I started experimenting with Sous-Vide cooking a few years ago and it has since become one of my favorite techniques in my kitchen. It sounds fancy and you do need some equipment for it, but once you get the setup, it’s actually one of the easiest ways to prepare recipes like this Sous Vide Flank Steak because there’s almost zero chance for error.
Read on to learn all about sous vide cooking and why this flank steak recipe is a favorite!
My Intro to Sous Vide Magazine
Last fall I was sent a few copies of Sous-Vide Magazine and was immediately blown away by the content. For one, it’s so beautiful it’s almost an art book. The photography makes me hungry. But mostly, I like the recipes. They are tailored specifically for sous-vide cooking which is definitely a niche, but if you are willing to dive into the world of sous-vide, I think you’ll find that you can easily make some stunning dishes.
Case in point: THIS FLANK STEAK.
Why you should try Sous Vide Flank Steak
I’ll be honest, I was a little concerned when the recipe called for cooking it for 10 hours. I’ve never sous-vide cooked anything that long and was a bit concerned about leaving the setup running overnight. After thinking about it though, I’m not sure why. I frequently leave my slow cooker going overnight and it’s perfectly safe. Leaving my water immersion circulator going all night is probably safer honestly.
So, I made this steak. It’s one of the best steaks I’ve ever had in my life. It required almost no work minus a little equipment setup.
What is sous vide cooking?
For those who do not know, sous-vide cooking is a method of cooking where you immerse an item in very specific temperature-controlled water for a long period of time. The constant and steady temperature cooks food in a very different and more gentle way than any other cooking method. It also lets you make stuff well in advance actually, which is a nice benefit.
Sous vide cooking works best for stuff that needs very exact temperature OR needs a long time cooking. Something like this sous vide rack of lamb works beautifully because overcooking lamb is the worst thing you can do to it. But also sauces like this sous vide hollandaise sauce are wonderful because they are no fuss and blend up perfectly ever time.
Sous Vide Equipment Basics
My opinion on sous-vide equipment is that the really perfect is the enemy of the pretty perfect. There is a ton of sous-vide equipment you could buy to cook something this way and, yes, it will make your life easier. Specialized bags, vacuum sealers, and large containers for even water circulation are all available.
But, the only thing you really need to cook something sous-vide is the actual sous-vide device. I don’t have anything else and I cook stuff sous-vide all the time. You just have to be flexible on some recipe steps. At the end of the day though you are still safely cooking items at a very exact temperature and will have good results!
There are two popular sous-vide devices on the market these days. The Anova and the Joule. The Joule is a bit more expensive but heats water very quickly and is a bit sleeker. It’s what I use but both tools have great reviews.
As far as bags and sealers, I don’t buy special bags for sous-vide cooking yet. You do need them if you are cooking at very high temps but for average temperatures you can use BPA-free sturdy plastic bags from your grocery store. I also don’t have a vacuum sealer although it’s on my wish list! I just immerse the bag in water and it pushes out all the air and then I seal it with the item submerged. There’s a great tutorial on that method from Serious Eats about halfway down this post.
So, what you do need is a large pot of some sort and a sous-vide cooker, but everything else can be improvised a bit until you can find it in your budget to expand your sous-vide arsenal!
How to cook flank steak using sous vide cooking
My favorite way to cook flank steak is typically on the grill so I was excited to try this method.
I seared the steak as directed first. The steak is still basically raw at this point. It just gets some caramelization going to sear it first.
Then season it liberally and use the water displacement technique to seal the steak in a bag (or use a vacuum sealer if you’re fancy)!
Next is the part that shocked me. Cook this steak at 141.8 degrees F. for 10 hours. TEN HOURS! Yes, I did it overnight. The only possible danger here is that over a long time you can actually lose a fair amount of water. I’d guess about ¼ of my water evaporated during the cooking process so make sure you have plenty of water in your pot.
The finished steak is a thing of beauty. I used the juice in the bag for the curry sauce that was suggested for the steak.
Making the curry sauce for the steak
In the original recipe, they actually had instructions for cooking the curry sauce sous-vide as well, but I just made mine on the stovetop. It came together perfectly although probably would’ve been smoother if I had sous-vide cooked it.
The finished steak was super tender, cooked completely evenly, and just flat out one of the best steaks I’ve ever had. My wife described this meal as the fanciest thing I’ve made in a while and I would agree. It’s our little secret that it was actually very easy as well.
Sous-Vide Flank Steak
- 1 ½ – 2 pounds flank steak
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons Montreal Seasoning
- ½ cup shallots, sliced
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ¼ cup beef stock, or juices from sous-vide
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅓ cup raisins
- ½ cup cashews
- Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat and sear steak for 1-2 minutes per side. Remove and let steak cool completely. After chilling, rub steak with Montreal seasoning on all sides and seal in large Sous-vide safe bag. Cook at 141.8 degrees F. for 10 hours.
For Curry Sauce:
- Add all ingredients to a medium pot and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Then blend and keep warm until serving. If the sauce seems very thick, add a little water to thin it out.
- Serve steak and sauce over a bed of sweet potato mash. (I just boiled a few sweet potatoes and mashed them with some coconut milk, salt, and pepper.)