Rib-eye steak with a twist

On Tuesdays I normally take on the cooking responsibilities in my household. But I find conventional cooking very mundane, and hence have to find ways to make it more interesting i.e. the perfect opportunity to use my ‘toys’ to do the cooking for me.

As we had bought some Rib-eye steak from Aldi on Monday after the girls’ piano exams, this would form the base for my culinary experiment. I decided to add a little Oriental and British twist to this.

I had decided earlier to use the chinese idea of using cognac in the cooking, but adding the British way of ‘cooking’ the Christmas pudding by pouring flaming cognac/whisky onto the Christmas pudding.

The rib-eye steaks were cooked at 56 degrees Celsius for 2 1/2 hrs vis Sous Vide method (i.e. water bath cooking), and then browned on both sides for about 45 seconds on a hot fry pan. One of the steaks only had a 10 second browning on one side, to allow for further browning to take place when it was given the flaming treatment.

Here is the video of the process:

The Cognac was poured in a metal ladle and heated on the stove until it was ignited. Then  it was taken to the steak and poured over it. The alcohol served as fuel for the flames to further brown the steak, which just leaves the flavours from the cognac on the steak. In future, I will use less cognac as the flavours imparted may overpower the natural flavours of the steak itself.

Here are the accompanying photos.

Rib-eye steak after flaming treatment
Rib-eye steak after flaming treatment
Rib-eye steak served with peppercorn sauce
Rib-eye steak served with peppercorn sauce
My wife's steak
My wife’s rib-eye steak dinner
Top view
Top view

I chose the Chilean Casa Lapostolle’s Clos Apalta 2003 wine to accompany the steak, for both enhancing the flavours of the steak and its health benefits. I bought this from Wine Society on 27th July 2007 for £36.00, and have kept it for over 7 years – the cork was still pristine when I uncorked it.

Clos Apalta 2003
Clos Apalta 2003 – sediment present from the ageing process

This wine comes from 60-100 year old vines which traditionally have lower yields than younger vines. The benefit of this is that the wines tend to be more concentrated and intense in flavours. 2003 was an exceptional vintage owing to the dry climate and even lower yields than normal. The alcohol content was  14.9% (pretty high). The blend comprises of Merlot, Carmenere and Cabernet sauvignon.

There was chocolate, plum, vanilla and oak in the nose. There was blackcurrant, and my wife says liquorice as well on tasting. With further time in the glass, it continued to improve – signs of a good wine. No wonder it received 94 points from Wine Spectator.