Picanha (Sirloin Cap) Sous Vide
How to Make Picanha (Sirloin Cap) Sous Vide
- Set sous vide bath to 131 degrees Fahrenheit for pasteurized Medium Rare. If you prefer medium, set the temperature to 138 degrees Fahrenheit. Note: those used to eating Medium-Well steaks for food safety, can achieve the same food safety when cooking to a lower internal temperature (at 131 & above, as long as the cooking time has been extended to achieve pasteurization) ; I strongly advise not going over 138F, you will want to taste just how good Picanha is. (The "bible" for time and temperature can be found at douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html).
- Trim the signature Picanha fat layer to 1/4 inch; it won't break down further during sous vide. Sprinkle all over with sea salt. (Nothing else!)
- Place salted meat in either a Ziploc freezer bag using the displacement technique, or in chamber- or vacuum-sealer bag. The bag must be BPA-free! Seal according to directions for chamber or vacuum sealer machine, or follow directions for water displacement method (amazingfoodmadeeasy.com/...sous-vide).
- Place the bag in preheated bath, and cook for 2-4 hours (the maximum recommended time is 4 hours; after that, the texture of the meat breaks down too much).
- Just before end of cooking time, prepare an ice water bath (half cold water, half ice) in a large stainless bowl. When cooking has finished, place unopened bag in the ice water bath for 10 minutes.
- Preheat searing pan. (A perfect searing pan can withstand 500 degrees F. A.] Many preheat their seasoned cast iron skillet into the oven for an hour at 500F; then the skillet is removed (carefully) when ready to sear and placed on the stove top with no heat underneath. The skillet will retain enough heat for a perfect sear in 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. B.] A seasoned carbon steel frying pan (same material as a good wok) will work as well. C.] Since I switched to basting the protein instead of heating oil in the skillet, I have been been able to get great sear marks using my Green Pan with grilling ridges, but at the lower temperature that pan requires.)
- Cut open bag, and remove meat with tongs. Pat dry with a paper towel. Then baste the blotted meat with your preferred oil (avocado oil is neutral and has a high smoke point; olive oil can work, but the searing temperature is too high for Extra Virgin olive oil).
- Sear the Picanha steaks for 30 seconds to 1 minute per side.
- There is no need to let the meat rest. Serve with Chimichurri sauce and vegetables of your choice.