Sous Vide: Beef Chuck Roast, Natural Pan Sauce 2021 and Forever After

Among the hardest working muscles on a steer/heifer, this collagen laden cut is no match for the tenderizing capabilities of sous vide.


Beef chuck roast/steak, approximately 3 lbs/1.4 Kg.
Powdered egg white, as needed.
Preferred seasonings of your choice–salt not to exceed 2 teaspoons/lb. of meat.
Carrots, 2 each, peeled.
Celery, 0.5 head, root end, cut in half lengthwise.
Russet potatoes, 2 each, peeled and cut into desired shapes.
Onion, 0.5 each, chopped fine.
Tomato paste, 2 oz/60 g.
Red wine, 1 cup.
Flour, 2 Tablespoons/20 g.
Parsley, chopped, as needed.


Equipment requirements:

Immersion circulator.
Lipavi C10 heat rated container with lid.
Lipavi L10 rack or equivalent.
Heat rated sous vide bags.
Paper towels.
Dredge/shaker (for the powdered egg white).
Spray bottle.
Large skillet.

Above: Lipavi C15 container, N15 polycarbonate rack. Lipavi C15L lid.

Actual prep time, 2 hours
Level of difficulty: 3
Serves 4-6


Preheat the sous vide bath to 140 F/60 C. Vacuum seal the roast in heat rated plastic, load into a rack and submerge into the bath. Process at 140 F/60 C for 48 hours.

Remove the roast from the package so you can harvest the juices. Cover the roast loosely and keep warm in an oven set at 145 F-170 F/63 C-76 C. You can also temporarily re-bag the roast and hold in the sous vide bath while you make your natural gravy. Stage your service platter/plates into the oven as well. Never put hot food on cold plates.

Change the temperature setting on your sous vide bath to 183 F/84 C.

Seal the carrots and celery in a heat rated vacuum bag. Do the same with the potatoes. Load into a rack that assures circulation of water between the packages.

Process the vegetables for one hour. Cold shock the packages in iced tap water until they achieve 70 F/21 C.

While you wait for the vegetables, process the juices as explained HERE. Set the juices aside.

Cut the roast in half. Dust lightly with powdered egg white and mist with water to create a sticky surface. Sprinkle with desired seasonings.

Cut the vegetables into desired shapes and do the same.

And the potatoes as well. Preheat the large skillet to 275 F/135 C. Add a few drops of vegetable oil.

Brown the meat and the vegetables in the skillet–do not crowd the pan. there should be empty space between each object. As the desired color is achieved, remove the components to a cookie sheet and stage into the warm oven–again, “as low as possible,” 140F or thereabouts.

Repeat the process with the potatoes.

Make the Sauce

Add a few drops of oil to the pan and fry the onions until translucent–do not allow to brown.

Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the onions.

Continue frying the mixture and it will begin to brown. This important step will determine whether your sauce is brown or red. You can see how the oil starts to leak out into the pan.

Add the red wine. The wine will also contribute to the color of the sauce but should not contribute volume.

Reduce the wine completely and you will see the oil start to leak out again.

This is very important. Remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture to absorb the fat. If you do not stop the cooking process, the flour will clump and fail to merge into the sauce.

Stir until you don’t see flour any more.

Return to heat and add 1 cup of hot tap water. Continue stirring and the paste will dissolve and begin to “tighten” immediately.

Add the Sous Jus that you clarified earlier and return to a simmer. Cook for fifteen minutes to extract the flavor of the onions, test for seasoning and strain.

To serve in the traditional family style, arrange all the components on a large platter and drizzle with the sauce. Don’t forget the parsley.

An individual presentation can elevate this old fashioned dish to the level of a fine restaurant.

Altitude provides attitude.

For an even more detailed explanation of this preparation visit HERE.

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Norm King


Beef chuck is an assortment of hard working muscles connected to the animal's neck. They support the massive head, which can weigh 100 pounds. Industry sponsored Youtube videos assert that this "value added" cut will "perform well" as a steak if properly trimmed and marinated. The fact is that nothing short of an extended interval of moist heat will render a chuck roast palatable.

Once we discard the exaggerated claims of marketers, the humble chuck roast becomes a shining example of the benefits of sous vide. This application conjures the traditional result common to our childhood memories without all of the anxiety ridden stove wrestling and hopeful finger crossing.


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