Once a year Kees throws an overnight party on our boat with about 25 friends, which involves a BBQ, a lot of beer, and a lot of fun. This year I decided to tag along (drinking wine rather than beer) and had a great time as well. I brought along 5 kilograms (11 lbs) sous-vide pre-cooked beef that was finished on the BBQ that was a big hit. All of it was devoured in five minutes. It was good quality marbled Irish beef, but since it was a cut that can usually only be prepared as a braise or a stew, it was inexpensive. I believe this cut is called prime rib in the USA, but I’m not completely sure. It may also be the rib end of chuck. It’s called “riblappen” in Dutch. Towards the sirloin, the center of a “riblap” is a ribeye steak.
Since it is Irish beef, there just had to be a gratuitous beef shot in this post. And this is it: 5 steaks of nicely marbled prime Irish beef, about 1 kilogram (35 oz) each.
Each steak was seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper and then vacuum sealed.
My sous-vide water bath was filled to maximum capacity! I cooked the beef at 39.5C/103F for one hour, 49.5C/121F for one hour, and 55C/131F for four hours. The first two hours are to activate the enzymes in the meat to make it more tender, a process that I call “warm aging“. Different types of enzymes are most active just before the meat reaches 40C/104F and 50C/122F respectively. The latter four hours are not only to pasteurize the meat and cook it perfectly medium rare throughout, but also to tenderize it a bit more.
The steaks do release some juices when cooked this way. These juices can be used for a sauce or soup.
I patted the steaks dry with paper towels, let them cool off for half an hour to avoid overcooking them, and rubbed them lightly with olive oil for better browning.
The steaks were then seared briefly over very hot charcoal. I used grilling grids because this made it much easier to turn the steaks without letting them fall apart. Since they were already cooked to a perfect medium rare throughout, only visual inspection from the outside was needed to decide when to finish grilling.
I carved the meat with a sharp knife, seasoned with a bit of salt, and passed it round. It disappeared within minutes.