Beef: Sous Vide Top Sirloin

Posted by johngl

I’ll admit it: when I began this adventure, I didn’t know a whole lot about sirloin. I never paid much attention to it since my favorite cuts of beef were ribeye and porterhouse steaks, in that order. These “favorite” steaks come from primal cuts located mid-cow.  Sirloins hail from an area behind the short loin (where porterhouses call home) and in front of the “round” portion at the back end of the cow.

This is a representation of a cow!

Notice that tenderloin strip (white) whose big end (sometimes called the “head”) rests between two hunks of sirloin. The Top Sirloin (light green) rests directly beneath the “head” end of the tenderloin primal.

Below is seven and a half pounds of prime grade top sirloin. It cost me less than $5/lb, so I had no problem doing some experiments with it. It’s not easy to find a prime grade of anything at that price. My first run at it was a nine hour sous vide at 132°F.

Top Sirloin sous vide

I just love that edge to edge color that sous vide cooking brings.

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Sous Vide Beef Tenderloin: Revisited

Posted by johngl

It’s always difficult when great friends move away and this one is no exception. And, since I haven’t done a beef tenderloin for a long while, it seemed a proper way to contribute to their send-off.

Before I get all sniffly regarding their departure, let’s get to it.
Seared TenderloinNaturally, this looks like your basic grilled psoas major, that main muscle of the whole tenderloin that begets fillet mignon. Sadly, it doesn’t start out looking this pretty and one misses out on all that fun associated with raising, transporting, killing, butchering, packaging, more transporting, and selling to the public. We’ll pick it after the latter. Continue reading

Sous Vide & Seared NY Strip Strips Sandwich and a Newfangled Old Fashioned

When I was hunting the fridge looking to bag something for lunch, this just jumped out in front of me:
Strips of NY Strip
Well, it wasn’t that exactly, it was a 3oz piece of sous vide NY Strip that most glorious spousal unit set aside for me. She’s thoughtful that way.

What to do, what to do?
Seared NY Strip Strips
I’d initially thought about a grilled cheese sandwich. Why not add some NY Strip strips?
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Sous Vide NY Strips and Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

And so it came to pass that most glorious spousal unit actually asked for a sous vide steak. We’re making some progress!
Steak and Cheezy Potatoes!
She’s a meat and potatoes sort, so I asked her how she wanted the taters.

“Mashed. With cheese.” says she.
“Hmmm. Well, that’s different. What kind of cheese?” I asked stupidly.
“Cream cheese and Cheez Whiz®.”

Whatever. If that’s the price I pay to get her to buy into sous vide rather than just indulging my experiments, so be it.
Getting Ready for a Bath!
The steaks are on the left. Italian sausage in two-packs, then an 8 lb pork shoulder. In all, fourteen pounds of flesh.

She just rolls her eyes realizing this monster sous vide rig will now be on the counter (again) for days.
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Tomahawk Ribeyes. Dueling Chops!

Posted by johngl

As I was navigating through traffic Friday evening, my phone emitted it’s text message tone. Rolling up to a long queue at the stop light at Ben White and Brodie, I gave my phone a look-see.

BigDMcC: I’ve got two two-pound Niman Ranch Tomahawk Ribeyes. What are you doing for dinner this weekend?
JohnGL: Going to your house?

Thus began the impromptu odyssey of the mega-steak. If it seems like I’ve been eating a lot of red meat lately, you wouldn’t be far off.

Grilled Tomahawk Ribeye Steak

We rearranged things a bit and Big D made the trek south to our place and James, another friend of ours, joined in the fun a few minutes later. I love it when a plan comes together.

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Vaca y Vino: Over 800 lbs of Pure Beef

Posted by johngl

It was a beautiful Spring day, Sunday, April 22, 2012. Most glorious spousal unit and I hopped into the Bentley and hit the curvy, winding, two-lane roadways south of Austin in anxious anticipation of conspicuous consumption.  We, along with 398 of our closest food-consuming friends, were all getting together at Bridges Ranch (near Driftwood and Wimberley) for a festival of meat not normally experienced north of the Equator.

Would you trust this man? (Exec Chef Emmett Fox -- Asti/FINO)
Would you trust this man?

Vaco y Vino was the place to be: Friendly folks were just handing out food as though it were free. Never mind that the over 800 pounds of pure beef hit the massive grill surface more than 20 hours earlier or that dedicated pit masters slaved all night keeping the temperature just right. Shovelful by shovelful, hot coals from a triple-barreled mortar-launcher looking device made their way to a massive concrete block-lined pit.

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Study in Sous Vide Top Sirloin: Sirloin “Tips” over Duck Egg Noodles with Bordelaise Sauce

Posted by johngl

Last week, I presented a wonderfully dismembered hunk of Prime Grade top sirloin that I’d immersed in my sous vide rig for about four hours. That little piece in the middle was just perfect for this dish:

Sous Vide Sirloin "Tips" over Duck Egg Noodles with Bordelaise Sauce

This was really a quick and easy dish, but before we get too far into the meatier portions, let’s talk about how to make those duck egg noodles.

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Sous Vide Top Sirloin: Pan Seared “Tournedos”?

Right off the bat, I’ll probably irritate a few folks when using the word tournedos when talking about sous vide top sirloin steak; normally, that term would be used by high-end restaurants to describe a supremely expensive super-tender center cut of beef tenderloin. I suppose I could have called them Filet of Top Sirloin to avoid conflict but, in the end, I decided to throw caution to the wind; they looked like tournedos to me.

Top Sirloin "Tournedos"

These are actually prime grade top sirloin, cut from the muscle tissue directly underneath the top sirloin “cap” (the cap, or coulotte, being that bent-to-a-C-shaped tasty cut of meat — Picanha — oftentimes seen skewered by a sword).

I so need one (or more) of these sword thingys!

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Grilled T-Bone, Gnocchi “tots”, and (un)truRoots Bean Trio

Posted by johngl

I’ve been good lately. I mean dietwise good (let’s not get too crazy). I’ve dropped over 30 lbs from my all-time high of 238 by getting a lot more exercise and generally eating smaller portions. It was time for a reward dinner. So, last night, I ate a 30 ounce T-bone, bone and all, all by myself. OK, so I didn’t actually eat the bone, but certainly gnawed on the thing.

Grilled red meat, legumes, and Gnocchi "tots"

It’s a little difficult to believe that I used to eat that kind of volume on a regular basis. People told me, Dude, you’re six and a half feet tall, you can carry that extra weight. Maybe so, but I have to say that I certainly feel a lot better down here in the 207 range. My goal is to get under 200. And, in case you’re thinking that’s too thin, there was a time when me and my (racing) bicycle together weighed in under 200. I was a rail-thin 165 in those days, eating 6000 calories a day.

Enough about me. Let’s get on with the food!

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