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Sauce to go with Kobe rib-eye?

Hello home cooks,

I recently cooked myself a Kobe rib-eye seasoned with salt a little fresh ground black pepper, sous-vide @130F for a little over 2 hours and then finished it under the broiler on each side quickly. The meat, as you can imagine, was like eating butter. I served this with some roasted cipollini onions and roasted young garlic, both of which were entirely unnecessary.

I'm normally of the opinion that something as delectable as this should be served simple, just as. I was wondering, however, given the richness, do you have ideas on a simple sauce that might complement the meat well enough? I was thinking a soy-based reduction might go well, but I haven't tried one yet.

Thank you!

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  1. That looks amazing. I think a soy reduction might be too salty.

    1. I'm of the opinion steak like that needs no sauce at all.

      2 Replies
        1. I would probably go bright/tangy, since the steak itself is so rich. I've been loving pureed chimichurri with steak lately - I make it with very little oil, so that it's mostly just the flavor of the herbs, garlic and acid. It really cuts through rich meat flavors.

          2 Replies
          1. re: biondanonima

            I was thinking chimichurri all the way...

            1. re: GretchenS

              I would have suggested chimichurri, but that steak looks so good I would enjoy it as is.

          2. I would make a nice pat of compound herb butter -simple, maybe just flat leaf parsley and a flaky salt or a little thyme and black pepper.....or maybe just a dab of duxelles would be enough. I love the combo of beef and mushroom.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sedimental

              I was resisting any kind of compound butter type sauce because kobe is already so incredibly rich. The meat itself is practically like butter. :)

            2. Ginger based. Soy or orange liquid.

              1. I've been using an herbed butter mixed with a little soy, not reduced. I like some of the ideas above, like the chimichurri and a light soy and ginger mix. I also grind up green peppercorns, instead of black, and press it and sometimes a little fresh ginger into the meat prior to cooking. When I just get a regular grocery store steak and grill on a weeknight, I use worcestershire and a pat of butter.

                I'm not a purist about sauce on steaks, unless I'm paying tons of $ for a dry aged prime. I've never had a Kobe but it looks wonderful!

                3 Replies
                1. re: rudeboy

                  I love butter on steaks in general but I think it might be overkill on one as fatty as what's pictured above. Almost like putting butter on pork belly. I think the fat needs zing! Peppercorns and ginger sound pretty interesting.

                  1. re: biondanonima

                    Right on. That's what I was thinking. It doesn't need any more fat, but something to cut the richness.

                    1. re: biondanonima

                      Good point - I usually just do regular steaks and use butter on those. Maybe not a good idea for Kobe. I've had a lot of pork belly, and the thought of butter on that made me go "ewwww."

                  2. For those curious, here's the photo of the cut before cooking, to give you a sense of the marbling.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: premshree

                      Wow, that is an incredible looking steak (and a very nice photo - love the salt grains)!

                      1. re: premshree

                        WOW! So by doing sous vide and then quickly finishing, it probably doesn't drop any of that fat. right?

                        1. re: rudeboy

                          I wish I had a better sense of how the steak might work at different temp/time combinations -- will be interesting to compare. In my setup, some fat rendered, but as you can see in the finished photo the steak still had ample marbling. Clichéd, but really melt-in-your-mouth. What's important I think is to finish in the broiler/skillet at high temp for very little time or too much of that lovely fat will render. :)

                        2. Phenomenal piece of meat. Great simple prep as well.
                          A few things come to mind.

                          Are you pre-searing your meat? I would definitely try that. Your crust already looks really good though. But I think presearing can help develop some great flavor compounds (the maillard reaction continues for 2 hours during SV, albeit slower) I'd recommend freezing for 20-30 minutes then pre searing with a torch (though maybe your broiler would work, it seems powerful)

                          As far as sauces go I'd recommend the Modernist Cuisine at Home red wine glaze. I've made many ribeyes (though I have no local access to Wagyu) sous vide and used this sauce. It's great, super rich, does not at all detract from the ribeyes flavors, and you barely need any. I've served it to many guests and they are almost always blown away by it. I assume you have a pressure cooker since you have some sort of SV rig, as it is required for the sauce.
                          You could also try some really good aged balsamic, you can never go wrong with that.
                          Also imo you can't go wrong with some high quality freshly ground peppercorns.

                          Just out of curiosity what are you using for sous vide? I'm rocking 2 Anova circulators right now and absolutely loving them.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                            I didn't pre-sear, just finished under the broiler for a few seconds on each side. I didn't think of the pre-searing allowing for more flavors to develop in SV -- that's an interesting idea.

                            That red wine glaze sounds lovely, but sadly I don't have a pressure cooker. You know, I do have some good aged balsamic at home... I didn't think of that before, but it actually sounds pretty appealing.

                            Like you I'm using an Anova too.

                            1. re: premshree

                              Right on, man those Anovas provide tremendous value, I'd pay double what they cost and still be ecstatic. You must have a better broiler than me, I pretty much have to pre/post sear in a pan with ghee or oil since my serazall won't be here until June, and my oven is nearly useless.

                              You could probably make the red wine glaze without a pressure cooker, it'll just take all day. It's super savory though, goes great on lots of stuff. I freeze it in ice cube trays or mini vac bags for easy access.

                          2. Here is my question; American Kobe?

                            That is a beautiful steak, and I'm going to go with those that think topping that with any kind of sauce is a huge mis-steak. (pun intended). Keep the A-1 for your trips to Outback, just enjoy that natural flavor my friend. Job Well Done......or per the pic, Job Rare Done!!!!

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: jrvedivici

                              Thanks jrvedivici. It's Japanese Kobe.

                              1. re: premshree

                                Well then my next question; where or how were you able to procure such a prized possession?

                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                  Japan Premium Beef in Nolita occasionally has Japanese Kobe (they normally always carry American-raised Washugyu).

                                2. re: premshree

                                  It looks awesome. I have never seen anything like it.

                                3. re: jrvedivici

                                  Definitely Japanese, I've never seen American that looked that good.

                                  Why do people always assume that if you put sauce on a steak it has to be A-1 or barbecue sauce?
                                  That's akin to disliking cheeseburgers because you went to Mcdonalds once and Burgerking once and decided never to eat another cheeseburger due solely to those experiences.

                                  1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                    The A-1 comment isn't meant to "assume" that's what he would or should use on his steak. The comment indicates save the crappy sauce for a crappy steak, thus the Outback comment.

                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                      (sheepishly) Although I wouldn't put A-1 on this steak, I actually like it for lower quality steaks. A-1 might be better without the last two ingredients ( I was curious, so I looked up the ingredients expecting horror and it isn't that bad - I thought that raisin paste was unique, I don't think I've ever seen that as an ingredient before). The combination of sweet, sour, citrus, could be replicated in a unique sauce for this steak. Something really light.

                                      A.1. sauce includes tomatoes, raisin paste, distilled vinegar, corn syrup, salt, crushed orange puree, dried garlic and onions, tamarind herbs and spices, caramel color, and xanthan gum

                                      1. re: rudeboy

                                        There are recipes out there for homemade steak sauce with long lists of ingredients. I used to make one for hubby from the old Gourmet magazine.

                                4. I normally like a sauce with my steak (chimichurri or a red wine reduction usually), but with kobe steak, I like it with just a little sprinkle of sea salt and pepper before eating. The meat is so rich and buttery that I don't need the extra flavor from the sauce. I like the small bursts of saltiness from the sea salt granules in each bite.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: boogiebaby

                                    Exactly how I ate it the other day (as in the picture). Was just wondering if there was a sauce that would cut down on the richness in a complementary way without overpowering and affecting the deliciousness of Kobe.

                                    I sometimes think of a soy/mirin based sauce/reduction with onions, as in s sukiyaki.

                                  2. How about a lemon wedge to squeeze over it?

                                    1. A spritz of lemon and then sprinkled with a few chives. More than that seems like too much.

                                      1. A bottle of dry dry Chardonnay.

                                        1. béarnaise or chimichurri. chimichurri is lighter. also option is gremolata.

                                          i'm infatuated with mr. chimichurri right now, so that's my pick.

                                          1. Freshly grated horseradish would accomplish the task at hand.

                                            1. this don't need no stinking sauce, Holmes. What you got is a plate of perfection there!

                                              7 Replies
                                              1. re: zackly

                                                No matter how gorgeous the woman you're sleeping with is, after a while, it's nice to see her wear something different to bed.

                                                1. re: MGZ

                                                  Not if it's Cindy Crawford* and this looks like the Cindy Crawford of steaks.Why try to gild a lily? *I use this reference because I bumped into her once when she was living with Richard Gere in Pound Ridge, NY about 25 years ago. Her beauty was otherworldly!

                                                  1. re: zackly

                                                    But you could at least imagine Cindy Crawford covered in Chinese XO sauce or equivalent. Chowhound dream (ladies, use Richard Gere). Feel free to flag this!

                                                      1. re: rudeboy

                                                        good grief -- richard gere???? i don't want to imagine him at all. full stop.

                                                        now daniel craig is another matter, my friend!

                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                          OK alkapal, I will allow you to envision daniel craig covered in your favorite sauce. But you only! My sister's favorite is the old school richard gere.

                                                          1. re: rudeboy

                                                            now i'll have to think of what sauce….. LOL

                                                            i know! a martini with bombay sapphire! that's saucy!

                                                2. Love those steaks and I get that purists think it needs nothing for sauce but, for me, a little bit of really good steak goes a very very long way. I had an amazing rib eye last night at a ridiculously expensive restaurant and it came with both bearnaise and a red wine reduction sauce. I initially thought "overkill" but after a few bites I was really happy for the sauces to mx up the experience. My current favorite sauce for rich buttery steaks is a little bit of a highly reduced concentration of red wine and balsamic vinegar to which butter is added at the end. Toss in pan juices and you are better than good to go. A bed of darkly caramelized shallots underneath this trinity can be amazing as well.

                                                  1. Next time try grilling it or cooking it in a hot cast iron pan instead of sous vide. I cook a lot of steaks sous vide from frozen (and sometimes fresh) but it compromises the flavor & texture, IMHO. I saw this article recently and agree with a lot of her pointshttp://www.beyondsalmon.com/2011/06/why-sous...
                                                    Sure you can get a steak that's a perfect color (doneness) from surface to surface but you cannot achieve as good carmelization as cooking one raw on a hot fire. Sous vide steaks are a tad soggy.You need the moisture to escape (evaporate) that you get with dry cooking.

                                                    1. Japanese wagyu goes great with ponzu and grated daikon.
                                                      Lighter than traditional soy and a hint of citrus.

                                                      A little yuzu kosho (yuzu pepper paste) might also be nice.

                                                      1. Another idea, try making a vinaigrette using black vinegar and shallots. Toasted garlic slices are also good as the crunch helps offset the richness.

                                                        1. PLEASE! NO SAUCE!!
                                                          It will be such a waste to use sauce to mask the taste of the beef. Just do the Japanese way by sprinkling some nice sea salt onto it. That's it! I won't even add black pepper!
                                                          If indeed you wanted some condiments/sauce to go with it. Some hot English mustard, may be?!

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Charles Yu

                                                            Correct, Charles Yu! Savor the taste of the beef especially a well charred grainy exterior and and a butter rich, savory, tender interior like this steak will have. Skip the A-1, chimichurri, Bordelaise, Bearnaise, Soy based sauces please! If you want to put them on supermarket beef, go ahead but to try to embellish this masterpiece piece of meat is a sin.

                                                            1. re: zackly

                                                              Ponzu and daikon is the traditional condiment to wagyu beef in Japan, as blasphemous as that may seem.

                                                          2. In the end I ended up eating this again as is -- no sauce. :)

                                                            3 Replies
                                                              1. re: premshree

                                                                I just want to personally thank you for that decision. I was loosing sleep thinking of you possibly adulterating the wonderful taste of that piece of meat. Thank you my friend.