Sous vide cooking has revolutionized the culinary world, bringing gourmet flavors into the comfort of our homes. Among the many recipes that have become favorites among food enthusiasts, Sous Vide Flank Steak stands out as a succulent and delectable treat. In this blog, we will explore the art of cooking the perfect flank steak using the sous vide method, drawing inspiration from the renowned culinary experts at Serious Eats. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a home cook looking to impress, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and techniques to create a mouthwatering dish that will leave everyone asking for seconds!
Understanding Sous Vide Cooking
Before we delve into the marvels of Sous Vide Flank Steak, let’s understand what sous vide cooking is all about. Sous vide, a French term meaning “under vacuum,” is a cooking method where food is vacuum-sealed in a plastic pouch and gently cooked in a water bath at a precise, consistent temperature. This technique ensures that the food is evenly cooked and retains its natural flavors, tenderness, and juiciness.
The Beauty of Flank Steak
Flank steak is a lean and flavorful cut of beef, popular for its versatility and affordability. Though known for its rich taste, it can be tough if not cooked correctly. With sous vide, however, you can elevate this humble cut into a tender, melt-in-your-mouth masterpiece.
The Benefits of Sous Vide Flank Steak
Enhanced Flavor: By sealing the meat in a vacuum pouch, the flavors are locked in, intensifying the taste and resulting in a more delicious dining experience.
Unparalleled Tenderness: The controlled temperature of the water bath ensures that the flank steak is cooked evenly, breaking down tough connective tissues, rendering the meat incredibly tender.
Minimal Loss of Juices: Unlike traditional cooking methods, sous vide minimizes moisture loss, keeping the meat moist and juicy.
Precision Cooking: With sous vide, you can achieve precise doneness, ensuring the steak is cooked exactly as you desire, be it medium-rare, medium, or well-done.
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Thickness Tips For Sous Vide Flank Steak
Keep it Even: Try to make the whole flank steak about the same thickness. If one end is much thicker than the other, it might not cook evenly, with some parts being too cooked and others not enough.
Ideal Thickness: Aim for a flank steak that’s around 1 to 1.5 inches thick. This thickness lets it cook for a reasonable amount of time, becoming tender and tasty.
Butterfly Thicker Cuts: If your flank steak is too thick, you can cut it in half horizontally. This way, you’ll have two thinner pieces that cook more evenly.
Avoid Super Thin Cuts: Don’t make the flank steak too thin, like less than 1 inch. If it’s too thin, it might become too soft and lose its natural texture.
Use a Kitchen Scale: It’s helpful to have a kitchen scale to measure the thickness accurately. This way, you can cook it just right and get consistent results every time.
Adjust Cooking Time: If the flank steak is thicker, it might need a bit more time to cook properly in the water bath. Thicker pieces require more time than thinner pieces.
Slice before Cooking: If your flank steak is big and has different thicknesses, cut it into smaller pieces before cooking. That way, they’ll all cook evenly and taste great when you serve them.
How To Make Sous Vide Flank Steak Serious Eats
Selecting the Right Flank Steak: Opt for a well-marbled, high-quality flank steak from a reputable butcher or grocery store. Ensure it’s fresh and free from any discoloration or odd smells.
Seasoning: Generously season the steak with your favorite herbs, spices, and marinades. The vacuum-sealing process will infuse the flavors into the meat, so feel free to get creative!
Vacuum Sealing: Place the seasoned flank steak into a food-grade vacuum-sealing pouch, removing as much air as possible before sealing it tightly.
Water Bath Setup: Preheat your sous vide water bath to the desired temperature (usually 130°F to 135°F for medium-rare). A few degrees can make a significant difference, so invest in a reliable sous vide machine or immersion circulator.
Cooking Time: Submerge the sealed flank steak into the water bath, ensuring it’s fully immersed. The cooking time will vary depending on the desired doneness and thickness of the steak. Generally, 2 to 4 hours should suffice.
Finishing Touch: Once the steak is cooked to perfection, remove it from the water bath and pat it dry. For an added depth of flavor, sear the steak in a hot skillet or grill for a minute on each side to create a beautiful crust.
Resting: Before you start cutting the sous vide flank steak, let it rest for a few minutes. This ensures that the juices redistribute evenly throughout the meat.
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Sous Vide Flank Steak serious eats, a marriage of modern culinary technique and a flavorful, budget-friendly cut of beef, is a game-changer in the world of gastronomy. Through the precise art of sous vide cooking, this once tough and modest piece of meat is elevated into a tender, succulent delight that will impress even the most discerning food critics.
By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to creating an unforgettable dining experience for yourself and your guests. So, don your chef’s hat, get your sous vide equipment ready, and let the magic of sous vide flank steak take your taste buds on a journey they’ll never forget! Happy cooking!