The Atlanta, Georgia based fast food chain Arby’s is bringing venison back to their menus, and this time, the sought-after venison steak sandwich will be available across the United States for a limited time on Saturday, October 21. This limited time offering across the US is a big geographical spread from their initial 2016 rollout which only included hunting-heavy states.
Not only is Arby’s trying to back-up their “all the meats” marketing claims by selling venison and elk, but they’re also taking a huge leap into the culinary tech world by cooking their food sous vide, following in the footsteps of other restaurant giants such as:
- Starbucks: Sous Vide egg bites
- Chipotle: steaks are cooked sous vide
- Panera Bread: all ready-to-serve meats are cooked sous vide
Sous vide provides consistent and precise temperatures throughout your food while retaining juiciness and flavor. Many cuts of meat that are traditionally tougher in nature become very tender after cooking them sous vide over longer periods of time. In Arby’s case, the venison is marinated in garlic, salt, and pepper, and then cooked sous vide for 3 hours.
The good thing is, cooking sous vide is incredibly easy to replicate. So, if you wait in line at Arby’s on Saturday only to discover the 100 sandwiches are sold out at your location, you’re not totally out of luck. Recreate the legendary sandwich at home this weekend by following this Arby’s venison sandwich recipe.
Sous Vide Venison Recipe for Arby’s Sandwich
- Thick cut venison steak
- Sea Salt
- Cracked Black Pepper
- Garlic powder
- Avocado Oil (or another high smoke point oil for searing)
- Fresh toasted bun
- Crispy onions (homemade or store-bought)
Cabernet Steak Sauce:
- ½ cup beef broth
- ½ cup red wine
- ½ shallot, diced
- 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp butter
- Pre-heat your sous vide water bath to your ideal temperature. Normally, we prefer venison around 130F since venison steaks are lean and do not have much fat to render, but if you’re aiming to clone the Arby’s sandwich, you will want to go a bit higher, such as 135F to 140F.
- Generously season the venison steak with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Arby’s marinates the venison with fresh garlic, but who has time to wait for a marinade?! Adding garlic powder before and during the 5 hour cook adds an immense, yet appropriate, flavor.
- Vacuum seal the venison steak or place it in a heavy duty Ziploc bag.
- Place the bagged steak in water bath and cook for 3 – 5 hours. Note: Arby’s cooks their venison sous vide for 3 hours. However, if you have a thick steak, you may benefit from increasing this time to 5 hours for more tenderness, resulting in an easier bite for a sandwich.
- Remove venison from water bath and pat dry with paper towels. Meanwhile, pre-heat a cast iron pan on high heat with some oil (avocado oil is great for this due to its high smoke point).
- Quickly sear the venison for 1 minute, then flip and sear the other side for an additional 1 minute. Optionally, you can add a tablespoon of butter and any aromatics to the pan during the sear.
- Remove the venison, cover in aluminum foil to rest, and set aside.
- With the same pan, reduce the heat to medium, add the shallots and balsamic vinegar and cook for about 3 minutes, or until softened.
- Add the wine and beef broth to the pan and continue cooking until reduced by two thirds. Whisk in the butter and add salt to taste, as needed.
- Build your Arby’s Venison Sandwich! Spread the cabernet sauce on both sides of the toasted bun, add the venison steak (if you find it to be a bit tough, pre-slice your steak against the grain before adding it), and top with crispy onions. Bon Appétit!