One of my favorite meals is a good roasted beef. However, roasts are notoriously hard to cook properly. People are split on the best method to create a good outer crust while still keeping the middle a good temperature. Even the best roasts have a wide band around them of overcooked meat. Sous vide comes to the rescue once again.
Cooking the roast with sous vide allows you to keep the entire roast the doneness you want. For extra flavor you can apply a rub or paste to the outside of the roast and quickly sear or broil it to form a nice crust. I prefer a nice garlic, rosemary, and thyme paste but many people love a horseradish or mustard crust on their roast beef.
I used a sirloin roast for this sous vide recipe but you can use any large roast cut of beef. For some of the tougher cuts of beef you might want to increase the time spent in the sous vide. I also used grass-fed beef which I've found to have better texture when not cooked as long as the supermarket beef.
The process of cooking a good sous vide sirloin roast is pretty easy. You first season the meat with any seasonings you might want to create a nice base flavor. I used a mix of garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and ancho chili powder, as well as some fresh rosemary and thyme.
You then seal the roast in the bag and cook it sous vide for between 12 and 48 hours. As I said, I used a sirloin roast (more tender cut) of grass fed beef (tenderizes faster) so I cooked mine for 12 hours and it was perfect but if you're using a supermarket top round or chuck roast you might want to try for 24 to 48 hours.
Just before the roast is done pre-heat the oven to around 400 or 450 and then make the paste or rub that you will use for the crust. I put fresh garlic, sweet marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and olive oil into a food processor and made a paste. You can make any kind of paste or rub you prefer, there are lots of different variations on seasoning roasts that you can adapt to this method.
When the sous vide roast is done, take it out of the pouch, pat dry, and place on a sheet pan or roasting tray that can go into the oven. Smear the paste or rub on the outside of the meat that is exposed and place the roast in the oven. You just want to leave it in there long enough to develop the crust but not cook the roast anymore.
You can also sear the roast after you take it out of the sous vide and before you put on the paste. However, I've found that this tends to overcook the meat more, since at this point any heat we apply is overcooking the roast. If you really like a good crust though it is an option.
Once the crust is done you take the sous vide roast out of the oven, slice it and serve it. I served mine with roasted turnips but they are great with any normal roast side dish such as mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, a side salad, or polenta.
If you would like more information about the modernist techniques, ingredients, and equipment used in the Sous Vide Sirloin Roast you can check out the following.
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(you can also use any roast paste or rub you like)
Pre-heat the water bath to 131°F (55°C). Cover the sirloin roast with salt, pepper, the garlic, paprika and ancho chile powders and place in a pouch. Add the thyme and rosemary to the sous vide pouch and then seal the roast.
Place the sirloin roast in the water bath and cook for 12 to 48 hours depending on the cut of meat you are using. For a grass-fed sirloin roast 12 hours should be good up to 24 to 48 hours for a supermarket top round or chuck roast.
For more information on the cooking times you can read my detailed article which addresses why is there a range in sous vide cooking times.
Preheat the oven to 450F.
Right before the sous vide roast is done make the paste or rub for the crust. To make the paste combine all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until it forms a thick paste.
Take the sous vide sirloin roast out and the bath and remove it from the pouch. Pat it dry with a paper towel or dish cloth and place in a roasting pan. Smear the sides and top of the meat with the paste. Place the roast in the oven until the crust is done, about 5 minutes.
Remove the sous vide roast from the oven, slice and serve. It is great served with mashed potatoes, a side salad, or mixed vegetables.
If you like this recipe you can get more than 85 other inspiring recipes to get you on your way to sous vide success. It's all in my best selling book Modernist Cooking Made Easy: Sous Vide - Get Your Copy Today!