Sous vide is a great cooking method for busy people. It’s also a reliable way to guarantee a tender, restaurant quality steak. Here, a flank steak was cooked with the sous vide method for 12 hours in a water bath set at a consistent 130°F, thanks to the steady heat of an Anova Precision Cooker. After cooking, remove from the water bath, place the vacuum sealed bag in the refrigerator for up to three days, or if serving immediately, place in an ice bath until ready to proceed. A quick sear on a hot grill, a drizzle of an easy to prepare basil pesto, and your main course is done. Boom.
Sous Vide Flank Steak with Basil Pesto
•Anova Precision Cooker: Priced at $149, it’s on the low end of price points for these sous vide cooking gadgets. They’re portable and only require electricity, water, and a large pot to create the water bath for your meat. Bluetooth compatible, the Anova connects to your phone so you can receive notifications and monitor your meal as it cooks.
• Sous vide vacuum bags or large ziplock bags
• Sealing device (for vacuum bags)
• Sturdy clips
• Large pot, approximately 16 quart capacity
• Ping pong balls to cover water
Note: it might seem odd to include ping pong balls in a recipe. But they’re handy for preventing the water bath from boiling away. One option is to loosely cover the pot with plastic wrap, but this doesn’t always work. Floating ping pong balls on top of the water surface is odd, but amazingly effective! And they’re reusable.
To cook flank steak:
1 — 2 lb flank steak
Note: with sous vide, you may prepare more than one steak at a time. Simply seal each one in a bag and immerse in the water bath.
Fill large pot with cold water.
Seal flank steak(s) in individual sous vide bags. Using clips, secure to side of pot and immerse in the water bath. Set Anova temperature to 130°F. Cook for 12 hours.
Remove from water bath and either place in refrigerator for up to three days, or if cooking immediately, place in an ice bath to stop cooking before proceeding to the next step.
Over hot grill, sear both sides of steak for 3 minutes. Remove to clean cutting board. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice across the grain into desired thickness, typically about 1/2 to 1″ thick.
To prepare basil pesto:
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 T pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Process basil leaves, nuts, and garlic in blender until finely chopped. Add oil and blend until mixture is emulsified and smooth. Add cheese and pulse briefly to incorporate.
Pesto will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator. It may also be frozen. Do not reheat. Bring to room temperature before serving.