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Sous Vide Ribeye Steak: Perfect Every Time!

Ever wondered; what is the most important culinary secret that chefs don't want you to know? Have you ever thought about how a restaurant can have your steak perfectly cooked within a couple of minutes? The answer to this question is called “sous vide“! Pronounced' Soo-Vee'. Sous Vide is undoubtedly the best way to cook a steak, it does take some time, but it is virtually effortless and impossible to screw up. I will share with you my absolute favourite recipe, Sous Vide Ribeye! But first, you may ask;  

What Is Sous Vide? 

Sous Vide is a precision cooking method. Food is placed in a sealed vessel, like a glass jar or a plastic pouch, and submerged underwater at perfectly regulated temperatures for extended periods. Food will most commonly be placed in a vacuum-sealed plastic bag. This improves the transference of heat between the water and the food. Hence, Sous Vide is French for “under vacuum”.  

A Sous Vide setup consists of a pot or crate of water fitted with a thermal immersion circulator. The thermal immersion circulator does precisely as the name implies. Submerged underwater and when switched on, it will start circulating the water and heating it to an exact temperature. 

Most foods, especially meats, are deemed cooked when it has reached a precise internal temperature. Medium rare steak is perfectly cooked when it has reached an internal temperature of 60°C, which means a chef will have to remove the steak from the heat when it comes to about 57°C to compensate for carry-over cooking. This practice can be tricky, as one cannot precisely measure carry-over cooking.  

The residual heat issue is no longer of concern using the Sous Vide cooking method. If you want to cook a steak to medium, you'll set your immersion circulator to 64°C (I will give a breakdown of temperatures in the next section), and once the water has reached the desired temperature, you can submerge your sealed steak and leave it for 2 hours.  

Sous Vide Cooking Time & Temperature 

Cooking steak using conventional cooking methods like grilling or frying involves considerably high temperatures, which requires careful attention. When grilling a steak, you have to keep a close eye on it to ensure you remove it from the heat at the perfect time to avoid over or under-cooking. The higher temperatures also result in shorter cooking times.  

Sous Vide takes patience. The Sous Vide cooking temperature is much lower than conventional methods; the steak will take longer to reach the desired internal temperature. However, this is not all doom and gloom. The gentler approach puts less strain on the meat, which means more tender beef. With the meat sealed in a bag with some added flavours, your steak will retain more of its juices and flavours, resulting in a juicier, more flavourful steak. 

When it comes to Sous Vide cooking times, a general rule of thumb is one hour for a 2-inch thick cut of steak. You can leave the steak in the water bath for up to 3 hours without compromising the integrity of the fibres. Yes, you read that correctly. The meat will only start deteriorating after the 3-hour mark, and NO, the steak won't be overcooked if left in for 2 hours or more.  

Leaving steak in the Sous Vide bath for extended periods (more than 3 hours) won't overcook the steak. It will merely break down the fibres in the meat, leaving you with a perfectly cooked, mushed up steak. 

The cooking temperatures below are set to 2°C below the desired internal temperature, which will leave some room to sear the steak afterwards.  

  • Rare – 52°C 
  • Medium Rare – 58°C 
  • Medium – 62°C 
  • Well Done – Don't waste meat, instead eat a lump of coal and re-think your life. 

Sous Vide Ribeye Recipe

Sous Vide Ribeye Recipe
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5 from 1 vote
PREP TIME 5 mins
COOK TIME 2 hrs 10 mins
COURSE Main Course
CUISINE American
SERVINGS 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 kg Ribeye steak Bone-In or 700g Boneless (at least 2inch thick cut)
  • 4 Sprigs  Fresh Thyme
  • 2 Sprigs  Fresh Rosemary
  • 10 g Butter (optional)
  • Smoked Paprika To taste 
  • Salt & Pepper To taste 

Finishing

  • 15 ml Olive oil
  • 15 ml Butter
  • 2 clover Garlic
  • 4 Sprigs  Fresh Thyme
  • 4 Sprigs  Fresh Rosemary

Method
 

  • Pre-heat your Sous Vide bath to the desired temperature.
  • In a small bowl, mix the Paprika, Salt and Pepper.
  • Pat the steak dry with a paper towel and season with the paprika mixture. Ensure to cover the steak/s evenly.
  • Place the seasoned steaks in a vacuum bag along with the butter, thyme and rosemary sprigs. Vacuum seal the bag and make sure it is airtight.
  • Place the steak bag into the water when the Sous Vide bath has reached the desired temperature. Be sure not to block the intake or output sections of the Sous Vide machine. Leave for at least 1 hour (up to 3hours). I usually leave it for 2 hours.
  • Remove the steaks from the water bath, open the bag and remove the steaks. Pat them dry with a paper towel.
  • Place a cast-iron pan on high heat and get it piping hot. Then add in a dash of olive oil.
  • Place the steaks in the pan, leave them to sear for about 2 minutes.
  • Once it has formed a nice crust on the one side, flip the steaks and immediately add the Thyme, Rosemary, Butter and Garlic.
  • Tilt the pan to move all the liquids, garlic & herbs to one side of the pan. Gently spoon the infused butter over the steaks, continuing until the steak is seared on the other side. 
  • Remove the steaks and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing/serving. 
  • Sprinkle with some flaky salt and give it a good whack of pepper.
  • ENJOY THE BEST STEAK OF YOUR LIFE!
Chefs Tips
Nutritional Information
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Sous Vide Ribeye
Sous Vide Ribeye
Sous Vide Ribeye

Conclusion 

If you are still reading this, you should please put your phone down immediately and focus on driving because you are on your way to the store to buy a Sous Vide immersion circulator!  

I urge you to experiment with various flavours and beautiful mixtures. Try making confit (cooking something in animal fat) steak in your Sous Vide machine. It is, after all, the perfect tool to make confits. To turn this recipe into a confit recipe, replace the butter with some duck fat, enough to cover the steak in it, and add some extra herbs. Doing so will add a fantastic additional layer of flavour to the meat.  

You are not limited to only making steak in a Sous Vide machine. The options are endless! Eggs, salmon, pork, lamb, duck, vegetables, anything goes! Sous Vide is also a great way of cooking tougher cuts of meats. Letting a tough cut of meat go for a few hours in a Sous Vide bath will result in an extremely tender meal and keep the meat from losing its juices.  

If the fantastic flavour benefits do not convince you of cooking Sous Vide, I'm sure the effortlessness will seal the deal for most people. Precision cooking takes away all the guesswork involved with cooking food just right. Most high-end steakhouses prepare their steaks in a Sous Vide bath for service. Sous Vide enables a chef to remove a steak from the bath and finish it in a pan within a matter of minutes.