Nothing in the world makes me happier than when my wife’s happy. And that saying about ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’ equally applies to my missus. She works so hard for our family and she deserves nothing but the best.
So on the occasion of her birthday recently, I made sure she had the best: this magnificent 35-day aged Cote de Boeuf, sourced from a butcher’s of distinction (yes, that’s you Liviu and Freddy).
It is a wondrous piece of meat. The breed: Lincoln Red. It smells of blue cheese and wet socks drying on the radiator, but it has the texture of silk and the intense beefy flavour of a stock cube.
A cut such as this needs spoiling as much as I like to spoil the missus.
Of course, I could just chuck it onto a white hot grill pan, which would produce marvellous results. But I wanted to make sure this would be perfect in every way: a medium-rare interior that was nice and warm, with a lovely crust.
Sous Vide was the way to go.
If you’re not familiar with Sous Vide cooking, it is essentially a method of cooking food for a very long time at a very low temperature – less than 100C i.e. the boiling point of water.
This long process breaks down the fat and the tough connective tissues in the meat, making it incredibly tender, and the low temperature means that the juices in the meat don’t evaporate into thin air so you’re left with wonderfully moist steak.
Seal the steak in a vac pack before immersing in a Sous Vide water bath set to 58.5C for medium-rare.
And leave it there for five hours.
Half an hour before you’re ready to eat, heat a grill pan or cast iron pan on the hob until it’s smoking hot, then snip open the bag, drain out any juices, then rub the meat with oil.
Then….sssssssssszzzzzzzzzzzzzz….. onto the grill pan for a minute each side to create a Maillard Reaction – the process of browning the meat by turning the sugars and amino acids in the meat into a crunchy crust.
After resting the steak for a few minutes, I carved it into thick slices and served it with whatever you fancy. In this case, I went for onion rings and herby garlic mushrooms.