Food escapades in modernist cuisine

Sous Vide Sirloin Tip, Caramel Bourbon Sauce, Roquefort

Yesterday my wife and I made a run to BJ's to pick up some bulk toiletries and other cleaning items, and while we were there, we picked up a few items for dinner. We were in the mood for steak and had our hearts set on either ribeyes or NY strips but decided going with sirloin tip due to price ($5 a pound versus $8). For $17 dollars, we got around 3 pounds worth and only needed roughly about a third for the both of us that night.

When we got back home, it was already the middle of the afternoon so I immediately started working on the meat, as the sirloin tip would need some time. I took out half of the meat, storing the rest for future use, and seasoned it with black pepper, olive oil and some coffee smoked salt I had in my pantry.

The seasoned meat was placed into a Ziploc bag and then dunked into my pre-heated sous vide tool at 132 degrees for a little over 2 hours. I have an old school Sous Vide Supreme, but there are many better, cheaper sous vide options available now such as Joule and Anova.

I had seen another recipe on the internet that recommended a cooking time of 8 hours but we didn't have the time. The meat turned out just fine and reasonably tender anyway, although I'd be interested to see if the extra cooking time would have a noticeable difference in tenderness (conversion of collagen to gelatin).

After a bath in the Sous Vide Supreme, the meat came out, and I dried off the excess moisture with some paper towels. I then quickly seared the meat in a hot pan to get some color on the meat.

In the same pan, I cleaned out the excess cooking oil that remained and dropped in a few spoonfuls of white sugar along with a splash of water to start making the caramel bourbon sauce for the meat. Once the sugar started to caramelize and turn amber in color, I hit the pan with a splash of bourbon and let the alcohol cook out for a few seconds. To this mixture, I then added the reserved juices from the Ziploc bag. The sauce should be slightly thick and syrupy.

Earlier we threw together a quick salad by taking some arugula and dressing it with a simple balsamic vinaigrette, Roquefort cheese, and croutons we made from leftover baguette. We also made a simple butternut squash puree - to make this, simmer some cubed up butternut until fork tender and then blitz in a Vitamix with some brown sugar and butter until smooth.

To plate the dish, we smeared some butternut purree across the plate, stacked a few slices of meat on one end with a drizzle of caramel bourbon sauce, and then piled some of the arugula salad with the Roquefort cheese. This is an amazing combination of flavors - you get some sweet from the caramel bourbon sauce, the richness from the steak, some creaminess and funk from the Roquefort cheese, and then some tang and pepperiness from the arugula and balsamic. Definitely a winner.

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