Modernist Lion

Steak dinner

This is one of the steaks I cooked for dinner last night. Using a modernist technique, the meat is perfectly cooked with no well done or too-rare areas.

As I’m sure you know, Mrs. Lion and I do a lot more than enforced chastity and FLR. We have our everyday lives that we enjoy as well. One of the things I particularly like to do is to cook. I also love new things and adventures. Until a few weeks ago I confined my cooking to very traditional methods. In fact, I wasn’t aware that there was anything newer than the microwave oven. It turns out that in 1966 a completely new way of cooking was developed by modernist chefs. These people represented a small minority of professional chefs who experimented with completely new ways to prepare food. They used laboratory equipment, liquid nitrogen, and other exotica to add a modern twist to food.

Anyway, in 1966 a chef in France obtained a laboratory water bath. This is a device that circulated water kept at a precise temperature; accurate to a fraction of a degree. He used this to cook food, first sealed in a vacuum bag at the exact temperature he wanted the food to reach when it was done. He called this process sous-vide. This method completely changes the way food it prepared. It is the only way to cook a steak the same color top to bottom, end to end.

A few weeks ago Amazon had a daily bargain featuring a sous-vide circulating immersion heater. I looked up some information on sous-vide at chefsteps.com. The steak recipe fascinated me. So, I ordered the device. The way you use it defies common sense. We got some prime New York strip steaks (impossible to buy anywhere but Costco). Following the scary directions, I placed the meat in Foodsaver bags along with some butter. I then vacuum-sealed the bags with the steak. The sous-vide circulating immersion heater was set to 135 deg. F. This creates the nice medium rare steak in the picture above. I put the bags into a container (12 qt food storage container) filled with water being maintained at exactly 135 deg. Here’s the very weird part. We left the steaks in the sous-vide bath for almost two hours. I kept looking at the $30 worth of steak sitting in that water bath wondering if I lost my mind.

When the two hours had passed, I put the grey-looking steaks on the barbecue grill for 90 seconds a side. That’s it. The result is in the picture. The  steak was better than any I have had in a restaurant, including Broadway Joe’s in Manhattan and Peter Luger’s in Brooklyn. Those are two of the best steakhouses on earth. I’m proud of myself for venturing into the weird world of modernist cooking. We were rewarded with a spectacular dinner at home.

This form of cooking is fairly new in the U.S. Well, not new in many Michelin starred restaurants. They have been using this technique for decades. It’s only in the last few years that affordable home units became available. We did pork chops too and they were good, but I need to tweak the cooking temperature a bit. Sous-vide is supposed to do fish better than any other method of preparation. We will try it on some nice Alaskan salmon soon.

So why are you seeing this in the Male Chastity Journal? Because it is a cool discovery I am proud to share. Also, if you are here for more than just sexual information, you might be happy to find out about sous-vide and another dimension of my life. If not, C’est la guerre.

2 comments on “Modernist Lion
  1. Mark says:

    Inveterate tinkerer that I am, when my wife started making mention of _sous_vide_ cooking, I cobbled together one for her from a spare temperature controller and solid-state relay I had sitting around (our garage can be quite an adventure-land at times), and used that to control a relatively powerful hot plate (1500 Watt) with a large sauce pan on top. Using this crude-looking rig, I could control the temperature to well within +/- 1 degree; even though there was no forced circulation, convective flow caused by being heated at the bottom kept the whole pan quite uniform.

    Then she made her first experiment, which as I recall was also a steak, and like yours it was such a stunning success that she now uses the technique very regularly. Although the total cook time obviously matters, it’s not nearly as critical as when grilling, and there’s always the perfectly uniform doneness that results from this method.

    (Because my hacked-together system wasn’t particularly elegant, or as convenient as I’d like, I did break down and buy her one of the all-in-one heater / circulator units – the Anova, I believe. She continues to love the technique.)

    • Caged Lion says:

      With the Anova, I have one too, Cooking time isn’t an issue at all. A fine steak has a 90 minute window. Minimum cook time is 90 minutes and it can remain in the bath for another 90 minutes with no change in quality or flavor. There is a slight “drying out” after three hours. The idea that you don’t even have to think about getting the steak at the right time is great. Starred restaurants cook steaks in sous-vide and as customers order them, they remove them from the bath and brown.

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