Seasoning and aromatics for sous vide beef
Mastering the art of sous vide steak, ribs or joints is not hard. After you’ve discovered the perfect texture and juiciness for your beef dishes, it’s time to experiment with flavours.
Wet marinades work wonders for braised beef dishes and stews, but steaks taste great with a dry rub or by adding fresh or toasted herbs to the sous vide pouch. Sprinkle evenly across each portion, or massage into each steak with a teaspoon of oil, for an even flavour across every mouthful.
Some flavours work better than others, and some seasoning is best to sprinkle just before serving. As a general rule, use less seasoning than you would do when cooking traditionally, as flavours get locked in when vacuum sealing, resulting in a more intense flavour.
To sear or not to sear...
Pro tip: Remember to save the juices from the pouch to create a delicious sauce or jus!
The sous vide method is ideal for creating the perfect texture and juiciness, but unless you have pre-seared the steak, it will come out of the pouch with no colour. Pan-searing will give the steak a mouthwatering appearance and aroma, just how we like it! Add the rest of the seasoning at this stage – perhaps some salt and pepper, crushed garlic and onions to taste.
Enhance the natural ‘beefy’ flavour of steak by pre-searing in clarified butter before cooking sous vide. To finish, sear and serve in a sauce made using the remaining juices from the vacuum sealed pouch.
Great flavour combinations
Aromatic rub: ground dried porcini mushrooms, rosemary & pepper
Spice rub: garlic powder, thyme, rosemary, onion powder & pepper
Curry rub: garlic powder, cumin, fenugreek, celery salt, coriander seed, cloves & turmeric
Mustard rub: mustard seeds, onion powder & celery salt
Tex mex rub: chilli powder, paprika, oregano, coriander, cumin, pepper & lime juice
Be aware when seasoning with...
Salt: Adding salt to the vacuum sealed pouch before cooking will result in the meat being ‘cured’, creating a tougher texture and a stronger taste. It’s best to add salt and pepper to your dish after cooking sous vide, and to taste.
Chilli: Sous vide cooking can create stronger and more intense flavours, so it’s best to use chilli sparingly in rubs and marinades.
Garlic: Raw garlic can give your beef dish an unpleasant taste; it’s better to add garlic powder along with other herbs and spices.