In the last post I mentioned my next sous vide steak would be seasoned before going into the bag, not after, and I’d be using salt, pepper, and minced garlic.
Tonight I made that steak. I used roughly a tablespoon of minced garlic per side, freshly ground black pepper, and kosher salt. This steak I cooked at 133° again but this time for two hours instead of one. Then I seared it in a pan with ghee like last time, and I topped it off with a Parmesan butter topping that was something I found while trying to figure out how to get a nice melty layer of Parmesan on top.
The garlic was a success—almost too much so. I scraped off the minced garlic before searing, but the flavor definitely did get into the meat. However, in my opinion it went a little too far. The rest of the seasoning got into the meat flavor-wise too, so I never felt like the seasoning was lacking even though I did some wiping-off when I removed the minced garlic.
The salt was not a success, and I’m at a loss to explain why. When the guys at Sous Vide Everything tried it, they swore by pre-salting the meat. It should come out tender and juicier, they said, and this was something they verified by experiment! But mine did not come out that way. It was actually denser than I normally like, and while delicious it could have been so much better. Having altered the cooking time, maybe that was another variable, but I seriously doubt it.
So, this tells me I had things right the first time around: one hour cook time, season after. I just enjoyed the result much better that way. But I’m open to explanations as to what went wrong.
As for the Parmesan topping, it was disappointing. The recipe I found called for ¼ cup of Parmesan but also ¼ of butter, at room temperature and mashed all together. Half a stick of butter was just way, way too much butter, and my only point in using it was the hopes that it’d make the Parmesan melt a bit better. The amount of Parmesan was also inadequate.
I think for future Parmesan topping I’m gonna have to think molecular. I found an interesting article that gave me a baseline on where to go with this, so I could use that to simply make melty slices. The down side is, such slices don’t keep indefinitely and I doubt they’d freeze well for the same reasons Velveeta doesn’t freeze well. I can think of no other purpose I’d use them for within a two-week period.
Of course, buying block Parmesan and grating that would probably work out better. But again I don’t eat it that often, so forgive me but I need to use the shredded stuff even though I know it’s wrong.