A medium-rare steak is like the litmus test of the culinary world: you’ve got nowhere to hide. It’s either tender, juicy and perfectly pink, or it’s not. And so it makes for an ideal sous vide test subject. We’re talking no sauces, no distractions. Just a beautifully cooked steak.
Luckily with sous vide it couldn’t be easier to get spot-on results time and time again. It’s the foolproof way to get exceptional, restaurant-quality steak at home.
Season a couple of fat fillet steaks with pepper and put them into two Ziploc bags, squeezing out as much of the air as you can. Then clip the bags onto the edge of the sous vide cooker, ensuring that the steaks are fully submerged. You'll notice that as you place the bags into the pot, the water will displace the remaining air in the bags and force it to the top.
Set the timer on your sous vide immersion circulator to 57C for medium-rare (54C for rare, 60C for medium and 64C for medium-well). The length of time you leave it in for depends on how thick your steak is. Here are some guideline times:
- 1.25cm steak = 15 minutes
- 2.5cm steak = 45 minutes
- 3.8cm steak = 90 minutes
- 5cm steak = 2 hours
As a rule of thumb, you shouldn't leave a steak in a sous vide machine longer than four hours because after that too much of the connective tissue gets broken down and the steak becomes a bit of a mush.
Set the timer to whatever time's appropriate for your particular steak and then come back to it when the time's up. You'll then need to take it out of the bag and 'finish' it. You'll notice that it doesn't look that attractive when it comes straight out of the bag, and what's needed is a flash fry in a super-hot pan to char the outside. The steak pictured (below) was finished in a pan with both butter and thyme to add a little extra flavour. The final touch is simply to season it with salt and pepper.