Surf & Turf with Garlic Herb Butter

When I was younger my family used to frequent an Italian restaurant the next town over in Mendham, New Jersey called Sammy’s. The restaurant was in a nondescript white building with no sign. While the restaurant had many stories floating around about it – the major rumor was that it was managed or had ties to the mob back in the day – as all the limos and black cars would be parked outside. To this day there is no sign outside but everyone knows about Sammy’s and the parking lot is always packed. The bar is located in the basement because during prohibition they would funnel the illegal alcohol from the mill across the street through to the basement from a tunnel under the road. My brother and I would sip our Shirley Temples while we waited for our table and play the various arcade games. I don’t think I ever ordered anything other than the surf and turf.

This recipe calls for an immersion circulator for sous vide cooking – a method of cooking in which food is vacuum sealed in bags and cooked in a temperature-controlled water bath. The food is cooked evenly and at an exact temperature and becomes extremely tender. It is vacuum-sealed in the bags so that the juices from the meat (or whatever else you may be cooking) do not escape – they have nowhere to go so they remain in the meat. You simply set a pot of water with the immersion circulator attached to the outside, set the temperature and add the food in the sealed bags. I grill the steak after using the sous vide method just to develop a nice sear on the outside.

Boiling the lobsters first allows them to cook most of the way through and then once they are halved and grilled, you get a bit of char and smoky flavor without it being overpowering. The preferred grill for this is a charcoal grill so you get that smokier flavor. This can also be achieved by adding soaked wood chips to the tray in your propane grill.



For the garlic herb butter:

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon chopped chives


For the sous vide steak:

Immersion circulator for sous vide cooking*

2 (1½-thick, about 1-pound each) t-bone ribeye steaks

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons unsalted butter


For the lobster:

Kosher salt, to taste

2 (1½-pound) whole Maine lobsters

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil



For the garlic herb butter:

In a medium mixing bowl stir together the butter, garlic, salt, parsley and chives until completely combined. Transfer the butter to a square piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper, then roll it into a log and twist the ends to secure them. Refrigerate until ready to use.


For the sous vide steak:

Preheat sous vide in large pot or container of water to 135ºF.

Season the steaks on both sides with salt and pepper. Add one steak to a plastic sous vide bag with one sprig of rosemary and 1 tablespoon of butter. Vacuum seal and repeat with the remaining steak. If you don’t have a vacuum seal machine, try to expel as much air as you can from the bag.

Add the steaks to the water bath and cook for 1 hour. Preheat grill to high, about 550ºF.

Remove the steaks from the bag and discard the rosemary. Pat the steaks dry and place the steaks on the grill. Grill steaks for 15 seconds then rotate 90º. Grill for another 15 seconds then flip the steaks over and repeat. The steaks should develop a nice crust.

Let stand for 10 minutes then carve.


For the lobster:

Preheat grill to high, about 550ºF.Bring a large lobster pot of heavily salted water to a boil over medium heat. May need to do in batches depending on the size of the pot. Add the lobsters to the pot and cook for 10 minutes. Cut the lobsters in half lengthwise through the tail. Brush the cut side of the lobsters with olive oil.

Add lobster to grill cut side down for 2 minutes. Remove to a platter.


For serving:

Serve lobster and steak immediately, topped with garlic herb butter.


Serves 4.

*Note: I have used both the Nomiku and the Joule by Chef Steps. I would recommend both of these immersion circulator machines for sous vide cooking if you are in the market.





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