What do you cook when you’re home alone? My wife and kids are still at our cottage on Lake Erie. I wish I was with them, but I used up all my vacation time for the year.
I treat myself with a steak. Specifically, a sous vide ribeye, inspired by Brazilian churrascarias. Instead of seasoning the steak before cooking, I cooked it sous vide to medium-rare plus 1, and seared it on one side on my grill. Only when I was done cooking did I season it, with a hearty sprinkling of coarse sea salt. Oh, and I topped it with Brazil’s other steak sauce, Salsa Criolla.
The results were exactly what I hoped for. The big, crunchy flakes of salt added texture, and the tart Salsa Criolla cut through sweet, beefy taste of the steak. This is a big steak meal with balance, just the thing to take my mind off the fact that vacation is over, and it’s time to get back to work.
Recipe: Sous Vide Grilled Ribeye with Salsa Criolla
Sous Vide setup (I used my SousVide Supreme Demi, but see the related posts for the bubba beer cooler version.)
Coarse sea salt (I use La Baleine coarse sea salt)
2 mini-sweet red peppers, seeded and minced (or 1/2 of a red bell pepper)
2 min-sweet yellow peppers, seeded and minced (or 1/2 of a yellow bell pepper)
1 Green onion, root end trimmed, green and white parts minced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Sous Vide the steaks: Put the steak in a 1 quart/0.95 liter vacuum pouch and vacuum seal. (At this point, the steak can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen for months.) Set the sous vide to 133°F/56°C for medium rare plus. (125°F/51.5°C for rare, 131°F/55°C for medium-rare, 136°F/58°C for medium, 141°F/60.5°C for medium well.) Drop the steaks in the sous vide water and cook for at least 1 hour, and up to 4 hours. (Go for at least an hour and a half if the steak is frozen).
Make the Salsa Criolla: While the steak is cooking sous vide, mix all the vegetables with the vinegar, and sprinkle with a little salt. Let the vegetables marinate for five minutes, then stir in the olive oil, taste, and add more salt and pepper as needed. (You want the salsa to be highly seasoned.)
Grill the steaks: When the steaks are almost done cooking sous vide, set your grill up for cooking on direct high heat, and clean the grill grate. I preheat a couple of the burners on my gas grill for 15 minutes, then brush the grill grate clean with my grill brush. Remove the steak from the vacuum pouch and thoroughly dry with paper towels. Set the steak on the grill over direct high heat, pointing to 2 o’clock on the grill, and grill with the lid open until the steak has good grill marks, about 1 minute. Don’t flip the steak - rotate it 90 degrees, pointing to 10 o’clock on the grill, to get a good crosshatch of grill marks, and grill until it is browned on the bottom, about 1 more minute.
Serve: Remove the steak from the grill, set on a plate, and sprinkle generously with the coarse sea salt. Top with a tablespoon of salsa criolla, and serve the rest of the salsa on the side.
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I picked up the term Medium-Rare Plus from meat scientist Dr. Phil Bass of Certified Angus Beef. I prefer my steak between medium rare (warm red center) and medium (warm pink center). This is easy with sous vide – I set it for 133°F and I’m good to go. ↩
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