One day in a meeting, Nathan Myhrvold came up with an idea for a beef jus cooked rare. By cooking the meat sous vide at a low temperature, he reasoned, one ought to be able to create a jus that is just as tasty as traditional brown beef jus, but much brighter and more appetizing in color.
Figuring out the temperature to cook the meat was easy enough: we knew that tough beef comes out nice and rare when cooked to 53 °C / 127 °F. But it took a bit of experimenting to work out the best way to prepare the meat for the water bath. We tried grinding it, pureeing it, and cutting it to various size, but we found that when we cut the beef very finely, too much myosin came out, and the meat actually congealed into a sausage-like texture, at which point it became next to impossible to extract any juice. On the other hand, when we left the meat in large cubes, we couldn’t extract much of the jus from the center of the cubes. The optimal size seems to be cubes about 1 cm on a side.
Grant Crilly, Development Chef
We cook the meat sous vide because this method yields a bright, rare jus, which is delicious. But it occurred to us that we could apply another Modernist method–centrifuging–to refine the recipe even further. We found it works well to transfer the meat and extracted jus from the sous vide bag into centrifuge vials after the cooking is complete. (Divide the weight evenly into at least two vials, so that the rotor is balanced.) Spinning the mixture in the centrifuge for about 1 h at 27,500g enables the fat to congeal, as shown in the video below. If you don’t happen to have a centrifuge in your kitchen, a grape press, fine sieve, or even a strong kitchen towel works well, too. Press the meat and jus and shake the sieve for optimal results. While this won’t yield quite as much jus as using a centrifuge, you should be able to press out most of the jus. Even after you centrifuge, you will still want to strain away any bits of meat and fat.