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Cooking a joint of beef


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I'm after some advice for cooking a joint of beef sous vide please.

I'm going to be cooking to a joint, probably topside or similar, to later be sliced and served cold as part of a buffet. I'm aiming for it to be cooked medium-rare as I have been advised that this will leave it nice and moist and once it's been chilled and sliced it'll still have a nice blush.

I'm planning on adding a rub and clinging filming overnight, then I'll give it a very quick light sear all round before vaccuum packing and getting it into the sous vide.  Someone has suggested that it's a good idea to give the joint an hour at 49C as it helps to tenderise the meat (warm aging they called it)?

 Anyone got any tips or advice please?

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Hi Scott

For a joint of medium rare topside you should sous vide it at 60 C for 6 hours. For rare it would be 56 C for 7 hours. Yes you will get a nice pink blush when it is cooked to medium rare (or just below) and then chilled.

I have never tried the "warm ageing" at 49 C but I would be surprised if it made much difference to just putting it into the bath at 56/60 C

Rather than sear it before putting it in the sous vide you would probably be better searing it afterwards (like restaurants do with sous vide steaks). This will give a fresher seared flavour and a nicer surface texture for serving

I have attached a good Sous Vide cooking reference from ChefSteps that you may find useful


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Hi Wade


Thanks for that guide, tis very helpful and will definitely prove useful in future too.

I was only thinking of a little bit pre searing before putting it in the sous vide as someone mentioned that it would make it easier/quicker to do a final sear at the end, my initial thought had been to just sear at the end.

I have to say I wasn't too sure on the 'warm aging' either and figure it's probably more hassle than it's worth...

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On Wednesday I picked up a nice piece of beef from my parents, took it home and trimmed nicely and treated it to my beef rub, the wrapped it and put it in the fridge.

Last night I vacuum packed it and put it in the water bath at 60C and left it over night (giving it about 7 hours). This morning I took it out, let it cool a bit then stuck it in the fridge. This evening I will be searing and slicing. Hopefully it'll turn out nice, photos will be coming  (if it's worthy... Lol)

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As promised , reporting back on how the joint of beef went.

Vacuum-packed and in the water bath at 60C:



I had left the beef to cook over night for about 7 hours, then in the morning had removed it from the water bath, allowed it to cool off a bit and then put it in the fridge for the day.

in the absence of a big blow torch, my best option for searing was in a big frying pan. This required me cutting the joint into three pieces so it would fit into the pan.

Two of the pieces seared -  the third piece was in the pan while I took the pic.:


After the searing, I let the pieces cool down before slicing nice and thinly with my electric slicer and plating up:


The plates were clingfilmed and put in the fridge ready for the party on Saturday. The day itself was really busy as we had get the village hall ready for the party, putting out tables, chairs, bunting etc etc.

Annoyingly I forgot to take a pic of the whole spread of food until after everyone had been at it below is what it looked like afterwards...ready for second helpings. The beef had toned down slightly and was a little less pink but still with a nice blush to it, just as I had hoped. :)


Several people commented on all the food and I was pleased that one of the guests described the beef as "sublime". I then had a good conversation with him about how I had cooked it, and went on to talk about the joys of hot and cold smoking!

All-in-all a very successful first attempt at cooking a joint this way. The only improvement really would have been better searing using a blowtorch as searing in the pan was very smoky and fiddly.


I didn't bother with the 'warm aging' but cna't believe it would have made any improvement, not sure the meat could have been much more tender without being really smooshy!!

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That beef looks great Scott. Yes you will find that the pink does mellow as the cold joint is chilled and ages. Did you just have the beef as meat or did you smoke other meats too?

If your friend is interested in taking things further then you could point him at my web site as the course dates for 2018 are now published :D

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I just did the beef, If I had had time I would have smoked it but I enjoyed the sous vide cooking too - mainly as I was asleep the whole time! :D

The chap I was talking to was a friend of my parents and I think he would be interested but unfortunately he lives in Bromsgrove, so a bit of a trek...lol

I was talking with my mum though and might do something about getting my brother on a course with you as he got an entry offset smoker last summer and I got him an Inkbird for christmas.


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