The secret to medium-rare perfection: the Sous Vide Supreme

Posted on November 25, 2014

G@H: Sous Vide Supreme

We quite enjoy Top Chef. It’s wholesome, fun reality television. We like the competition. The food intrigues us. Tom Colicchio is just the right amount of curmudgeon. And, boy, do the chefs employ some zany techniques.

Recently, while catching up on a past season, we witnessed one chef prepare the most deliciously perfect steak. It had a strong but shallow sear and was evenly pink from edge to glorious edge. It was medium rare bliss. And, it captivated us. For years, we’ve chased this—beef’s Holy Grail. We’ve read and read. We’ve practiced and practiced. We cooked plenty of fine steak. Never did we ever make a perfect one.

The Top Chef contestant called his dish “steak sous vide.” We assumed that was French for steak “cooked way better than any bum like you ever could.” But, no. We researched it. Thanks, internet!

Sous vide is a cooking method. You vacuum seal food in plastic bags, which you immerse in a temperature-controlled water bath. You set the bath for the exact temperature that you want the food to reach. For a medium-rare steak, that’s 134 degrees. For a chicken breast, it’s 146 degrees. The food cooks over several hours. It cooks precisely and evenly. And, the bag locks in the food’s natural juices—and any butter that you’ve added.

G@H: Ribeye steak

Our research led us to the Sous Vide Supreme. Modernist chefs, we’re not. In the kitchen, like about everywhere else, we’re amateurs with only fledgling skills. But, in pursuit of the perfect steak, we can learn. So, we gave the Sous Vide Supreme a whirl.

G@H: vacuum sealed ribeye steak

Here’s the thing: it’s easy. Our butcher sold us a beautiful 1.5-inch aged ribeye. We coated it in fresh cracked pepper and sea salt. We vacuum sealed it, placed it in the Sous Vide Supreme and cooked it at 134 degrees for two hours. Setting the juices aside, we removed the steak from the pouch and threw it in a blazing hot cast iron skillet, searing it for 40 seconds on top and bottom and 15 seconds on each side. We let it sit for 10 minutes and topped it with those natural juices.

Eureka! We had made a perfect steak. We ate like kings for two dinners and three lunches. (It was a large ribeye.)

G@H: Steak Sous Vide

Sous vide, of course, is not for steak alone. It makes succulent chicken breast. On Sunday night, we prepare a week’s worth. We add them to lunchtime salads and toss them in pasta for dinner. After all, everyone needs a little white meat to counter all that red.

G@H: Sous Vide Chicken Breast

We are currently mastering the sous vide poached egg. Everything, as we have learned and you should know, tastes better with eggs, preferably fried or poached. But, poaching? We never learned how. Enter the Sous Vide Supreme. Set it to 146 degrees. Carefully add eggs and cook them for one hour. Remove the eggs and run briefly under cold water. Tenderly crack the egg onto your dish. Your egg will taste just like a poached egg.

G@H: Sous Vide Poached Egg

A poached egg topping fresh polenta and grated parmesan cheese makes a delightful dinner.

We’re enamored. Can you tell? This is fun. We’ll continue exploring with our the Sous Vide Supreme. And, we’ll herald any culinary accomplishments here on G@H, so check back soon.

We at G@H thank Eades Appliance Technology LLC for providing the sample the Sous Vide Supreme.

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