Sous-vide cooking is a technique, not a recipe. The principle is to cook a piece of meat slowly at a carefully controlled temperature no higher than the final cooking temperature of the interior of the meat. This results in supremely tender meat.
The steak cooked in the homemade cooker below reached an internal temperature of 131 degrees Fahrenheit after an hour and 53 minutes in the cooker.
You can buy a sous-vide cooker at Amazon for something under $400, or you can make your own. I work with a bunch of crafty engineers at Actifio, so a few of them have preferred to rig up their own from an old slow-cooker. It's not as attractive, but it's a lot cheaper than buying one! NOTE: You'll also need a vacuum sealer in either case. The meat is sealed in plastic before cooking, so it is not stewed.
All the science about sous-vide cooking is available at Wikipedia (the first link above) and other sites so I won't go into it here. I can say that it produces the tenderest beef I have ever eaten, but... there's one drawback. It comes out looking uncooked, or at least unbrowned.
There are a few solutions to this:
- You can sear it very briefly on a very hot skillet to brown only the outside
- You can put it on a very hot grill or under a broiler for a few moments
- You can go after it with a propane torch like my friend and colleague Mark Woodward is doing here!