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Blumenthal's 24 hour steak


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I want to try making this but I'm wary of putting in the financial investment, only to mess it up on a recipe that could be alot more complex than it's deceptively simple steps would suggest. Anyone try this yet?

bork bork bork

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From what I remember of that, basically its just charring the outside of a steak, and putting it into an oven at 50c for 24 hours. Don't think there is going to be a whole lot of messing that up, I would think you would be fine barring some craziness of too high a temp.

Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality.

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I have tried it actually. If you can do Sous-Vide, that would be a better solution. I know of no consumer oven that can do 50C or 122F hence leaving the door open. In fact I am pretty sure the only reason he uses the oven in his show is because he knows most people don't have an immersion circulator or a Sous Vide Magic. The other thing to note is the initial charring. This is just my speculation but I think he only does it to kill the bugs on the surface of the meat. He fries it at the end anyways for the Maillard reaction and when cooking individual steaks sous-vide usually you would only sear it after it comes out of the water bath. For his chicken recipe he dunks the whole chicken in boiling water for a minute I believe to also kill the bugs.

So is it good? Yes it is better than just slapping an individual, raw steak on a hot pan. But since this is a method for slow cooking at low temperature, it is a valid argument to make that sous-vide is still better.

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He also sears the outside of the meat, then cuts the seared piece off. I don't quite understand that. He says its to produce an aroma and destroy bacteria. But why cut it off? Later he says it's for color, but cuts it off and sears again. There was already a crust though, so I don't quite understand it. I suspect it might be so there's little to no line of grey beneath the crust, but I think the return on that investment is minimal at best. But overkill seems to be the idea here anyway in his "search for perfection." Here's the video, with a mushroom ketchup and classic salad too. I bet it's good.

nunc est bibendum...

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He also sears the outside of the meat, then cuts the seared piece off. I don't quite understand that. He says its to produce an aroma and destroy bacteria. But why cut it off? Later he says it's for color, but cuts it off and sears again. There was already a crust though, so I don't quite understand

Yeah, the initial sear is to kill off the bad stuff, but he re-sears it to redevelop that crust. Its like searing a protein THEN putting it in the bag to sous vide it - not the best idea.

nextguy hit it 100% i think - sous vide would be a much better method, but since most people don't have good ways of maintaining controlled water baths at home, he suggests this method.

Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality.

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He also sears the outside of the meat, then cuts the seared piece off. I don't quite understand that.

I didn't understand that either. Then I remembered he said it was dry aged. So the outside was probably dried up.

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He also sears the outside of the meat, then cuts the seared piece off. I don't quite understand that. He says its to produce an aroma and destroy bacteria. But why cut it off? Later he says it's for color, but cuts it off and sears again. There was already a crust though, so I don't quite understand

Yeah, the initial sear is to kill off the bad stuff, but he re-sears it to redevelop that crust. Its like searing a protein THEN putting it in the bag to sous vide it - not the best idea.

nextguy hit it 100% i think - sous vide would be a much better method, but since most people don't have good ways of maintaining controlled water baths at home, he suggests this method.

I'm sure he'd do sous vide but if since this recipe is developed as a part of this show, which is about recreating classic stuff (he does spag bol, pizza, stuff like that), he has to use equipment that his audience might have.

Also, he does mention the torch producing color inside the meat, as if the non-crusty part was affected by the searing. He says this when he cuts off the initial crust. I'm not sure I buy this but he'd know better than me since he's Blumenthal and he's done the recipe which I haven't. It doesn't make sense to me intellectually though.

nunc est bibendum...

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I'm sure he'd do sous vide but if since this recipe is developed as a part of this show, which is about recreating classic stuff (he does spag bol, pizza, stuff like that), he has to use equipment that his audience might have.

Also, he does mention the torch producing color inside the meat, as if the non-crusty part was affected by the searing. He says this when he cuts off the initial crust. I'm not sure I buy this but he'd know better than me since he's Blumenthal and he's done the recipe which I haven't. It doesn't make sense to me intellectually though.

I still maintain that the first sear is to kill the bugs. This layer probably dries out a lot after 24 hours in a dry oven which is why he cuts it off. I suppose also that the sear firms up the protein a bit and helps keep the meat from just flopping over.

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I'm sure he'd do sous vide but if since this recipe is developed as a part of this show, which is about recreating classic stuff (he does spag bol, pizza, stuff like that), he has to use equipment that his audience might have.

Also, he does mention the torch producing color inside the meat, as if the non-crusty part was affected by the searing. He says this when he cuts off the initial crust. I'm not sure I buy this but he'd know better than me since he's Blumenthal and he's done the recipe which I haven't. It doesn't make sense to me intellectually though.

I still maintain that the first sear is to kill the bugs. This layer probably dries out a lot after 24 hours in a dry oven which is why he cuts it off. I suppose also that the sear firms up the protein a bit and helps keep the meat from just flopping over.

Oh yes, he does say its to kill bacteria, as well as two other reasons: to provide aroma and later for the color of the meat itself. Initially its about bacteria then after that's taken care of it produces (says he) the other two effects.

If you watch it again (around 5:50) he says its for color and then talks about evenness of color. To me, this sounds like a bit of a mix up. What I think he might mean is that trimming off the dried exterior and line of grey between the crust and meat produces a more even color after a second quicker application of more intense heat as well as possibly producing a less dry crust at that.

nunc est bibendum...

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Oh yes, he does say its to kill bacteria, as well as two other reasons: to provide aroma and later for the color of the meat itself. Initially its about bacteria then after that's taken care of it produces (says he) the other two effects.

If you watch it again (around 5:50) he says its for color and then talks about evenness of color. To me, this sounds like a bit of a mix up. What I think he might mean is that trimming off the dried exterior and line of grey between the crust and meat produces a more even color after a second quicker application of more intense heat as well as possibly producing a less dry crust at that.

Ok sorry. To be honest I was going on memory of this show and did not recall him mentioning the bacteria. I guess the color reason does make sense but only for the end pieces.

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I've made it and found it pretty easy though also very longwinded, the results were good but I'm not sure quite justified the amount of time it takes. The meat ends up very very soft and some of our diners found that detracted somewhat from the 'steakiness' of it. I think a bit of chew is no bad thing in a steak.

It's such a large piece of meat that I'm not convinced you need to go to such lengths - have had much more enjoyable and considerably quicker results from taking a rib of beef, charring it as quickly as possible on a gas grill then finishing it in a low oven (120C seems to work fine) until the core temp comes upto 52C then resting well. I love the taste of charred meat and with such a thick cut it's perfectly possible to do this while leaving a large amount of perfectly cooked flesh beneath.

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I've done Heston's steak several times (granted it was before I discovered sous vide, but the results aren't quite the same). The end result is ultra-tender and tasty and may spoil you for steak any other way! I believe the 'official' name for the technique is 'accelerated aging'.

Some points:

The initial onceover with the blowtorch is primarily to kill bugs. As has been discussed in the sous vide thread, the inside of an unbroken hunk of muscle is effectively sterile; the little nasties, if any, are going to be on the outside. Given how the meat ends up after 24 hours, any effect of browning in the initial torching will be minimal at best.

My oven claims to be able to do 30° and 50° (but nothing in between!). But using a separate oven thermometer, I found the oven's opinion of its own temperature was way off. I think I ended up cooking at 75° (according to the oven) and using creative rack placement to get the temp I wanted (according to the thermometer). It wasn't that hard - no faffing about with open doors and such - but I did find when I checked in the morning after the first 12 hours or so that the temperature had crept up. More creative rack shuffling fixes it, and from the results I'd have to conclude the recipe isn't THAT finicky.

At the end of the cooking time the meat has a dry, dark, (somewhat) tough outer crust and smells incredibly 'meaty'. The crust is quite edible - the last guests I did this for were horrified I was cutting it off to throw away and insisted on being given it - but it's nothing like the inside, which stays quite pink and very juicy. Because (as with sous vide) the meat is already cooked when you take it out, the final sear needs to be very quick.

As &roid says, the meat is quite soft. I like it, and so have my guests so far, but maybe it's not to eveyone's taste (what is?). For me, I don't believe I've had better steak anywhere, anytime.

Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

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I did it twice, and I have to admit I did not like the mushy meat... I like a bit of a bite in my steak. I am now using Alton Brown's method, roasting in a 120C oven until it internal temperature reaches 44-46, taking the meat out and crank the oven up to 250C, then roast the meat for 10mins for a crust. You do get medium rare-medium, similarly to Heston, but with lots more bite on the meat.

That is for large cuts. For single steaks, nothing beats the McGee method of flipping every 15 seconds. I use it every day.

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