Sous vide is the ultimate cooking hack for a melt-in-your-mouth chuck steak or roast. Cooked to perfection, it cuts like butter.
When you go to a steakhouse, you pay a lot for the most tender cut, the filet. Wouldn’t it be great to have a tender piece of beef without having to pay steakhouse prices? Well, I’m here to tell you that you can.
What is Chuck?
Chuck steak is a tough piece of beef cut from the shoulder. It has a good, balanced amount of fat and is ground for burgers. It’s not the kind of meat that you would slap on the grill unless you were willing to chew all night long. However, cooked via sous vide for 3 days, that tough piece of meat yields under your fork like a piece of butter.
Chuck steak is a cut of beef and is part of the sub-prime cut known as the chuck.
The typical chuck steak is a rectangular cut, about 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick and containing parts of the shoulder bones, and is often known as a “7-bone steak,” as the shape of the shoulder bone in cross-section resembles the numeral ‘7’. This cut is usually grilled or broiled; a thicker version is sold as a “7-bone roast” or “chuck roast” and is usually cooked with liquid as a pot roast.Wikipedia
Sous Vide for 2 Days
The interesting thing about sous vide is that the longer a food is cooked in a bag of hot water, the softer it gets. Since the amount of heat is constant, it cannot get more cooked, only more tender. For tough pieces of meat, that longer cooking process can make a piece of meat normally braised or boiled, get very tender without overcooking it. With that said, you do have to be careful about how long to keep it in before it goes bad. Forty-eight hours, or 2 days, is a good amount of time.
Of course, this takes a little planning. Usually, I put the meat in on Thursday evening before I go to bed and it’s ready by Saturday afternoon. Never go past 72 hours, or even a month as Guga did when a viewer asked him to sous vide brisket for a month.
The USDA says that beef is cooked at 145℉ / 62.8℃. I like my beef very rare at 123, but since it isn’t safe to cook meat at that temperature for 3 days, I sous vide mine at 131. And you know what, I’m eating my meat rare until the USDA takes my beautiful, rare steak out of my cold dead hands. With that said, ground beef, unless you are grinding it yourself, should be cooked as the USDA says.
The other great thing about sous vide is that the food can marinate while it’s cooking, so there is no need to marinate in the refrigerator beforehand. Just put the meat in the bag with the marinade. Recently, I discovered Mis’ Rubin’s Magic Marindade from the same wonderful people who make Black Magic seasoning. Using Magic Marinade along with Woody’s Cook-in Sauce makes a piece of meat you would think sat in a smoker all day. The combination makes the meat moist and flavorful. Of course, you are welcome to use your own marinade if you wish.
Getting a Good Crust
When you take food out of the sous vide bag, especially if it has marinade, it will be very wet. Putting wet meat on a hot grill will boil the outside and before a crust can form, the meat will be overcooked. So, the solution is to get the meat as dry as possible before doing that. Wipe it down with a few paper towels. You can add more seasoning if you wish. Always spray the grill with a little oil so it doesn’t stick. If you want cross marks on your steak, give it a half turn at 15 seconds, then flip at 30 seconds, half turn at 45 seconds, and remove it from the grill at 60 seconds.
- Mise en Place
- 3 lbs Chuck steakRemove any excess fat from the steak.
- 1 tablespoon Magic marinade, 2 tablespoon Woody’s Cook-in’ SaucePut the steak in a bag with the Magic Marinade and Woody's Cook-in' Sauce. Massage the bag a little bit so the marinade gets distributed.
- If you are using a vacuum sealer, be sure to put it on extended mode because some of the marinade may be vacuumed out of the bag. Seal the bag and be sure to clean the drip channel well.
- If you are not using a vacuum sealer, try to get as much air out as possible.
- Secure the immersion cooker in a large vessel. A stock pot is a good choice. Put water in the container about halfway up. Put the bag in the container.
- If you vacuum seal the bag, it should automatically go to the bottom of the pot. Otherwise, use your hands and the weight of the water to displace any remaining air in the bag. Use a clip to secure the bag to the pot.
- If your container does not have a top with sous vide cut out, use either a shower cap or foil to seal the pot so the water doesn’t evaporate as quickly.
- Set the cooker to your preferred doneness, a minimum of 131 °F for 48 to 72 hours.
- When the roast has completed cooking, remove it from the pot.
- Open the bag and remove the roast from the bag. If you want, you can save the marinade to serve with the steak.
- 1 tablespoon Black Magic SeasoningUsing paper towels, blot the steak and remove as much moisture as possible. Generously dust the steak on both sides with Black Magic seasoning.
- Heat a cast iron grill to at least 500 °F. Use an infrared cooking thermometer to get the temperature. You can see mine is set at 657. The grill will take a while to get that hot, maybe 5 to 10 minutes.
- 1 teaspoon Olive oilWhen the grill is hot enough, spray olive oil on the grill and put the steak on. Grill it for about 30 seconds per side. If you want cross marks on your steak, give it a half turn at 15 seconds, then flip at 30 seconds, half turn at 45 seconds, and remove it from the grill at 60 seconds.
- Let the steak rest for about 10 minutes before carving it.
- Serve and enjoy!