Wednesday, October 14, 2015

OMG Dry-Aged Rib-eye Steak – Sous Vide

Dry-Aged Rib-eye Steak – Sous Vide
Serves: 3-4
Difficulty: Easy
Sous Vide Temp: 131 degree F; Time: 3 – 4 hours

OMG Dry-Aged Rib-eye Steak – Sous Vide

Dry aging is the process by which large cuts of beef (like half of a cow) are aged anywhere from several weeks to several months before being trimmed and cut into steaks. The method not only helps the steak develop flavor, but also makes it tenderer than it would be completely fresh. It involves considerable expense, as the beef must be stored near freezing temperatures. Subprimal cuts can be dry aged on racks either in specifically climate-controlled coolers or within a moisture-permeable dry bag.  Moreover, only the higher grades of meat can be dry aged, as the process requires meat with a large, evenly distributed fat content. The key effect of dry aging is the concentration and saturation of the natural flavor, as well as the tenderization of the meat texture. 
Dry aged ribeye....gotta have the marbling!

The process changes the beef by two means. Firstly, moisture is evaporated from the muscle. This creates a greater concentration of beef flavor and taste. Secondly, the beef’s natural enzymes break down the connective tissue in the muscle, leading to increased tenderness. Older isn’t necessarily better. Two or three weeks of aging is usually the minimum for any sort of tenderness to occur, while the funkier blue cheese characteristics start to pop up around 28 – 45 days.

Other carnivore delights – and not to be forgotten:

Always a repeat in our house: Larue’s Classic Meatball – a truly MEAT meatball
  • 3 - 1lb dry-aged bone-in rib-eye steaks
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Penzey’s Krakow night
  • Ghee – clarified butter
  • Hearty appetite!

Season your steaks to your preference. In this case, I used Penzey’s Krakow Nights* in addition to salt and pepper. Sous vide precision cooking offers complete control over the results of your steak as discussed in recent posting on Flat Iron Steak and Red Wine Sauce. The steak will be cooked from edge to edge. However, one could also use oven, browning methods discussed in post: The Perfect Steak. Both links are listed below.

Preheat the water bath to 131 degree F, for medium rare, 121 degree for rare and 135 degree F for medium. Season steaks with salt, pepper and a sprinkling of Krakow Nights and place steaks in their individual bags sealing by displacement method. Cook for 3-4 hours. 
Seasoned after sous vide...time to brown it
After you take the food out of the pouches pat it dry with paper towels, let it dry for 2-3 minutes to allow remaining moisture to evaporate.  There will be less moisture with the dry-aged beef. Place a heavy cast ion or stainless steel skillet with 1Tb ghee over the hot burner and preheat skillet until it starts to smoke. Gently lay the steaks in the skillet. After 15-30 seconds, flip the steak so that the second side comes in contact with the pan. It does not need to rest after cooking by sous vide.

Browning one side....
....and then the other.
Serve your steaks after the sear to accolades and a job well and perfectly done.


* Penzey’s Krakow Nights:  a Polish style seasoning with salt, pepper, coriander, garlic, mustard, marjoram, savory, sugar and mace.

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