Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ribeyes Par Deux

This is my scnd go at Ribeyes but not because I needed to improve on the first but because I just love Ribeyes. The first time I Sous-Vide Ribeyes I made a Southwest Version that was pretty damn good.This version is only slightly different. I seasoned them the night before and cooked them slightly lower. 

Damn good looking Ribeyes!!!

I seasoned them with smoked salt and various peppers and herbs.

Cooked at this temp for 5 hours.

All done and boring looking. Obviously no maillard reaction.

Grill fired up and cooked to perfection. 

It's important that the surface of the meat is dry before putting them on the grill otherwise they will not brown up. Obviously they came out fantastic. Seasoning them the night before is the way to go. 

This is a great technique that I will use again. 

Gratuitous picture follow

Over 2 inches thick

Burnt Ends the Sous-Vide way!!!

The King of BBQ Brisket are Burnt Ends. But what are Burnt Ends? Traditional Burnt Ends are from the point of a brisket. Where I live you rarely find a whole packer (whole briskets) and when you do come across one you're usually not in the market for one. Yes, yes I could buy one and freeze it but I don't like to freeze meat. So I decided to make Burnt Ends entirely from the flat.

Burnt Ends are a delectable delicacy and are prized by many if not all BBQ enthusiasts. I actually prefer Burnt Ends to BBQ brisket.

Anyhow some time during the "cook" the whole brisket is removed and the point is separated from the flat. Traditionally the point is cubed up and doused with more spices and smoked very low and slow for a couple of more hours and sometimes BBQ sauced is added. Burnt Ends are normally served with a little char on them with some BBQ sauce on the side or in sandwiches. I recently attended a BBQ workshop and their version of Burnt Ends were terrible. This so called BBQ workshop rendition of Burnt Ends were nothing more then stewed meat in a tin foil pouch. A travesty to true BBQ Burnt Ends. 

This whole idea to make Burnt Ends was spontaneous. It happened after a long shift at work. I had just gotten off my mid-shift and arrived at QFC at 6:30 Am to do some shopping when I came upon this beautiful flat.

Hmm...I thought to myself what can I do with this flat other than BBQ brisket? I must have walked around the store for about 15 minutes before I decided to purchase it. Dang gone it I gotta do something with this Angus flat. All of a sudden I was overcome with an inspired vision of Burnt Ends but cooked Sous-Vide. This makes cooking Burnt Ends easy.

So I purchased the flat from QFC and I was also delighted it was Angus beef too. I really had to work out the logistics as to how I was going to cook this thing with my complicated life, schedule. Most large briskets are cooked low and slow and can take upwards of 16 hours to cook. I did not have the time or inclination to this this. Monitoring the pit over an extended period of time is not the way I wanted to spend my only day off. Cooking Sous-Vide frees up a lot of time. 

Here is a picture of both sides of the brisket. I trimmed very little fat off of the brisket. This extra fat will help enhance the flavor and preserve some moisture.

I kept this very simple. I smeared mustard all over the brisket and covered both sides with one of my favorite rubs. That's it very simple. 

I set up my Weber smokey mountain and got ready for my 3-6 hour smoke. I set it up for a low and slow cook 200-225 degrees.  

It took about 5 hours to hit 145 degrees and that's all I wanted. Normally briskets cook to an internal of 195-205 degrees. This takes forever because of the stall that takes place at about 145-ish. The other reason why we cook Briskets to an internal temp of 195-205 is to break down the connective tissue. This temp is where the brisket becomes very tender. We are going to Sous-Vide the brisket so we are not concerned about this higher internal temp. Additionally I cooked the brisket fat side down and used the fat cap as a shield against the heat rising up. There is much debate about fat cap down or up but this is my preference.
So after the brisket came off the BBQ pit I gave it a rest for about an hour or so and sliced into it. Nice and pink but not tender at all which was not unexpected. 

The Sous-Vide will break down all the connective tissue over and extend thermal bath.

I planned on a 149 degree temp for 48 hours. After the 48 hour thermal bath and because of my schedule I submerged the brisket in an icebath to stop the cooking process and to cool it down for an overnight stay in the refrigerator. This step is not necessary but my schedule did not allow for the next step. 

All Sous-vide, cubed and seasoned. 

I took a Chaffing dish and pierced dozens of 1/4 inch holes through it to allow smoke to penetrate. I smoked the ends for about 2 hours then doused with BBQ sauce and cooked for another 90 minutes. What makes this extra special is I used the Au-jus from the initial cook and combined it with BBQ sauce. I reduced the sauce and used this for the last 90 minute cook. 

The stages of the cook......

It came out great and the best pieces were the ones with extra fat.