I just love a good Cinderella story, don’t you? Especially with it involves meat!
Folks, I recently discovered my love of Sous Vide (pronounced “Soo-Veed”). So what is exactly is this? Sous Vide is a method of taking something (usually a meat, chicken, fish and even some mason-jarred cheesecake or eggs), sealing it in a plastic bag, submerging the bag in water and having it cooked at a very low temperature with a Sous Vide Stick/Immersion Circulator for hours and hours. The Sous Vide Stick is an expert at keeping the temperature of the water that the item is cooking in to exact precision, without deviation of a single degree.
So going back to my Cinderella story, this allows us to take an ordinary, cheaper roast and, by the Fairy Godmother powers of the Sous Vide, transform it into a cut of meat that tastes like of the the finest, juiciest, most tender Prime Ribs you’ve ever sunk your teeth into. Biddidy-Bobbidy-Sous Vide!
Here’s How I Made It!:
We’re going to start with this thing that looks like a nice, thick wand.
Actually, it’s called a Sous Vide (pronounced “Soo-Veed”) stick/immersion circulator. And it transforms cheaper, ordinary cuts of meat into something of a Prime Rib level.
Speaking of meat, let’s get a totally thick & ordinary bottom or top round roast…
…and season it with some kosher salt.
Then add some oil to a large skillet/frying pan and give it heat.
Sear the roast on all sides…
…until it becomes a lovely charred color. When done searing, transfer the roast to a plate and let it cool.
Meanwhile, go back to the skillet and add in a dry red wine…
…as well as some thyme.
And now it’s Wine Thyme! Allow it to simmer for a minute, deglazing (scraping) the bottom of the pan to get up any roast remnants…
…and then turn off the heat and transfer the heated wine to a pyrex. Allow it to cool for a few minutes.
Pour in some beef broth…
…and some bay leaves.
Now pour in medium-hot water from the sink around the bag (making sure none of it actually gets IN the bag). Pour in enough so it fills to just below the sealing line of the bag.
As the water surrounds the bag, it will begin to vacuum seal/cling to the meat.
When it gets toward the top, squeeze out any remaining air and seal the bag.
If using freezer bags, I strongly suggest double-bagging just to be safe that nothing spills out (it shouldn’t anyway – but better safe than sorry). Simply place the first bag in a second bag and repeat the brief sealing process – allowing the second bag to seal around the first one once submerged in the water.
Now it’s time to cook, Sous Vide-style. Clamp the Sous Vide Stick to the side of any 6qt-8qt pot (which is resting on a trivet)…
…immerse it in the water, making sure it’s in between the Min & Max fill lines. Set to the suggested temperature…
…and set the time. And that’s it. Easy peasy.
Just before you’re about to serve (and if making French Dips), cook some onions in oil in a skillet until caramelized. Set aside when done.
After the Sous Vide cooking cycle is complete, carefully remove the bag and place on a dish towel.
Open the bag and marvel at the beauty and savor that au jus aroma.
Now, taking tongs, CAREFULLY remove the roast to a plate – MAKING SURE THE BAG WITH ALL THE AU JUS IS UPRIGHT. If you ignore this, it will spill ALL of the au jus out and it will go everywhere and then everyone will cry.
Now take the bag with that coveted au jus and carefully pour it into a large bowl (there will be a lot).
Now we want to perform a final sear of the roast for it to have opening beauty and flavor. As it’s resting on a plate…
…pat it dry with some paper towels…
…and then return it to the oil-lined skillet for another quick round of searing on all sides.
When done, its gonna have a beautiful charred glisten. Okay, now its ready to slice this baby up!
Transfer the roast to a cutting board…
…and, using a good knife, slice it all up. You’ll see how it slices beautifully and substantially – totally staying in tact while remaining tender and juicy.
And can we look at that color? I want to have a suit that color now.
As you slice the meat, add it to a serving dish/large bowl and pour the au jus over it so it stays juicy and perfect.
And now we have our roast all sliced up and it’s going to seriously taste like some top-notch Prime Rib.
Now, if you’ve caramelized those onions and you’re making those French Dips, pre-heat the oven to broil.
Create the sandwiches by laying a few cuts of the roast beef into a clump on a foil-lined baking sheet.
…and then top with the caramelized onions…
…and a slice of a cheese fo your choice. Pop it in the oven to briefly broil…
…so that it looks like this when done!
Meanwhile, take some of the au jus and brush it on a sliced roll of your choice (or just dip the sliced roll in the au jus)…
And, with a spatula, take one of the mounds of cheese & onion-smothered roast beef, and lay it on the bottom bun…
…and close it with the top.
Are you excited? Cause I am.
Invite friends over and feed them. Have a party even. Because you’re mouth is about to have one anyway.
And there you have it. Fighting over every sandwich til the last bite!
SOUS VIDE ROAST BEEF/FRENCH DIPS ARE EVERYTHING!
Disclaimer: I was sent this product by Anova with no obligation for promotion. All opinions are honest and my own.
For The Roast Beef:
- 6 tbsp of olive or vegetable oil, divided three ways (2 tbsp x 3)
- 3-4 lbs of top round or bottom round roast
- Kosher salt, for lightly rubbing onto the roast
- 3/4 cup of a dry red wine (like Cabernet or Pinot Noir)
- 2 cups of beef broth
- 1 tsp of dried thyme
- 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
For the French Dips:
- Bread of your choice (Hero, Italian, French or round Kaiser or Challah Rolls)
- 2-4 Vidalia/sweet and yellow onions
- Slices of Muenster Cheese (or any sliced cheese of your choice such as Provolone, Swiss or Cheddar)
- Au Jus, from the Roast Beef for dipping
- Lightly season the roast with kosher salt on all sides
- IF you want sear BEFORE cooking (for a more charred edge), follow these steps. If not, skip to Step 6:
- Pour in 2 tbsp of the oil into a large skillet/frying pan and set the stove to high heat
- After 2-3 minutes of the oil heating, sear the roast on all sides for 3-4 minutes on each side – making sure you get a decent char. Place the roast on a plate to cool for five minutes when done
- While the roast is cooling, add the red wine to the same frying pan and let simmer for 1 minute while deglazing (scraping) the bottom of the pan to get up any roast remnants that may have stuck. Stir in the thyme and then turn off the heat and pour the wine/oil/thyme mixture into a pyrex glass. Let it cool down for a moment
- Meanwhile, place the roast in a gallon freezer bag (double bagged is suggested) or be a pro and use a Sous Vide bag. OR if you’re really fancy and have a vacuum sealer, use a bag for that
- Adding to the bag’s contents, pour in the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce followed by the red wine which should have cooled by now (NOTE: If you skipped the pre-sear, add the red wine and thyme to the bag now. It won’t be hot since it wouldn’t have been heated). Add in the bay leaves as well.
- Take the bag and seal it leaving just the edge open for air to escape (NOTE: if using a vacuum sealer, seal it all the way)
- Now take the bag and place it in an empty pot that’s at least 6 quarts in size and set it on top of a trivet or heat-resistant coaster. Slowly add warmish-hot water from the sink TO THE SIDES of the bag (and NOT directly in the bag or it will dilute the au jus and flavor). As the water level rises and surrounds the bag, you’ll see all the air will quickly escape from that opening at the top of the bag, creating a sealing-like effect. Once it becomes just about fully sealed, gently squeeze the rest of the air out and seal the remaining opening of the bag. The water should come to just bellow the top of the bag’s sealing strip with the meat fully submerged in the bag, hugged by the au jus (NOTE: if using a vacuum sealed bag, just submerge it directly in the water since it’s already sealed)
- Clamp the Sous Vide stick to the side of the pot and set it at 135 degrees for 22 hours for 3 lbs of roast and 24 hours for 4 lbs. This will achieve the PERFECT medium-rare temperature. If you want it more medium or well-done, cook at 140 and 145 degrees respectively. (NOTE: If you have an Instant Pot Ultra, you can use the “Ultra” setting to achieve a (simulated) Sous Vide effect. All instructions and temperature/times remain the same, but don’t expect it to be as precise as using a Sous Vide Stick/Immersion Circulator)
- When there’s about an hour to go, heat a skillet on the stove at medium heat, add in the other 2 tbsp of oil and sauté the onions for 20-30 minutes until caramelized and almost charred on some edges. They should be nice and syrupy when done. Turn the heat off and let cool
- When the Sous Vide cycle is complete, carefully remove the bag with the roast and set it on some paper towels (MAKING SURE the top is still securely sealed. Otherwise, it could rip open, spill out all the au jus and we’d all cry – all the more reason to double bag if not using Sous Vide bagsVide bags or a vacuum sealer)
- Using tongs, transfer the roast to a plate and pat dry
- Pour all the au jus from the bag into a large bowl (there will be a lot)
- Give the roast a finishing sear for 1-2 minutes on each side (some only like a finishing sear and not a pre-sear as previously stated)
- Transfer the roast to a cutting board when done and, using a good knife, slice AGAINST THE GRAIN (meaning NOT in the same direction as the lines of the meat or it it will shred apart and not slice into beautiful cuts). Slice to your desired thickness or thinness (I went for about 1/4″ slices). You will be amazed at how beautiful the roast looks and tastes! A true transformation of a simple roast into luxurious prime rib territory
- After slicing, place all the sliced meat in the bowl of au jus to keep it moist and juicy
- If Making French Dips, pre-heat the oven to broil. Place a few mounds of meat slices per sandwich onto a foil-lined baking sheet, top with some of the caramelized onions and lay on a slice of the cheese. Place in the oven to broil for 2-3 minutes but keep an eye on it because the cheese can burn if you step away and all ovens vary. When the cheese is bubbling and browning, it’s done
- Take a substantial bread/roll of your choice, dip each side in the Au Jus, use a spatula and place the mound of meat smothered in the onions and cheese on the bottom half of the bun, sandwich it all with the top of the bun, dip in the au jus and enjoy!
If you have an Instant Pot Ultra, you can use the “Ultra” setting to achieve a (simulated) Sous Vide effect. All instructions and temperature/times remain the same, but don’t expect it to be as precise as using a Sous Vide Stick/Immersion Circulator.
If using a 3-4 lb roast, I STRONGLY suggest a Sous Vide at 135 degrees for 24 hours. It’s the winning ticket for perfectly cooked, medium rare meat. If you want it a little more medium/medium-well, I wouldn’t go above 145 degrees.
Here’s the products I suggest to make this amazing Roast Beef: