Sous Vide Flank Steak

Sous Vide Flank Steak

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Encrusted with earthy cumin and bright coriander, this sous vide flank steak is impossibly tender, deeply flavorful and marvelously easy to make. Serve it with a vibrant fresh herb sauce that’s spiked with parsley, cilantro and just the right touch of jalapeño pepper. Or skip the herb sauce, and make fermented salsa verde instead – and then slice and serve the flank steak for fajitas.

Jump to Recipe | Why It Works | How to Make It | Tips | Variations

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Why sous vide works so well for flank steak.

Sous vide is a culinary technique that’s commonly used in upscale eateries, but has recently become popular among home cooks, too. The technique, which means “under vacuum,” involves cooking vacuum-sealed foods in a water bath that is held at a constant temperature.

That results in meat that is very tender and consistently cooked. Accordingly, cooking meat with sous vide gives even the toughest cuts of meat tenderness. So grass-fed meats, which tends toward toughness, and flank steak do particularly well with this technique.

The constant temperature and prolonged cook time allow enough time to let the steak’s collagen and fat liquefy without overcooking the meat. So meat is consistently tender, and deeply flavorful every time you cook.

Sprinkling flank steak with cumin, coriander and sea salt on a plate.

Making Sous Vide Flank Steak

Cooking steak with sous vide involves a few simple steps. You’ll start by seasoning your steak. Next, you’ll vacuum seal it to remove all the air before plunging it in a water bath heated by an immersion circulator. After cooking, sear it in a very hot cast iron skillet so that it develops a nice crust and then serve it warm.

But, there’s three basic steps you need to pay particular attention to: Vacuum sealing, temperature and timing. Here’s why.

Vacuum Sealing

In order for your steak to cook through evenly and safely, you need to remove all air from the bag that will hold it. The best way to do this is to vacuum seal it.

I use the FoodSaver FM2000 which is affordably priced, and it tucks neatly away in the cabinet when I don’t need it. It’s the best-selling brand, and it comes with a 5-year limited warranty. It’s also ETL safety certified.

Pro-Tip: You can also use the FoodSaver to preserve your garden harvest, or to vacuum seal leftovers before you freeze them – keeping them fresher.

Vacuum sealing flank steak with a FoodSaver vacuum sealer.

Temperature

When cooking with sous vide, your temperature should be constant – so that the steak cooks evenly and consistently all the way through. For sous vide flank steak, recipe temperatures vary from 129 F to 134 F. With 129 F produce rare steak and 134 F producing medium-well steak.

This recipe calls for setting your immersion circulators temperature to 131.5 F, which produces a nice medium-rare steak – even after searing it at the very end.

Timing

Since you cook your steak at the optimal temperature, it’s hard to overcook. So cook it long enough for the connective tissue and fat to liquefy and melt (at least 2 hours) and up to 12 hours. You can even toss the steak into the water bath in the morning, and it’ll be ready and warm for dinner.

Vacuum-sealed flank steak in a water bath heated by sous vide immersion circulator

Tips for Sous Vide Flank Steak

  • Use a vacuum sealer to seal your bags. In order for the steaks to cook properly, you must remove all the air from their packaging. And that’s why a vacuum sealer is integral to sous vide cooking.
  • Use food-grade plastic bags designed for sous vide cooking. Because the plastic is heated, you’ll want to be careful with which bags you select. So, use food-safe plastic made without BPA or pthalates. I use FoodSaver bags because they work well for sous vide, are free from BPA and pthalates and made from food-safe polyethylene and nylon.
  • Temperature is important. Your immersion circulator keeps temperature constant, even and without cold or hot spots – and that means your food cooks safely and evenly.
  • Sear the steak to finish it. While sous vide flank steak is safe to eat as soon as it comes out of the water bath, searing it gives a nice caramelization – developing that delicious, rich crust.
  • Vacuum seal your leftovers. You can tuck your leftovers into a FoodSaver bag, vacuum seal it and toss it into the freezer for an easy meal later.

Print

Sous Vide Flank Steak Recipe

Coriander, cumin and fine sea salt make a fantastic spice rub for this utterly tender Flank Steak. Cooking sous vide gives flank steak – a notoriously tough cut – a delicate tenderness and a fantastic, rich flavor.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword meat, sous vide
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
5 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 4 servings
Calories 445
Author Jenny

Equipment

  • FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer
  • FoodSaver Vacuum Seal Bags
  • Sous Vide Immersion Circulator
  • Deep food-safe bucket or stock pot

Ingredients

For the Steak

  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef or bison flank steak
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the Herb Sauce

  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped oregano
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper (seeded and chopped fine)
  • 1 medium shallot (minced)
  • 1 medium clove garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium lemons (juiced)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions

  • Fill a deep container 3/4 of the way full with water. And set your immersion circulator in the water. Heat the circulator to 130.5 F.
  • While the water comes to temperature, mix the salt, cumin and coriander together in a small container.
  • Set the flank steak on a cutting board, and pat it dry. Sprinkle the spices and salt evenly over both side of the steak, and then tuck it into a FoodSaver gallon-sized vacuum seal bag. Vacuum and seal the steak.
  • Place the vacuum-sealed steak into the preheated water, and let it cook for 3 hours.
  • About 5 minutes before steak is finished cooking, make the herb sauce. Stir the herbs together with jalapeño pepper, shallot and garlic. Next, stir in the olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt. Set aside.
  • Turn off the immersion circulator, remove the bag from the water, and then open the bag. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Swirl olive oil into the pan, and then gently place the steak into the skillet. Sear about 3 minutes on each side, or until it forms a nice crust. Slice the steak against the grain in thin strips, and serve warm with herb sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 445kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 1843mg | Potassium: 735mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 750IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 4mg

Variations

Once you’ve made the basic sous vide flank steak recipe a few times, you can start to make adjustments, depending on the flavor profiles you like to work with.

Black peppercorns, sea salt and garlic work well together, and you can baste the steak with garlic when you sear it.

Chili, cumin, oregano, onion and garlic powder work well for a basic fajita seasoning.

Sesame seeds, ginger, garlic and green onions work nicely – especially if you serve the steak with a miso butter.

Leftover, sliced sous vide flank steak in a vacuum seal bag.

The post Sous Vide Flank Steak appeared first on Nourished Kitchen.

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