Blowtorch cooking

Cooking shows are extremely popular in England. All you need to do is turn on the television and you are more than likely to come across a cooking show. One of the things which I have seen on some of these shows and which I have wanted to do, is to use a blow torch in cooking. Now as we celebrated my wife’s birthday recently, I decided to cook her favourite meal – Sous vide rib-eye steak with peppercorn sauce. But this time, instead of pan frying 30-45 seconds each side of the steak to brown it up, I used a blow torch which I had bought from Robert Dyas a while ago.

The blow torch was relatively inexpensive at £7.99 and the refill cost about £1.99 per canister. In the past I had been put off buying this as the butane canisters cannot be shipped when bought online as they are flammable. These would have to be bought from a shop such as a newsagent. But I was very pleased that Robert Dyas had both available to purchase.

Blow torch from Robert Dyas

Blow torch from Robert Dyas

Butane gas canister for refilling
Butane gas canister for refilling
Base of blow torch for refilling with butane gas
Base of blow torch for refilling with butane gas

The Sous vide Wagyu Rib-eye steaks were cooked in the afternoon and were allowed to rest after cooking. When they were ready to be served, I browned both sides of the steak with the blow torch and they were ready to serve.

Browning of the steak with blow torch
Browning of the steak with blow torch
Blow torch browning the exterior of the steak - the fat glowing from the fire
Blow torch browning the exterior of the steak – the fat lighting up under the fire
Result: browning of the outside but the steak is tender throughout
Result: browning of the outside but the steak is tender throughout

Now I have to say that the blow torch method has a few distinct benefits:

1) it means no need to us a frying pan, which does toughen the outside of the steak a little – so with the blow torch, the outside of the steak gets the brown look while remaining nice and tender.

2) it imparts a more barbecue/grill flavour to the steak.

I can say that for us, of the two methods the blow torch way tastes the best for Sous vide steak. And if I can save on washing a fry pan, all the better.

Now to compliment the lovely steak and to celebrate my wife’s birthday, I chose a bottle of 1998 Chateau Rauzan-Segla from the Margaux region in Bordeaux France. Very nice indeed. I am pleased my wife enjoyed the meal. What better than to share a nice special (our wedding year vintage) bottle of wine with someone you love on their birthday.

1998 Rauzan-Segla from Margaux region in France
1998 Rauzan-Segla from Margaux region in France

Boon