We are steak lovers at home. And this is how we cook our steak, and, man, it's perfect!
My favourite is the ribeye but what's important is that the steak piece should have lots of fat grains. And I recommend grass-fed meats because it's better for your health.
The thickness should be 1½ inches. Less than this, it wouldn't be satisfying.
Sous vide is a French method of cooking in a vacuum in a freezer bag in hot water of fixed constant temperature. If sous vide is new to you, check out the many videos on it on Youtube.
You'll need a sous vide device. You can order one on Amazon, as I did.
Have the water in a container like a deep pot and insert the sous vide device in it.
Rub salt, ground black pepper and garlic powder on the steak. I also rub ground chillies because I prefer my steaks spicier. Don't overdo on the salt.
Place the steak in a freezer bag. If the container is big and is taller than the pot, just put it in the water, making sure the air inside is displaced out, and the bag opening is above the water. If the bag is shorter than the pot, put it in the water just so that the bag opening is just above the water and then seal the bag. You now have your steak in a vacuum in the water.
Now set the temperature on the sous vide device and start it. It would heat the water to the temperature you have set and keep it there. The temperature determines the doneness of the steak. Refer to a sous vide table that tells you the temperature and time for different doneness for different thickness of the steak.
Sous vide the steak for the specified amount of time. For medium to medium-well doneness of a 1½ inch steak, which I usually make, the temperature is 59°C and the time is one hour.
Once the hour is up, place the steak on a plate.
There'd be some juice in the freezer steak. Keep it for now because we will use it later.
Put the pan on medium heat. I would make sure it's hot enough to sizzle drops of water dry immediately. Put olive oil on it and let it heat up.
Throw in rosemary and thyme, chopped onions and garlic into the olive oil. I would throw in some hot chillies too. The oil would soak up the flavour from these herbs, onions, garlic and chillies that will reach the steak.
Once they have browned, move the herbs, onions, garlic and chillies aside. We will use the now flavourful oil.
The steak has been cooked by the sous vide, but it still hasn't got the beautiful crispy caramelised crust. So that's what we want to do now.
Dry the surface of the steak by dapping it with a paper towel. The secret to a crispy crust is a dry surface plus high heat way above 100°C (212°F).
To sear, first, raise the heat so that the pan and the oil are extremely hot but not too high to evaporate it.
Once the oil is hot enough, sear each side of the steak for 45 seconds. No need for more than this because it's already been sous vided. By keeping it to 45 seconds, the interior of the steak would not overcook, and you would get a thin crust.
While searing, you can scoop the oil and fats with a spoon and pour it back on the steak.
After you've seared both sides, pick up the steak with tongs and press the edges of the steak on the pan. Especially the sides that have fats, we want to sear that fat.
To grill, use charcoal and the charcoal should be burning. That means it must be on fire. We are not slow cooking this. Grill the steak straight away over a charcoal chimney turned upside down if you have one. 45 seconds on each side, just like when searing.
Place the steak on a serving plate. Let it rest for a few minutes.
If you prefer, you can cut the steak into slices on a cutting board. Then put the steak back on the serving plate.
Take the juice from the freezer bag and pour it into the pan with the oil. Add some water if the juice is very little. It should sizzle since the pan is still hot.
Put the heat on medium. Throw in some butter. Let the juice, oil and butter mix. If you had seared the steak, fats from the meat would be in there too. This mixture will be the sauce for the steak.
Pour the sauce from the pan onto the steak. Take a moment to savour how beautiful the steak is with the crust and the liquid.
Add a combination of basil, mint, onions, watercress and rocket torn into munchable sizes beside the steak. Or any combination of your favourite edible raw herbs and vegetables.
Sprinkle some lemon juice over them and the steak. The acid would add a slight tanginess to the flavour.
Voila! There you have it. The perfect steak. The doneness is perfect on the inside. And it is thinly beautifully brown and crisp on the outside. Wow.
© Osman Mia