background info about what sous vide is, and how it works. For that kind of scintillating background information, please check out, "Episode 1: The Best Duck Breast Ever." Enjoy!

NOTE: For LOTS more information about doing sous vide steaks, check out Sous-Vide 101: Prime Steak Primer by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, posted on Serious Eats.

Ingredients for Stovetop "Sous Vide" NY Strip Steaks:
2 (12-14 oz) NY Strip Steaks
1 teaspoon grape seed oil , or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter, divided
handful of trimmed mushrooms
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

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