I’m always hesitant to cook new cuts of grass fed beef in my SousVide Supreme because my results have been hit-or-miss. When I mess up, I end up with a ton of powdery, overly-tender leftovers that I have to force myself to choke down. (It’s too damn expensive to toss, people.)
After perusing the interwebs and consulting my Douglas Baldwin sous vide bible, I decided to cook my grass fed flank steak at 130 F — medium rare — for 24 hours (his book recommends 24-48 hours cooking time). Most references indicate that you can actually cut the cooking time for grass fed beef by half, but I’m leery of taking the meat out too soon. I’m self-aware enough to know that I’m too lazy to vacuum seal it again if it’s underdone.
*Update on 8/1/11: I’ve gotten great results when I’ve left the steaks in for about 36 hours. Sometimes, they’re still too chewy at 24 hours.
I seasoned the flank steak with just salt and pepper; I’ve found that with prolonged cooking (more than 6 hours), spice blends tend to overpower the meat or impart some off flavors. That being said, you should season the steak liberally with salt and pepper before sealing it.
I seasoned and vacuum sealed my steak but I let it marinate in the fridge for several hours before I dunked it in my 130 F water oven.
I removed the flank steak which had been submerged for 23 hours…
…dried it off with paper towels…
…and blasted it with my kitchen torch.
The blowtorch is pretty awesome. I’m still getting the hang of it, but I love that I can char the whole piece of meat evenly. Whenever I’d sear a piece of sous vided meat in a pan, there would always be parts that wouldn’t brown properly because the cooked meat wasn’t flat.
After 24 hours and a quick char, the flank steak turned out tender and juicy.