Level of difficulty: 1.5
If you want to use self sealing bags (Ziploc freezer bags) for this, remove the air from the bag using the water displacement method.
How do you like your steak?
There is debate as to the exact definition of “rare,” “medium rare,” “au point,” etc. A little practice will help you learn just exactly what temperature achieves your preferred appearance of doneness.
Here are some basic temperature setting guidelines:
Rare: 129 F/54 C.
Medium rare: 135 F/57 C
Medium: 140 F/60 C.
Medium well: 150 F/66 C.
Well done: 165 F/74 C.
Stage each rib eye steak into a dedicated vacuum bag. Seal and sous vide process at the temperature best suited to your preferences. If you want to process several steaks at different degrees of apparent doneness, start with the HIGHEST temperature to be applied. Using two hour intervals, add ice or cold water to achieve the next desired temperature, and add the next steak. Continue making these adjustments every two hours until you have processed the last steak for a minimum of two hours. Because the rate of conversion at these temperatures is so low, the entire set can be held for up to four hours at 129 F/54 C without any noticeable change in color or texture.
For enthusiasts who like their steaks extremely rare, they can be processed at temperatures as low as 122F /50 C; HOWEVER, in this case the steaks will not achieve pasteurization, so the processing time MUST be limited to TWO HOURS in order to meet USDA standards of food safety. The steaks should then be consumed immediately, just as one would if sous vide were not being utilized.
Remove the steaks from the bags and harvest the juices, save for later use (or discard).
Coat lightly with the egg white and then sprinkle the steaks with the seasonings on one side–they can be sprinkled on both sides, added later, or avoided altogether–the seasonings are not part of the chemistry!
Drizzle or spray with a little oil–this avoids the oil burning as a result of being added to the pan/grill
Sear the individual steaks on high heat. The surface should be approximately 375 F/190 C. Avoid moving or excessively flipping the steaks–this cools the pan. This process usually takes about one to two minutes per side.
The steaks do not require any further cooking, so one need only achieve the desired color. Remove from heat and coat the steaks with a little butter, allow to rest for two minutes.
At service, if the steak is served whole it should be presented as depicted above–with the rounded side away from the diner. And there is a reason!
MOST people take their fork in their left hand and their knife in the right hand to cut their steak (apologies to lefties). Logically, they take their first “stab” at approximately the “7 o’clock” position, which will lead them to this favorable and most tender first impression.
On the right end, you can see see a distinct, triangular nugget of meat that is alternately called the head or the tail, depending on chefs’ viewpoints. Although delicious and unctuous, this is a the least tender piece of the steak and many people run out of appetite before they actually get to it. The rest of us look forward to testing our jaw muscles on this flavorful section.
Some contemporaries opt for the “chunky” presentation to display the apparent doneness upon presentation to the diner.
The steak can also be shingled and fanned out like below, clearly and colorfully calling out to the heartiest appetite, or even two of them!
Vegetables are almost an afterthought, but almost anything goes well with steak–if you look carefully, you can see Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and mushrooms peaking out here and there. Demi-glace is a long and arduous process, but there are a number of excellent prepared versions available–a few drops goes a long way!
This is not so much a tomato sauce as a buttered concassé, made from hot house tomatoes that we ripened on the counter, seeded, peeled, vacuumed, and then braised. See the method for the tomatoes and also for the other vegetables HERE