Sous-Vide Steak Sandwich with Romesco

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This is my now my official submission to the SousVide Supreme BBQ Recipe Challenge! Please visit the link and vote for me after June 28th! Each person who casts a vote for their fan favorite will be entered to win a $200 gift certificate to www.sousvidesupreme.com!

Slowly but surely, I am falling for this sweet little sous-vide machine. The biggest headache when hosting a dinner, is making sure everything is ready at the exact same time. With a SousVide Supreme water bath, I can get all of my ducks in a row and the table set before finishing off the centerpiece protein. When you don’t need to slave over a grill for your meat anymore, it’s much easier to appreciate the additional benefits to this style of cooking. We were hosting Katie’s wonderful parents this past Sunday to play some board games, relax, and have a bite. With the sous-vide taking the pressure of my cooking, the meal came together rather quickly. (aside from some side smoking projects her father and I were testing out)

This recipe was bred out of a distinct craving I had been having the week prior. STEAK.

When brainstorming ideas for this sous-vide competition, I knew that I wanted to try something different. I wanted to do something that was familiar to me, steak sandwiches, and restructure it with exciting new components. Why a steak sandwich you ask?

First: You can eat with your hands.

Second: Sous-vide is the perfect mechanism to enhance an already great thing.

The hardest part about eating a steak sandwich is that you have to usually avoid big slices of meat due to what I like to call, the Chew-and-Pull factor. Many steak sandwiches these days are utilizing overcooked, greasy chopped steak so that it is easier to eat (and its totally delicious!). Sure you can make it with wide thin slices of steak, but you are at risk of a tough piece to CHEW, which may lead to PULL-ing it off the sandwich entirely. Growing up on steak sandwiches, I didn’t mind this issue at all. It feels primal, and my mom makes a mean sandwich. But we can do better. Thicker cuts of perfect medium rare-medium steak that melts when you bite into it is possible with the sous-vide method.

Why the addition of romesco you ask?

Recently I was watching an episode of No Reservations featuring my foodie man crush Anthony Bourdain and he was in Catalonia, Spain enjoying a breathtakingly simple, unique treat of roasted calçots dipped into luscious romesco sauce.

I was transfixed.

It was food porn overload and I simply had to try these flavors ASAP. Using my trusty Google, I sought out many recipes, some authentic to a T, others with unique and interesting tweaks. But by in large, it was a simple sauce.

THIS, I said to myself, I can make!

So, what is Romesco Sauce exactly?

From Wikipedia:

Romesco (Catalan pronunciation: [ruˈmɛsku]) is a nut and red pepper-based sauce from TarragonaCataloniaSpain. It is typically made from any mixture of roasted or raw almonds, pine nuts, and/or hazelnuts, roasted garlicolive or sunflower oil, bitxo peppers (similar to New Mexico chiles) and/or nyora peppers (a small, round, variety of red bell pepper). Flour or ground stale bread may be used as a thickener or to provide texture. Other common ingredients include roasted tomatoes, red wine vinegar and onions.

This garlicky smokey sauce has tons of variations and many uses, and this recipe is utilizing it as an overqualified sandwich spread! Most traditional recipes will use blanched and peeled nuts, but I find that I don’t notice the skins at all once its all pureed together, so I have omitted those steps. If you are able to find peeled almonds and hazelnuts, then by all means use them :)

This sandwich may seem like a lot of work, but I promise you that the flavors and textures are beautiful together. I will be making this again this summer without a doubt!

Enjoy!

Funny story about this post. I was having an internal battle as to whether to include one more key ingredient to the sandwich that I neglected accidentally when putting the photo shoot together, and later, after realizing my mistake, added on to the sandwich when eating time came. It wont be visible in any picture, but trust me when I say that gorgonzola was a perfect funky accompaniment to this rich Mediterranean summer sandwich, and I highly recommend its inclusion if you make it at home. (That is of course if you enjoy a good stinky cheese like me!)

Romesco Ingredients:

  • 2 large red peppers
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds (sliced or whole works just as well, this is just what I had on hand)
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts (roughly 20)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsp + 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup of cubed day old bread

Romesco Directions:

  1. In a large frying over medium heat or a 350 degree oven, mix together the almonds, hazelnuts, bread, garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the smoked paprika. Toast everything thoroughly until lightly browned and fragrant.DSC05097
  2. On the grill or over an open flame (i.e. gas burner), roast and blister the red peppers and tomato.DSC05103 DSC05105
  3. Once the peppers are blistered, remove from the fire and place into a plastic bag to steam for 3-5 minutes. This will help loosen the scorched skin. Remove the slightly steamed peppers and gentle scrape and peel away the charred skin. Next, remove the pepper’s cap and the seeds.DSC05131DSC05137
  4. Chop the peeled roasted pepper remains and the fire roasted tomato into smaller pieces.DSC05148
  5. In a food processor, first pulse and finely crumble/chop the toasted bread and nut pieces (If using a blender, its best to remove this chopped mash before blending the roasted veggies). Throw in the roasted red pepper, tomato, 1/3 cup of olive oil and the red wine vinegar and pulse until you can start pureeing the sauce entirely. Taste and adjust salt and olive oil levels for flavor and texture. Once its its ready it should look something like this. An ever so slightly thicker version than the traditional sauce is your end game here, this will help ensure it works as a hearty spread on the sandwich.DSC05157 DSC05159

SousVide Steak Sandwich Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lb flank steak
  • 4 ciabatta rolls
  • 1 bunch green/spring onions
  • 1/2 cup romesco sauce
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small wedge of gorgonzola cheese

SousVide Steak Sandwich Directions:

  1. First step is to prep and clean your flank steaks. Trim away any visible or unseemly fat and gently rinse under cold water then pat dry. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the steaks and place in a vacuum bag, suck the air out and seal it. Preheat the SousVide water bath to 133-135 degrees (Medium Rare).DSC05062 DSC05068
  2. Once the water is up to temperature, gently drop your steaks in, and let them cook for anywhere from 12-24 hours. (The extended period of time here is crucial to meltingly tender steak, that when cut against the grain are as easy to chew through as deli sliced cold cuts!)
  3. I cooked mine for 18 hours in the water bath. About an 30 mins before you’re ready to pull the steaks out, get the rest of your steak sandwich building station prepped and grill fired up (about 375-400 degrees). Slice your ciabatta rolls into sandwich halves and brush some olive oil on them. Lightly toss your green onions in some olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Once the grill grates are pre-heated, toast your bread and lightly char the onions.DSC05189DSC05197

    Prepped and ready for steak!

    Prepped and ready for steak!

  5. Once your sandwich parts are ready to go, retrieve your steak from the water bath and remove it from the bag. Gently pat dry with paper towels and lightly brush with some olive oil to aid in browning on the grill. Lightly dust with smoked paprika, kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper and toss it on the hot grill.DSC05214
  6. Once a good crust has formed, 2-3 minutes per side, remove from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes. Once rested, and juices have redistributed, thinly slice the steaks against the grain for tender bites!DSC05248 DSC05253
  7. This is the fun part, go ahead and build your sandwich! You’ve earned it!DSC05256 DSC05235DSC05238

PS. For a refreshing and tasty side, I added some grilled pineapple. Tastes like summer to me!DSC05229 DSC05215

Bon Appetite!

Later this month, I’m competing with several other BBQ bloggers at http://www.sousvidesupreme.com/sousvidebbq.htm. Check back after June 25 to see what recipe I decide to enter and send me a vote if you want. As a bonus, each person who casts a vote for their fan favorite will be entered to win a $200 gift certificate to www.sousvidesupreme.com.

DISCLAIMER: I was sent the SousVide Supreme to try as part of a blogger outreach program from the company.  The opinions are my own.

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SousVide Flank Steak Sandwich with Romesco and Grilled Spring Onions!

SousVide Flank Steak Sandwich with Romesco and Grilled Spring Onions!

12 responses to “Sous-Vide Steak Sandwich with Romesco

  1. Haha! I love the ‘chew-and-pull factor’ description! So, so true. I’ve eaten many steak sandwiches where you end up gnawing at the meat for ages (to avoid pulling it out of the sandwich bread like a dog). It annoys me, as I’m all for efficient eating.
    I like the pre-cook idea using the sous vide. Genius recipe Nic, pairing the tender meat with romesco and some fragrant gorgonzola (argh! I love moldy cheese! So, so good. Thanks for still listing the forgotten ingredient). I can’t wait to try this sandwich. I don’t have a sous vide but… wah, I’ll just have to buy super-good steak. I can also imagine the romesco, gorgonzola etc with slow-cooked pulled pork or beef. Yum.

    • You’re too kind! The thing with sous-vide cooking, while it is still kind of in its infancy in the home market, in time products like this SousVide Supreme will likely become more affordable as demand grows. But you don’t have to wait that long, if you search online there are a few creative and inexpensive kitchen hacks that can get you the same results using the same water bath cooking technique. Before I was involved in this competition (thanks again SousVide Supreme!), I was cooking sous-vide using my rice cooker and a temp controller you can find on Amazon. There is even a fun beer cooler method that costs about $15 and only requires hot water, cheap cooler and some zip-lock bags. If you ever find yourself making the jump to sous-vide cooking, you will not regret it! Thanks again, I’m glad you liked my recipe!

      • Ah, I might give one of those techniques a go! I definitely have zip-lock bags at home, and a massive stockpot that might do. Won’t be able to do the 30-hour ribs (I might be very tired of watching the candy thermometer by then, haha) but this one seems doable! Thanks Nic!

  2. This spread looks fantastic. I open flamed a pepper for the first time last week. The flavour was intensely sweet – completely different to raw or stir fried like I usually do it. Plus it’s fun having to watch something so that it doesn’t go up in flames.

  3. Beautiful sandwiches! Interesting, tho, I sous vide flank steak and brisket for 48 hours. Flank steak steak at 12 hours was not enough because of the tough texture, just like brisket. The meat volume is insignificant, once the meat has heated up internally. I’ve learned a lot from stefangourmet.com ! You just night try it before the competition!

    • Thank you! I too have gone the long haul on sous-vide steaks, but after reading through many great Serious Eats Food Labs (i.e. http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/03/how-to-sous-vide-steak.html) and some Cooks Illustrated posts on the subject, the general consensus was that after 18 hours, the tenderness can veer into mushy territory when the enzymes in the meat to break down too much connective tissue. With a thicker cut of beef like brisket, a longer sous-vide would make more sense, but my flanks were definitely on the thin and lean side. The flank on this sandwich was sous-vide for 20 hours, but the beauty of flank is that when sliced appropriately, tenderness is easily achieved without extended periods of time in the water bath. Thanks for the helpful tip though!

  4. Sorry, I wasn’t trying to give you advice, I hope it didn’t seem like it. I’m just curious. I bought my sous vide from sous vide supreme as well, and the first time I made flank steak I followed their guide, which was for 12 hours, and it was better than tough, but still not great. Then I asked Stefan about it and he told me he cooked flank steak for 48 hours, just like brisket. I guess once the internal temperature of the meat comes to the correct temperature, then the rest of the sous vide work is tenderizing the meat, which means the volume of meat doesn’t matter. I’ve since done a flank steak for 48 hours and it was like filet mignon. It definitely wasn’t overdone. So I was just curious about your experiences, since I’ve only had mine since Christmas!

    • Not need to apologize at all, I just re-read my hasty reply and I am coming off like a petulant jerk so my apologies! I have had the longer sous-vide steaks and loved them as an advancement in tenderness, but I somewhat missed the mouth-feel of eating a substantial piece of meat. I haven’t yet found the sweet spot, and I agree that 12 hours is very much on the low end of tenderization, but we all have our own personal preferences. I guess I just didn’t see enough of an improvement in my own steak and rib testing to merit another 24 hours of waiting. But as always, this is only my opinion, and it is not fact :) I did take your advice awhile back sous-vide a pork belly for 36+ hours and it was right on the money! So thank you for that!

  5. This was the perfect Summer/BBQ recipe for the Sous Vide method of cooking, and grilling. Economical cut of meat that got super tender. The Romesco was fantastic. Tasted as good as it looks. Thanks for sharing, Nic!!

  6. I am definitely going to make this sandwich. I cook flank steak in the sous vide regularly. The outcome is absolutely astounding, you would swear you are biting into a slice of tenderloin!!!

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