Sous Vide: The Beef Chuck Roast Makeover 2021

Sous vide transforms the texture of a steer's shoulder to that of a high priced steak. It can also preserve the unique "rare" appearance.


Beef chuck roast/steak, approximately 3 lbs/1.4 Kg.
Powdered egg white, as needed, or one fresh egg white mixed well with 1 oz. water.
Preferred seasonings of your choice–salt not to exceed 2 teaspoons/lb. of meat.
Vegetable oil, as needed.

Carrots, 1 each, peeled and cut into strips.
Cauliflower florets, 3-4 small pieces per person.
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 C15 heat rated container with lid.
Lipavi N15 rack(s) or equivalent.
Heat rated sous vide bags.
Paper towels.
Dredge/shaker (for the powdered egg white).
Spray bottle (for water).
Large skillet.

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

Actual prep time, 1 hour
Level of difficulty: 3
Serves 4+


Preheat the sous vide bath to 128 F/53 C.

Vacuum seal the roast in heat rated plastic, load into a rack and submerge into the bath. Process at 128 F/53 C for 48 hours.

Note: For those of us who prefer our steaks cooked to a greater degree of doneness, there are two options. Instead of processing at the above listed temperature, simply utilize a higher temperature setting: 140 F/60 C instead of 128 F/53 C will remove most of the pink color. The searing step at service can also be extended to continue elevating the internal temperature until the desired appearance is achieved.

As you can see, the juices still maintain a bright red color, indicating the presence of myoglobin. Myoglobin is an oxygen transporting protein present in muscles. This is not blood–blood courses through veins and arteries and is completely removed immediately upon slaughter.

Remove the sealed pouch from the bath.

Use scissors or a knife to snip the corner of the pouch and drain out the juices. Pat the steak/roast dry.

Process the juices as explained HERE.

The clarification process removes the myoglobin and albumin proteins from the broth, creating the equivalent of a heavily reduced consommé.

Trim excess fat and cut the roast into steaks of preferred sizes. Preheat oven to 145 F/62 C.

These steaks are all approximately 8 oz/225 g. We are going to create a sticky surface for seasonings to cling to.

Dust the steak lightly with powdered egg white, or paint with 1 fresh egg white mixed with 1 oz. water.

Mist lightly with water to dissolve the powder (unnecessary if you use fresh egg white).

Sprinkle with the seasonings and repeat on all surfaces as desired.

Drizzle (or spray) with a few drops of oil and allow to sit for five minutes. Preheat the skillet to 300 F/150 C.

Add a few drops of oil to the pan and sear the steak on all surfaces. Transfer to the warm oven (or lightly covered on the back of the stove). If desired, use the Sous Jus to make a pan sauce as explained HERE.

Serve as preferred. In the picture above, we utilized Pt. Reyes blue cheese, carrots, roasted cauliflower and shredded potato baskets. Assorted sauces to include the pan sauce mentioned above, dark side BBQ sauce, and parsley coulis.


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Experienced cooks have used "low and slow" cooking techniques to tenderize tough cuts for a long time. Sous vide introduced precision and standardization to the pre-existing cooking process. The technology minimizes shrinkage and protects cooking enthusiasts from the labor intensive, anxiety ridden guesswork typical of traditional methods.

Not only can sous vide tenderize cuts of beef that were always troublesome, it enables the practitioner to control the ultimate appearance of doneness. Even the most collagen heavy cuts can be "rendered tender" without producing the familiar "grey" internal hue. The term "chuck steak" need no longer be a wishful marketing term. Read on to see how!

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