Chef John Placko’s 48-hour bavette with parsley gel mash, seared asparagus and spicy crisp onion strings

When Chef John Placko agreed to send in a recipe for Chefs #LoveCDNbeef I was eager to see what fun new food science techniques he would have for me to try.  He didn’t disappoint with this recipe that is wonderful to eat and fun to make without being labour-intensive.

Chef John Placko's 48-hour Bavette w/ Parsley Gel Mash, Seared Asparagus & Spicy Crisp Onion Strings

I got to do some sous vide (long-slow boil-in-a-bag), gelification (changing liquid into solid, bouncy jiggly solids), as well as doing some mashing  (great for getting frustration out) and deep-frying (just damned tasty).

Of course, when I initially read the recipe and saw 48-hour sous vide I couldn’t stop laughing imagining how exactly I was going to do that without a sous vide machine that keeps your temperature perfectly controlled.  I wrote John back immediately, after I stopped laughing, and asked if I could add a new first step to the recipe: “1. borrow a sous vide machine”.

Luckily John had an extra Sous Vide Supreme, a home sous vide machine, for me to borrow and the kind folks at Nella Cucina coordinated a hand-off.

Sous Vide Supreme

The whole experience had an edge of a 007 adventure in high tech cooking gear.  Especially when I had to head back into get my meat sealed.
Vacuum Sealing

This was my first experience doing sous vide at home. As I mentioned before, sous vide is essentially a high class boil-in-the-bag.  (pronounced – Sue Veed) But you don’t really boil it. You bring the water to a controlled temperature, add the vacuumed-sealed bag of meat  (doesn’t have to be meat, eggs are great this way too and don’t need the bag) and keep it there.  The entire piece of meat will slowly be cooked to the exact temperature you want.  It makes for an incredibly tender piece of meat and can create perfectly cooked steaks through-out.

When I started tweeting about a 48-hour sous vide I immediately got comments raising concerns about the flavour of plastic and the risk of cooking in plastic.  I’ve had sous vide meat before with no flavour issues, but I was a little concerned about the quality of vacuum seal bag I was using. I asked John if he could address this and responded with:

Are plastic bags safe for sous-vide cooking?

I had concerns about the plastic we were using so again the folks at Nella Cucina came to my rescue. They’ve got good food grade sous vide bags available.

Patrick Helping Marinade
Here is Patrick making sure my marinate is evenly distributed in and around my steaks before we vacuum seal the bags.

I was also excited about making a parsley gel. This wasn’t all that new to me since I remember using agar agar in high school biology classes and love the idea that I get to make food for me with it finally.  The parsley gel is incorporated into the mashed potatoes for a really interesting side.

Cooking Chef John Placko's 48-Hour Sous Vide Beef

And the onion straws have become a regular treat around here.
Spicy Crisp onion strings

All together the dish is fantastic. Something I’d be happy to serve guests or just invest some time in for a nice meal for us.

Okay, enough talking, there’s a 48-hour bavette to get going.

A couple of quick notes before you get into the recipe:

  • This recipe take patience and the right tools.
  • Because of timing I had to throw our steak in the freezer before I got it vacuum sealed with the marinate.  Make sure it is completely thawed before starting the sous vide process.
  • Make extra. This dish is tasty and you will want extras
  • I would season the steak before grilling it.  I found ours needed a bit more salt than the marinate gave it.
  • I didn’t strain my parsley juice.  It made for weird fibrous gel. It still worked, but it was weird. Make sure you strain yours.

48-hour bavette with parsley gel mash, seared asparagus and spicy crisp onion strings

Vacuum-sealed Bavette

  • 450 gr bavette

John’s came from Black Angus meats. AAA Angus, Ontario.  (And since he mentioned it, mine came from West Gray Farms via Sanagan’s.)


  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 1/4 tsp back pepper

Mix together the marinade ingredients, brush all over the beef and vacuum seal.
Cook in a sous vide water bath at 55 degrees C for 48 hours.

Drain liquid from the bag and strain through a fine strainer for keep for plating.
Take the beef bavette and lightly oil the beef.
Now sear on a hot BBQ grill on both sides.
Slice thinly for plating.

Parsley mash

Cooking Chef John Placko's 48-Hour Sous Vide Beef

  • 2 potatoes (450 gr) – peeled, washed and diced.

Cook potatoes in salted water and place them through a ricer to obtain a smooth mash.

Fold in 1/4 cup of potato water and 1/4 cup of sour cream. Season with salt and pepper.

Fold in small dice of parsley gel (recipe below).

Parsley Juice

  • ½ Bunch parsley
  • 100 mL Water
  • 2g Salt

Purée parsley with water. Strain to make 100 mL parsley juice.

For Parsley Gel Sheet/dice

Cooking Chef John Placko's 48-Hour Sous Vide Beef

  • 100 mL water or beef stock
  • 2g Agar
  • 100 mL Parsley juice (above)

Add agar to water and bring to the boil while stirring with a whisk.

Simmer for 2 minutes.

Add parsley juice, stir to mix well.

Remove from the heat and pour into a small tray (6 x 9 inch).

Leave at room temperature as it will set within 5-10 minutes.

Spicy crisp onion strings

Spicy Crisp onion strings

  • 1 onion (1 gr) – sliced finely
  • 3 tbps buttermilk
  • 1 tbps Franks red hot sauce

Mix onions with buttermilk and hot sauce. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes.

Drain off lquid and toss the onion strings into seasoned flour and deep fry for 1 minute until crispy and golden brown.

Place onto paper towel to take away excess oil.

Grilled asparagus

Seared Asparagus

  • 1 bunch asparagus

Wash asparagus and cut off tough part of the stalk.

Toss in olive oil seasoned with salt and pepper.

Grill on open grill until seared and knife tip goes into the stalk easily.

Plating the dish.

Place down a big scoop of parsley gel mash. Top with asparagus, slices of sous vide beef bavette and top with crispy spiced onion strings.

Pour strained cooking liquid from the beef around the mash.

Chef John Placko's 48-hour Bavette w/ Parsley Gel Mash, Seared Asparagus & Spicy Crisp Onion Strings

Big thanks to John  and Nella Cucina for making it possible for us to make this recipe.


Slideshow of our cooking session:

Notethis post is part of my Canadian Beef Brand Ambassador series.  For more information on my relationship with Canada Beef Inc read about my Foodie Adventure: I’m a Canadian Beef Brand Ambassador. #LoveCdnBeefand my disclosure statement

Alexa Clark

Alexa is a digital marketer and author with over 20 years in digital & interactive communications in the food and tech industries. Alexa's CheapEats Restaurant Guides, for both Toronto & Ottawa, were Canadian best sellers. She is a recognized authority on social media and has been named one of Canada's 20 Leading Women in Social Media.

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