A couple months back, I posted my first sous vide recipe, this Sous Vide Salmon. Since then I’ve been enjoying this new technique as a unique way to cook food, especially lean meats, with precise results. A recent favorite has been sous vide steak, as it cooks the steak to an even internal temperature and only requires a quick sear to improve its outer texture.
I own and enjoy this Oliso SmartHub sous vide oven, which doubles as an induction cooktop for searing (and it boils water super quickly). There are plenty of other sous vide options out there, and I’ve heard great things about this Anova Bluetooth precision cooker (which is significantly cheaper than my Oliso setup, but requires you to use your own pot, and doesn’t double as an induction cooktop).
Flat iron steak comes from the cow’s shoulder, in the same region as cuts labeled as “top blade”. It is cut against the grain, well-marbled, and considered a cheaper steak cut because it quickly becomes tough when cooked beyond medium doneness; this is where a sous-vide cooking method really shines, since we can cook to a precise temperature. For today’s recipe, we’ll cook the steaks to 128F, followed by a sear which will likely raise the internal temperature to ~130F, just a hair under the definition of medium-rare.
Like in some previous recipes, I used the grass-fed beef from my friends at Butcher Box, who deliver curated boxes of high-quality meats to your doorstep, complete with recipe cards for the meats they provide (including recipes from yours truly). In addition to flat iron steaks, this recipe will work well with sirloin, ribeye, or strip steaks.
Sous Vide Flat Iron Steak (Gluten-free, Primal, Paleo, Perfect Health Diet)
4 (8-16 ounce) flat iron steaks (also works with sirloin, ribeye, strip)
8 small sprigs rosemary
1 tbsp ghee
1/2 cup red wine
1 tbsp cold butter
salt to taste
1. Set the sous vide water bath to 128F. Pat the steaks dry with paper towels then season liberally with kosher salt and black pepper. Vacuum-seal the steaks with a small sprig of rosemary on each side of the steak; alternatively, place the steaks in a resealable plastic bag, submerge in water up to the seal line to push the air out of it, then seal.
2. Place the steaks in the water bath (they should sink to the bottom if you have a good seal) and cook for about 2 hours – there’s a bit of wiggle room here, so if you decide to watch a 2:15 movie during your downtime, it’ll turn out just fine.
3. Remove the steaks from their bags and pat dry. Open some windows, then heat a cast iron skillet over high heat until nearly smoking; add 1 tbsp ghee, coat the skillet, then add the steaks. Sear until a crust forms, then flip and re-sear. For thick steaks, sear the sides as well. Don’t overcrowd the skillet, and work in batches if needed. Set the steaks aside.
4. Reduce the skillet heat to medium-high, then add the wine to the skillet. Reduce by half, stirring occasionally. While the sauce simmers, slice the steaks and scatter with some extra salt and black pepper. Once the sauce is reduced, remove from heat and stir in the cold butter; taste and add salt if needed. Plate the steaks, then pour the reduced sauce over them and serve.