Just on a whim, earlier this week I bought a couple 8 oz. "ball tip" steaks at the meat market. I'm not familiar with the cut, but I had a feeling it was the cheapest crap on the cow because it was only $5/lb. I figured, if my Sous Vide cooker could save this cut of meat...imagine of what else it is capable. I took the steaks home and dussied them up with some Durkee 'Kansas City Style' (of course) dry rub. Then I vacuum sealed them in ziploc, following the method outlined in an earlier post.
FYI: use freezer bags, not storage or sandwich bags, if you use my quick and dirty method of vacuum sealing your meat; the freezer bags are soft enough to allow you to suck out the air while not being so soft they suck up into the pump tube.
I ran the steaks for 4 hours at 131, as recommended for an average steak. After they were done I seared them really quickly in some hot bacon grease.Let me just skip to the results.
That was probably the finest cut of meat I've ever prepared for myself. The meat was full of flavor, both from the dry rub but also still tasting awesomely beefy. It was so tender that I really didn't even need to chew it...it just sort of "got out of the way of my teeth" for lack of a better description. The caramelized outside of the meat tasted amazing, the inside was a bright pink. It was, quite honestly, exactly like a $36 steak I'd eaten down on the Plaza a couple months ago at a really high end restaurant. Only, this time it was a $2 steak.
The bottom line is: there is no meat that a sous vide cannot save. Next up, I'm going to do a $1.89 pork chop. But first, here's some eye candy:
This is the "meat cage" I got at Wal-mart for $1.97. I presume the real use for it is to hold kitchen utensils...but it also makes a really hand meat cage. The pepsi bottle is there for size reference.
Here is the vacuum pump I'm using to suck the air out of my freezer bags. 60% of the time, it works every time.
This is the meat before it went into the cooker. You can see how little marbling there is. And ligamentous fat, blech.
Here's the meat in the meat cage. This was before I sucked the air out of the bags, fyi.
Here's the meat fresh out of the cooker. You can easily see the Durkee rub all over it.
And here's a cutaway. Nom!