With two of my most favored flavors in a single dish, well, I’d dig in for sure! That would be a good aged cut of prime rib made a whole lot more interesting with the infusion of Thai flavors.
With sous vide cooking made possible at home, I’d at least worry about getting good cuts of beef like prime rib wasted by inappropriate cooking times and temperatures. Now I can get my mind exclusively on flavoring those steaks, knowing that they’ll come out precisely to my desired doneness every single time.
Start by giving the steaks a simple seasoning of salt. No need for anything else ’cause we’ll be slathering that red curry paste later on just before the final sear. Let the steaks sit for about 5 minutes so the salt can work its way deeper into the meat.
Next, get those steaks in a sous vide bag. Some olive oil to go into the bag would be a good addition too.
For a medium-rare doneness, as I always cook my steaks to, set your water bath to preheat to 130F. For steaks less than an inch thick, like the ones I got, 40 minutes in the sous vide bath would be enough. For thicker cuts, you may extend cooking time up to 2 hours.
Which immersion circulator should you use for sous vide? There are lots of options, but have you heard of Kitchen Gizmo? They make a really nice looking device that a lot of people haven’t heard about. It’s also one of the more inexpensive brands out there, unlike others that can cost $200 – $600! That link goes to a full review of the device where you can see color options, feature details, and photos of what happened during my test-cook.
Get the bag quickly into an ice bath when the time’s up. This will stop any further cooking and will bring down the steaks’ core temperature so they won’t overcook during the final sear.
Meanwhile, prepare the cucumber raita. Get all those Thai flavors together – tamarind paste, honey, fish sauce, chopped garlic, basil, and mint. Add in more chili for more heat. Actually, it would be best to taste this dressing before adding in the veggies so you could play on the flavors, adjusting each ingredient according to your preference.
Get those cucumbers and radish slices in and give them a good toss. Let them sit for a while in the fridge to let those flavors come together.
You’ll notice that I’ve cored those cucumbers. Keeping those cores and seeds in would make the salad too watery.
After about 15 minutes of cooling in the water bath, the temperatures of our steaks should be perfect for a sear. Take the steaks out of the bag, pat them dry with paper towels, and give them a generous brush of Thai red curry paste. This will develop into a good flavorful crust as soon as they hit the smoking cast iron.
Get a cast iron pan really hot with some oil, then put the steak in. Let it sear for 45 seconds to a minute per side. Refrain from moving it around the pan as it sears to give that crust a chance to develop.
Here’s one very important step that most new cooks overlook – resting the meat. This allows those meat juices to get redistributed within the meat fibers rather than gushing out into your plate, in case you’ve chosen to skip this step.
Look at how perfectly pink that meat is while having a very flavorful crust!