I had entirely different posts queued up for this week, but with food and food blogging, like many other things in life, you’ve got to roll with the punches. The pond across the street froze today, there is snow under the bushes in-between the fallen leaves, and it has been gray. I have spent the day starting an oil infusion (more about this later!), making a small batch of lip balm to test the recipe (more about this later, too!), and wasted 4€ on two second-hand knives that looked good but wouldn’t take an edge on a sharpener no matter what I did to them. So I threw them away (hence ‘wasted’ rather than ‘spent’).
This sort of cold, busy and mildly frustrating Friday with T quietly whining about his headache called for an intervention of the beautiful-date-dinner type. And so I did.
Before I get to the actual recipe, allow me to rant a bit here, because I don’t know about you, but to me it seems that lately sous-vide is everywhere – food blogs, pinterest, online mag editorials, wherever I look, it’s all about it.
And I have to say that I am heartily fed up with the smacking-of-food-hipsterism fad of trying to make sous-vide machines at home out of slow cookers or old chemistry water baths, and the general insanity of claiming that one cannot, simply cannot have that perfect pink edge-to-edge medium or medium-rare steak without the damned contraption.
I call bull%¤#t on this right here and now. This is a post that has nothing to do with sous-vide other than the above rant, and the gorgeous, entirely sous-vide-free sirloin roast.
The above photo was taken at dinner tonight. I don’t have a sous-vide machine, improvised or otherwise. I also don’t bloody need one. What I do own, however, is a cast-iron pan, a meat thermometer from IKEA (relly cheap), and an oven – things which most people can reasonably expect to find in most Western kitchens, even student ones (the cast-iron pans I own are both secondhand, and that thermometer – it’s really cheap, folks).
What’s more, the piece of meat I cooked didn’t even take an hour from start to getting this on the table (well, I took it out of the fridge a while ago to take the chill off, but that is it).
What do you need to make your own? This will feed 3 people, generously or 4 people alongside other things. Or two with leftovers. And it’s all very, very simple:
- Piece of well-trimmed sirloin roast, about half a kilogram (ours was 550g), allowed to rest at room temperature for 1-3 hours, and patted dry
- 1-2 tablespoons cooking oil of your choice
- ½-1 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons of your favorite salt-and-sugar-free spice mix
How to go about it:
- Preheat your oven to 150C. Prepare a shallow oven pan with a rack on it.
- Rub your roast with oil, then salt and spice mix.
- Preheat a cast-iron pan (and oil it) to just-above-medium heat. I used setting 7 out of 9.
- Brown the roast on all sides for a few seconds, till the meat is mildly browned.
- Using tongs, take the meat out of the pan, place it on the rack, insert meat thermometer and place meat in the oven. Roast until internal temperature reaches 45C. In meantime you can cut up salad, or prepare whatever it is you wanted to make for sides.
- Once temperature reaches 45C, turn oven off and leave the door shut. Leave the meat in the oven till internal temperature reaches 52C. Take the meat out and lay it on a cutting board, tenting it with a bit of foil. Leave thermometer in the meat.
- Allow meat to rest till internal temperature reaches 55C for gorgeous medium-rare headed towards medium.
Slice, add butter, eat with whatever the heck you want, or just as a steak sandwich on some bread. It’s amazing.
Ladies and gentlemen, I rest my case. The luxuriously juicy and tender roasted cow is resting in my stomach and there is much happiness. And yes, I grabbed the camera as we were just finishing eating, so you get treated to pictures of leftovers, essentially. There was a salad involved, too, but it was all gone by the time I took a breath and paused inhaling the dinner, and remembered that things such as camera exist.