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Mike Forman

How should I cook this expensive steak?

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I just received this bone in ribeye from DeBragga.  This 28 oz 2-inch thick styled "American Waygu" chop, a marbled beauty is vacuum sealed and sitting in the fridge and the only thing separating it between me (and the Mrs.) bellies is how am I going to cook this thing to perfection.  Sous vide is out.  The fat is too precious.  I don't have a grill, but I do have a perfect cast iron skillet.

 

Two questions.  

 

  1. Should I salt it overnight in the fridge and let it air dry to help with a crust?
  2. Reverse sear it, or should I just keep flipping it every 30 seconds until it's done?

 

How long should I expect to cook this for?  I'd like medium rare.

 

Regarding fridge drying: My fridge has a fan in the bottom drawer for quick chilling beverages.  It works rather well.  Would that be preferable to just letting the steak dry on a rack?  I'm a little concerned about the steak picking up smells from other foods.  Might make sense to use some baking soda to de-smell it first.

 

Any suggestions would be appreciated.  I really don't want to screw this puppy up.

 

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I brought home a prime, dry aged strip steak this afternoon and I plan to cook it sous vide 58 deg C.  Then sear it in a heavy copper pan with a little grapeseed oil.  Your mileage may vary.

 

If I were you and did not want to employ sous vide, I'd consult Japanese sources.

 

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I'll let others handle the salting/drying aspect. However, I'm a big fan fan of frequent flipping, a la Serious Eats. (He also advocates salting then air-drying on a rack in the fridge. De-smelling never hurts, either.)

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Even if you choose to cook it sous-vide (as I would), I'd suggest consulting Japanese sources on wagyu. If the DeBragga wagyu is similar to authentic Kobe in the density of its marbeling, it should be cooked to a somewhat higher temperature even than other grades, prime included. If you cook it at the low end of medium-rare (55°C / 131°F) too little of the fat will melt and you'll get a rubbery texture. I don't have 1st-hand experience with wagyu so can't recommend an exact temp.

 

For general cooking ideas on thick steaks, here's a thread that goes back to 2008, starting with stovetop method advocated by Alain Ducasse, and probably never ending. 

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40 minutes ago, Alex said:

I'll let others handle the salting/drying aspect. However, I'm a big fan fan of frequent flipping, a la Serious Eats. (He also advocates salting then air-drying on a rack in the fridge. De-smelling never hurts, either.)

 

How long do you usually cook a 2 incher for?  Or rather to what temp should I get to before a 10 min rest? I've had bad luck with my thermapen getting close to the target temperature, then 1 min later it's 20 degrees above temp. :(

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I don't usually cook a 2 incher. In fact I don't ever cook one.

 

The issue with fat steaks is getting the heat from the surface all the way to the center without overcooking the outer quarter. I'd do sous vide to what ever temp...135? for a couple hours, dry the steak, salt it, pepper it, and then get a cast iron pan raging hot and sear the outside for a minute or two on each side.

 

If sous vide is out ( it doesn't have to be if you  have a beer cooler and a tea kettle) I'd put a room temp steak in the lowest oven I could get...200F?, and slow roast for ...i don't know...45 minutes...checking temp on the steak after 10, 20 25 & 30 min. Pull it out at 127.5F. Sear the crap out of it and let it rest 10 min.

 

If it was 1 inch thick, I'd do a Kenji/serious eats cast iron baste and turn frequently routine.

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I doubt it will rise more than 5°F. Less, if you finish cooking over low heat, which makes sense with any steak that thick. Whether you sear it at high temp or do the low-heat Ducasse method, you'll have to finish over low heat, and preferably do so while cooking often. So there won't be much to drive the inner temperature up. Same would be true if you cooked sous vide and seared afterwards ... the searing is a high heat process, but is over too quickly to put a lot of energy into the meat below the surface.

 

I agree with Kenji (and Ducasse) on the frequent flipping; that's pretty well proven if you're searing and cooking through at the same time (don't do it if you're searing after a sous-vide cook). But I'm shy about salting overnight. There's a small risk the meat could start to cure, in which case you'll pick up corned beef flavors. Which I assume you don't want. Salting a few hour ahead or a few minutes ahead are both fine. Kenji uses the salt's (mild) power to draw moisture from the surface, to improve searing, but paper towels by themselves should be fine. You've got a big fat piece of meat; there won't be any challenges searing it properly over the time it will take to cook through.

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8 minutes ago, gfweb said:

The issue with fat steaks is getting the heat from the surface all the way to the center without overcooking the outer quarter. 

 

It's labor-intensive, but cooking over modest heat and flipping every half minute or so takes care of this quite well. Not as well as sous-vide, but surprisingly close.

 

But yeah, in my experience 1-1/2" is about perfect, both for sous-vide, and for pan-cooking without losing one's mind.

 

If this is traditional looking wagyu (more white than red) it needs to go quite a bit higher that 128°.

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I've given up on sous vide steak. It has a "lifeless" taste, and granular texture for lack of a better description.

 

My favorite steak currently, is a bone in prime rib eye, that I butcher myself out of a whole rack (Costco sells these at holidays, I highly recommend)

 

My last (and final effort) with sous vide for these 2-3 inch thick cowboy steaks, was to pre-sear (in butter, heavy skillet), sous vide, then season, and re-sear under broiler (They looked fantastic, but did not have the depth of flavor i was used to)

 

Reverted to my standard technique for cooking normal thickness steaks, season, sear (in butter, heavy skillet) then finish in oven (350 degrees 10 minutes)  ..OUTSTANDING.

 

Do not be afraid of a 2-3 inch steak.  Teach it who's boss. 

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1 hour ago, Heartsurgeon said:

I've given up on sous vide steak. It has a "lifeless" taste, and granular texture for lack of a better description.

 

 

I've found that SV steaks seem underdone if what one expects is the gradient of doneness in a traditionally cooked steak. There will be more chew in a "normal" steak.  My solution is, if I want rare like a "normal" steak to cook it closer to MR by SV and sear.

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@Heartsurgeon  

 

fair enough from your end.

 

somewhere , in this thread or another

 

steaks were compared after SV and various char methods

 

Kenji ( sp ? ) and That Guy from That Show that Blasts things apart.

 

I can't be more precise  

 

Im hoping that vid will reapear here or its ref

 

please should the happen , take a peak 

 

""  half a turn , half a turn , Off  ""

 

those are my references  .

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1 hour ago, Heartsurgeon said:

I've given up on sous vide steak. It has a "lifeless" taste, and granular texture for lack of a better description.

 

 

Then you just haven't learned to do it properly 

 

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4 hours ago, Heartsurgeon said:

I've given up on sous vide steak. It has a "lifeless" taste, and granular texture for lack of a better description.----

 

 

Have you ever watched  Hibachi cooking? all the showmanship makes the very ordinary meal look like it's got "lots of life"

 

The method of sous vide is completely lacking excitement. Psychologically, your brain thinks the food is " lifeless" , No fire, smoke, splatter, sizzling ----

 

Try letting your taste buds be the judge instead. 

 

Back to OP's question. Low and slow is basically the sous vide method. 

 

MHO.

 

dcarch

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medium-high heat - butter - a sprig of thyme or two, perhaps a clove of garlic - no pre-salt or pepper.

 

cast iron or carbon steel.

 

5-6ish minutes per side (I say 'ish' as I typically prefer 1-1.5 inch steaks)

 

No need for fussing around tossing it back and forth, just baste with butter salt and pepper at the end. Let it rest 5-10 minutes tented on a rack in a warm'ish place.

 

This provides the best results from my deckle end Rib Eyes from Cumbrae's.

 

 

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Get that cast iron hot as hell and sear it with a tbsp of salted butter for one minute per side (or until you get a nice crust). The transfer to a 250F deg oven until it probes 130F. Let it rest covered for 5 minutes and enjoy.

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I've started using lard to sear beef.  You get a similar level of browning, it tastes good (especially if using guanciale fat) and it can handle the heat a lot better.  

 

Personally, I like the sear + oven technique.  It takes more skill to get right than sous vide, but the results are excellent.  Just let it rest for a decent amount of time.

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6 hours ago, jmacnaughtan said:

 

 

Personally, I like the sear + oven technique.  It takes more skill to get right than sous vide, but the results are excellent.  Just let it rest for a decent amount of time.

 

 

And remember that in the oven the side of the steak that's on the hot pan will cook faster, so you need to flip the steak occasionally to get even cooking

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3 minutes ago, gfweb said:

And remember that in the oven the side of the steak that's on the hot pan will cook faster, so you need to flip the steak occasionally to get even cooking

 

Heh.  Never thought of that...  And while you do that, it's a good opportunity for more basting :)

 

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I'd do this if you really like the gradient:

 

 

 

and sous vide if you don't

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1 hour ago, jmacnaughtan said:

 

Heh.  Never thought of that...  And while you do that, it's a good opportunity for more basting :)

 

I usually use a cold sheet pan to finish the steak in the oven, but even then it heats up and will need a flip...and a baste.

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15 hours ago, TicTac said:

No need for fussing around tossing it back and forth, just baste with butter salt and pepper at the end. Let it rest 5-10 minutes tented on a rack in a warm'ish place.

 

 

Constant flipping isn't for show. There's science behind it. It will result in a much smaller gradient. 

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I don't like using the oven, because I can't see what's going on in there. Differences of a couple of degrees make a pretty big difference.

 

Finishing a steak (or any protein)  in the oven is a restaurant technique developed for pragmatism. It frees up your precious burners so you can get on with something else. When you cook several dozen identically cut steaks a day, you can dial in your technique for your oven. It becomes a simple matter of timing.

 

If you're cooking at home, you probably do this once in a while, you get steaks of varying cuts and thicknesses, and you probably have enough burners on your stove to get through the meal. So the challenges are much greater and the justifications aren't so compelling.

 

I'd advocate for doing it in a pan start-to-finish, if your priority is a thick crust, or sous-vide with a pre- and post-sear if your priority is perfectly cooked meat with minimal gradient.


Edited by paulraphael (log)

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1 hour ago, weedy said:

I'd do this if you really like the gradient:

 

and sous vide if you don't

 

Interesting technique.  I like how he keeps the butter just on the edge of burning - I wonder what kind of heat he's got under that pan?

 

However, I'd be upset if I only got one small slice of that beef.  Tasting menu or no, a steak should be a steak.

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1 hour ago, paulraphael said:

 

Constant flipping isn't for show. There's science behind it. It will result in a much smaller gradient. 

With Ducasse's medium cooking method, a large gradient is not an issue.

 

Results in an amazing steak with a great crust.  Much more even cooking IMO.

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