It’s all about the sear, about the sear

Posted on March 6, 2016

Filet Sous Vide with Sautéed Mushrooms and Roasted Asparagus

We sous vide. That inadvertently rhymed. Hmm. This might be better: we often cook sous vide. For those who don’t know, sous vide is a method where food is sealed in a plastic bag, then immersed in a temperature-controlled water bath. The bath is set for the exact temperature that the food is targeted to reach. The food cooks slowly, evenly and precisely. It’s perfect every time.

We refuse to make steak any other way because through the magic of sous vide, we get a blissful medium rare. We control the meat’s doneness down to the degree.

SousVide Supreme

Recently, we prepared a breathtaking filet. We bought it at our trusty butcher: The Local Pig. We coated it in salt and pepper and vacuum sealed it with a tablespoon of butter. We cooked it in our Sousvide Supreme for two hours and fifteen minutes at 134 °F.

That delivers the edge-to-edge medium rare. But the meat exits the water bath rather limp. Its needs a crust which is developed via a hard, fast sear. The crust makes the steak beautiful and fragrant and gives it the right texture—crisp outside, tender inside.

We use a cast-iron skillet. We turn the burner as high as it goes. We add two or three tablespoons of butter. When skillet starts smoking, really smoking, it’s ready. We sear the steak for a minute or so on each side. When the color is right, it’s done.

We served this filet with sautéed mushrooms and roasted asparagus. It blew our minds. It was mind blowing. If we’ve made a better meal, it escapes us.

Roasted Asparagus

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