This is a dish that I’ve enjoyed a lot on holiday in France. Strip steak is not as tender as ribeye and can be a bit tough. But since I like it on the rare side of medium rare, cooking it sous vide for a longer time (say 8 hours) at 55C/131F is not my preferred option to tenderize it. It will still be medium rare, but not as rare as I like it. Therefore, I’ve only ‘warm aged’ the meat for 3 hours at 45C/113F before grilling it. More information about warm aging in this post. This will only work if the meat has not been aged already (dry aged or wet aged). Warm aging will not cook the meat, it will just activate the natural enzymes that tenderize the meat.
Strip steak always has some fat on the outside, but for the best flavor pick a strip steak that also has intramuscular fat (also known as marbling).
For each strip steak: 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves, 2 teaspoon of fresh rosemary leaves, salt, freshly ground black pepper, olive oil.
Season the steaks on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then place the steaks in a plastic bag for sous vide, and distribute a teaspoon each of thyme and rosemary on each side. By adding the herbs inside the bag, the herbs won’t fall off. Then vacuum seal, and allow the salt to penetrate into the meat for at least a couple of hours (or overnight) in the refrigerator. Then warm age the strip steaks in the sous vide for 3 hours at 45C/113F.
After warm aging, chill the meat in cold water. You can now store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to grill it, but that should be on the same day because the meat has not been pasteurized. If you want to freeze the meat, freeze it with seasoning and herbs, and then defrost in the refrigerator before warm aging and then grilling.
Brush a grill pan with olive oil, and then preheat the grill pan until it is very very hot.
Take the steaks out of the bag, and pat them dry with paper towels.
Grill the steaks for 1 minute per side over very high heat. If you are not getting grill marks, your meat was not dry enough or your pan not hot enough.
Then place the steaks on the fat layer to cook the fat and crisp it up; which also allows the meat to rest for a bit.
As this is a French dish, a great choice is a red Bordeaux such as a Saint-Émilion. But an Italian Barolo is also great with this.