The following article is about Sous Vide cooking a Ranchers Reserve Cracked Pepper Petite Tender Beef Filet from Safeway. Normally when cooking Sous Vide, I purchase high quality beef and season myself. This package caught my eye, as it is pre-marinated and already in a vacuum sealed pouch.
Price is reasonable, but not great at $5.99 a pound. My go to cut of meat is usually tri-tip, which I can find for about the same or cheaper when on sale.
The things which caught my eye were being pre marinated and already in a vacuum sealed pouch. This means no extra steps for sous vide cooking. Just toss in the hot water bath at the correct cooking temperature.
The steak is 40mm at its thickest. Referring to Douglass Baldwin’s pasteurization charts, the steak will require around 2:03 hours at 141F. I am planning on cooking much longer, so there is little concern about pasteurizing time.
The package is placed in 141F water to begin cooking. It is leaning against the wall of the container to keep water circulating around the entire package.
The temperature probe on my Arduino PID controller is off by about -2.5F from the actual temperature. Currently, I just take this into account when cooking, however in the future, once I make a dedicated PCB for the PID controller and release V1.0 of the software, I will add a calibration for the probe.
After 5 hours I am ready to eat. The meat only needed 2 hours be pasteurized, but the great thing about sous vide cooking is the food can wait until you are ready instead of you waiting for the food to be ready.
My trusty blowtorch will put a nice brown crust on the meat.
The meat does not look too appetizing without being browned. There is extra juice in the bag and the meat is a dull grey when removed. Turns out there were two steaks pressed together in the bag.
After a quick browning with the torch they are much more appetizing.
Slicing into the meat reveals a perfectly cooked steak. It is very hard to mess up a steak with sous vide. Medium rare all the way through with a very thin layer of well done at the edge due to the torch. I do not recall eating this cut of meat before, which is fairly lean but still tender.
Final verdict on the Ranchers Reserve Cracked Pepper Petite Tender Beef Filet is a thumbs down. I will not purchase again, even though it is ready to go strait into the water cooking bath. Perhaps due to cooking with sous vide, the marinade overpowers the flavor of the meat. A bit too salty. This steak might be better on the grill where some of the marinade can drip off. I will look for this cut of meat in the future and perhaps use with my own rub.
Final Score: 4 out of 10