I’m falling in love with sous vide all over again. Not because it cooks meat so well (and it does), but because it’s so convenient.
I used to wonder why people would buy large sides of meat and freeze them. Now I have a stack of filet mignons and New York strips in my freezer. Whenever I feel the need for some beef, I pull out a vacuum bag, drop it in the water bath, and my steak is medium-rare and ready to sear an hour and a half later.
I have two water baths now, so I can cook at two different temperatures at once – another advantage to sous vide. For Mother’s day, half the crowd wanted medium-rare (yay!) and half the crowd wanted medium (meh). Accommodating both requests was easy.
Filet mignon, even cooked sous vide to an exact medium-rare, is…well…kinda boring. Sure, it’s tender, and beefy, but it doesn’t have much going on beyond that. I topped mine with a flavor-packed gremolata, made with parsley, lemon zest, Parmesan, garlic, and a lot of black pepper. The sweet/sour citrus zest and salty cheese add a sharp counterpoint to the tender beef. Boring filet mignon? Not on my watch.
Recipe: Grilled Sous Vide Filet Mignon with Parmesan Gremolata
- Sous Vide Water Bath (I used both a Sous Vide Supreme Demi and a Sansaire)
- Vacuum sealer and vacuum bags
- 6 (6 ounce) filet mignon steaks
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup parsley leaves
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) shredded Parmesan
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1. Sous vide the steak
Set the sous vide to 131°F/55°C for medium-rare. (125°F/51.5°C for rare, 136°F/58°C for medium, 141°F/60.5°C for medium well.). Sprinkle the filet mignons with the salt, then vacuum seal the filets in quart vacuum bags, 3 steaks to a bag. Drop the bags in the sous vide and cook for 1 hour, or up to 4 hours.
To cook from frozen, cook for at least 1 1/2 hours. You don’t have to thaw the steaks first – take the vacuum bag full of frozen steaks straight from the freezer to the water bath.
2. Set the grill up for direct high heat
After the steaks have been in the sous vide for 45 minutes, set the grill up for cooking on direct high heat. I preheat my Weber Summit with all burners on high for 15 minutes, then brush the grate clean with a grill brush.
3. Prepare the Parmesan gremolata
While the grill is preheating: Put garlic, lemon zest, parsley leaves, and Parmesan in a pile on a cutting board, and mince the pile to combine. Scrape into a small bowl, then stir in the black pepper.
4. Sear the steaks
Take the filet mignon bags out of the sous vide, cut the bag open, and pat the steaks dry with paper towels. Put the steaks on the grill over direct high heat and sear until browned, 1 to 2 minutes, rotating 90 degrees halfway through to crosshatch the grill marks on the steaks. Flip the steaks and brown the other side, another 1 to 2 minutes, rotating halfway through. Move the steak to a platter to rest for 5 minutes.
Top each steak with a tablespoon of gremolata and serve.
- Don’t want to grill the steak? Heat a heavy fry pan to ripping hot and sear the steaks for 1 minute a side.
- Don’t have a sous vide water bath, immersion circulator or a vacuum sealer? Use a beer cooler and zip-top plastic bags. Here’s the technique: Beer Cooler Sous Vide Grilled New York Strip Steaks.
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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