You’ve had Wagyu steak, but have you experienced Wagyu meatballs? Oh, you have? Well, what about sous vide Wagyu beef meatballs? No? Great. Let’s do this.
What Is Sous Vide?
Sous vide (that’s sue-veed) is a French term meaning “under vacuum” that involves cooking vacuum-sealed food in a bag in a water bath at a very precise temperature. What’s the result? Perfectly executed meatballs and precision cooking that is essentially impossible to replicate through any other cooking method.
Although you can sous vide just about anything—we’re looking at you, yogurt, cheese curds, and custard—meat is where it’s at. This is especially true for tough proteins, which the sous vide process expertly breaks down to deliver a super-tender entree.
Gather Your Supplies
First up, you need a sous vide cooker. Some of the most popular ones on the market are the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker, Joule, and, of course, the SousVide Supreme—and we think all three are pretty awesome.
Next, you’ll need a large pot for the water bath, a reliable scale, and sous vide bags. Now, although you could spring for special purpose-built sous vide bags, Ziploc bags actually work just fine—if not better—especially for sous vide meatballs (but more on that later).
Lastly, gather everything you need to work your Wagyu beef meatball magic, including:
- Wagyu ground beef
- Salt and pepper
- Spices and seasonings
- Your appetite
Pro Tips for Perfect Sous Vide Meatballs
Sous vide meatballs require some keen attention to detail—these won’t cook the same as pan-seared, slow-cooked, or baked meatballs. Keep these three things in mind as you embark on your sous vide meatball journey:
1. Be consistent: Make sure all of your meatballs are the same size by using a scale. They’ll cook more evenly this way.
2. Avoid the vacuum seal: Yes, we did just say that sous vide is all about vacuum sealing, but if you do that with ground meat, it’s going to obliterate your beef with compression. Instead, use the water-displacement method:
- Pop your meatballs into a zipper-locking bag.
- Zip it up almost the whole way, but leave the very edge of the seal open.
- Dip the bag into the water, pressing the air out as you go and keeping the open section out of the water as long as you can.
- Once the bag is almost completely submerged, zip up the last bit before it hits water level.
3. Let it rest: If you want to sear your meatballs after they’re cooked, give them time to rest on a paper-towel-covered plate. This will wick away the excess moisture so you get a more effective, crispy sear.
The Meat of the Post: The Recipes
Now that you’ve got the know-how for whipping up perfect beefy balls, you’re ready for our Lone Mountain Wagyu Beef Meatballs recipe.
- 1 pound Wagyu ground beef
- 1 egg
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Additional herbs and spices
- Preheat your sous vide cooker to your ideal final temperature—we recommend 140ºF (60ºC)—and allow the water bath to come to temperature.
- Mix the ingredients together. If you’re leaning toward Italian meatballs, consider adding in basil, garlic, and oregano.
- Weigh out and shape 16 meatballs by hand, keeping them consistent in size. (Wear gloves!)
- Place four meatballs in each of four quart-size zipper-locking bags, keeping them in a straight line at the bottom of the bag so they don’t stack.
- Seal the bags using the water-displacement method we described above.
- Once the bags are in sous vide, set the timer for 1½ hours.
- When the timer goes off, remove the meatballs and let them rest before searing (optional).
Here are some other recipes we highly recommend giving a go:
- Sous Vide Italian Meatballs
- Easy Sous Vide Meatballs (from the freezer!)
- Paleo Sous Vide Swedish Meatballs
Serve Some Tasty Sides
When serving meatballs, balance out the beef with veggies and a starch, such as asparagus and polenta. Feeling worldly? Go Italian and serve your sous vide Wagyu beefballs with homemade sauce and a side of pasta—or embrace your inner millennial and serve your meatballs with spaghetti squash marinara! Alternatively, you could go Mediterranean and serve kofta-style meatballs with minted yogurt and warm pita.
Man, we’re hungry. Are you? If you don’t have any Wagyu ground beef on hand but are already on Amazon Prime ordering your sous vide cooker and supplies, we recommend ordering the ground beef ASAP so everything shows up on your doorstep and ready to roll ... into meatballs. See what we did there? Enjoy!