I’ve been slowly learning the best methods and temperatures to cook meat via the sous vide method. For those of you not familiar with this, I’ll give you a cheat link over to Wikipidia: Sous Vide Cooking.
So about three weeks ago I decided to cook a piece of chuck roast for 48 hours at 149 F, but about halfway through the cooking time my foodie friend and sous vide guru Stefan gave me the sage advice that I would achieve the results my hubby desired in said chunk of meat by cooking it only 24 hours at a higher temperature. Horrors, what was I to do? So I threw caution to the wind and bumped it up to 165 F for the last 24 hours. It came out out fall apart tender and my husband said it was the best chuck roast he had ever tasted.
I had only used half of the chuck roast, so two weeks later I decided to try only 24 hours at 165 F for the second half. It was very tender, but both of us thought the first one had the perfect texture. Don’t get me wrong, it was absolutely delicious, the first one was just amazingly absolutely delicious. Was this a controlled experiment? Heck no. I had too many differences with what I did. Was the first chuck roast the better half of the roast? (It was a 6-pound roast initially.) The first one I only seasoned it then seared in a hot cast iron skillet. For the second one I seasoned it then dusted it heavily with flour before searing, as I wanted a thicker gravy than the first one. Did the flour have anything to do with the texture of the meat? I have no idea. But I did get a thicker gravy!
Anyhoot, since I bothered to take the pictures, I’ll go ahead and step you through the process I did for the second roast. Who knows? Maybe it will prompt you to pick up a sous vide circulator and try it out!
24-Hour Sous Vide Chuck Roast with Gravy
1 3-pound chuck roast
Seasoning spice mix of choice
Ground black pepper and salt
1 tablespoon high heat oil, such as grapeseed oil
1/2 cup homemade beef stock
First, fill a large pot with water, insert the sous vide circulator, and set the heat at 165 degrees F.
Season the beef liberally with a spice seasoning mix of choice. I used Santorini Sunset seasoning (available from Kouzouna’s Kitchen). Grind a bunch of black pepper over it, and lightly salt if your seasoning mix does not contain salt. Pat the roast all around with flour until it is thoroughly coated.
Heat a cast iron skillet to high heat and add the tablespoon of oil. Sear the roast on all sides until it is browned and crusty.
Place the roast in a gallon zip-top freezer bag, then remove all the air by zipping it almost shut and slowly immersing it into the pot of water until all the air is sucked out of the bag, then finish sealing the bag.
Cover the pot with cling-wrap to prevent evaporation. Now go find something to do for the next 24 hours, like eat your dinner, watch a movie, sleep, get up and do laundry, or whatever you find yourself doing for the next day.
About 20 minutes before you want to eat the roast, turn off the sous vide, remove the bag from the pot, and remove the roast from the bag, saving the juices in the bag. Set the roast aside on a plate and cover with foil while you make the gravy.
Pour the juices from the bag into a skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the 1/2 cup beef stock to it. Bring the sauce up to a simmer, and whisk constantly while keeping a simmer until the gravy has reduced and thickened.
To finish the gravy, add a half tablespoon of very cold butter and stir it in until just melted. Strain the gravy through a sieve (I also line it with mesh or cheesecloth) into a serving bowl.
Serve the fall-apart tender meat with the gravy and sides of vegetables. We had rosemary buttered baby potatoes with green beans.