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chris_s

Round steak sous vide

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I have a glut of round roasts in my freezer so I've cut one of them up into steaks to see if I can make edible. 

 

I did one today, it was 21 hours at 137.5f, nothing in the bag but steak and a dash of black pepper. It was tender, it was the right doneness, it had good flavor, but it was dry. There had been a bit of fat along the edge, and that part was nice. The rest was almost flakey. 

 

So here's what I think...

 

1) cooked too long, try it for 10-15 hours next time

2) should've added some fat to the bag, some oil or a strip of bacon maybe?

3) that's just as good as round roast gets.

 

Any recommendations for my next attempt?

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In my experiences, round must be almost rare (132F) is my temp of choice. Also, I never go more then 16 hours for round , depending on thickness. You mentioned cutting into steaks which im assuming was in the 1-2 inch range. I would not go more then 6 hours.

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I cut them to about 1" thick, but my understanding is that in a LTLT cook like this the thickness is less relevant than if I were doing a 1" thick ribeye for 2 hours. 

 

I'll give it a try at 10 hours (this is how long it would cook if I started it when I left for work) I'll try bringing the temp down a bit too. My primary stakeholder (steakholder?) has some aversions to meat that looks too red, so I don't think I could go as low as 132, but maybe split the difference. To be honest, 137.5 ended up more medium than medium rare, which is probably a bit more done than I like. 

 

What's the current consensus on adding fat to the bag? I've seen some people say they do it, and some other people who say the fat leeches flavor out of the meat and then just stays in the bag after cooking. 

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I'd cut the cooking time down significantly. Round isn't a tough cut (it doesn't have much connective tissue that needs to be converted to gelatin) so I don't think it benefits much from extended cooking times. Extended cooking times mostly benefit fattier cuts with lots of collagen, as these will melt and help compensate for lost juices... fat and gelatin help create a juicy mouthfeel in meat that has lost a lot of its moisture. But there's nothing there in a round steak to balance out that moisture loss; it just dries out.

Since you have a bunch of these roasts, I'd try slicing one into uniform 1" steaks, bag them separately, and then cook them at your preferred temperature but pull one after an hour; another after 2 hours, and so on for 3, 6, 9, 12, and 18 hours (or something like this). Then do a taste test after retherming them in a 130F bath for 30-40 minutes. Invite some friends. Make it a party. Or just do it yourself and use the meat you don't eat to make stew or something. I'd wager that you'll prefer the shorter cook times to the long ones.

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I never brine beef (other than in the corning process) but it might help a round steak to be moist.

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why not do the ones you have yet to cut as 'roasts'  then use the meat for sandwiches ?

 

if you slice them thin enough, youve got 'deli roast beef' right there.

 

thinly cut would be key

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I was under the impression that round roast was pretty tough but maybe I've always confused tough with dry. I'll try some at varying times to see how it comes out. 

 

I have been using them for beef dip sandwiches, but am looking for alternatives. The first time I made them it was OMG SO GOOD, but by the 7th time it's a bit tired. 

 

thanks for all the advice!


Edited by chris_s (log)

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so long as it isn't "with au jus"

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so long as it isn't "with au jus"

 

please direct me to an excellent dip recipe :)

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I just did a 0.5" sirloin tip 45 minutes @125 F and it was fine, left just enough redness to allow searing in butter.  I don't get all these lengthy sous vides, which I would never wait for.

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