Sous Vide Grass Fed Rib Steaks

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Tonight, I experimented sous viding another cut of grass fed beef, rib steaks from Full of Life Farm. Rib steaks, a.k.a. cowboy steaks, are rib eye steaks with the rib bone still attached.

When I opened the package I immediately noticed that these steaks were way more marbled and fatty than the grass fed ones I normally get from Marin Sun Farms or Pampero Ranch.

Yes!

One of the things I dislike about grass fed beef is that it’s normally really lean which results in tough cooked meat. Could it be that the 100% grass fed and grass finished cattle breeds at Full of Life Farm are similar to the Red Poll breed described in the latest Saveur 100? Red Polls are a particularly fatty grass fed breed with extensive marbling that “has the effect of melted butter, bringing with it all the complexity of the pasture.” Sounds tasty, huh?

I’ve already sent an email to farmer Bernard over at Full of Life Farm asking about his breed of cattle.

(UPDATE: they raise two different breeds, Angus and Hereford. Per Bernard, “we really do have exceptional grass up in the Willamette Valley with our soil quality and all the water up there.  And the alfalfa we feed in winter is also the best quality, coming from Eastern Oregon where the dry climate allows them to cut, cure, and bale the alfalfa in less than 48 hours.  Quick curing of alfalfa is key to keeping all of the proteins and nutrients in the alfalfa, and not oxidized and evaporated into thin air.”)

So here’s how I made these steaks:

I dried my steaks and liberally salted and peppered them…

…before vacuum sealing them.

(Check out these tips over at The Food Lab at Serious Eats on how to make perfect steaks.)

Then, I put the packets in the fridge for a few hours.

I filled and preheated my SousVide Supreme to 130 F (for medium rare) and when it was up to temperature, I dropped in the steaks and let them cook for 7 hours (Douglas Baldwin recommends 6-8 hours).

I removed them from the plastic bags, dried them off…

…and then blasted them with my kitchen torch.

I topped the charred steaks with a sprinkling of Aleppo pepper finishing salt.

These steaks were delicious! They were tender, fatty, and had big beefy flavor. The meats from Full of Life Farm truly are remarkable. I can’t wait to pick up my ½ hog on Sunday!