All posts filed under: Sous vide

Sous Vide Duck Two Ways – Duck Breast and Duck Leg Confit

Cooking duck is a trade off. Duck breast is a tender red meat, and I want it cooked to a rosy pink medium. Duck legs are full of tough connective tissue, and should be cooked past well done, until they are tender and shreddable. This is impossible on a whole duck. When I roast a duck, I aim to cook the legs and crisp up the skin, and live with overcooked breast. This results in a good duck – the duck fat keeps he duck breast moist, even if it is overcooked. But when I want duck perfection, I break the duck down and cook the legs separately from the breast. That lets me cook each properly – long, low and slow for the legs; a quick saute for the breast. Can I use Sous Vide cooking to improve on perfection? Of course, or we wouldn’t be talking right now. I start with the legs, cooking them confit style, with an overnight salting and ten hours in the water bath to tenderize. Then I drop …

Grilled Sous Vide Filet Mignon with Parmesan Gremolata

I’m falling in love with sous vide all over again. Not because it cooks meat so well (and it does), but because it’s so convenient. I used to wonder why people would buy large sides of meat and freeze them. Now I have a stack of filet mignons and New York strips in my freezer. Whenever I feel the need for some beef, I pull out a vacuum bag, drop it in the water bath, and my steak is medium-rare and ready to sear an hour and a half later. I have two water baths now, so I can cook at two different temperatures at once – another advantage to sous vide. For Mother’s day, half the crowd wanted medium-rare (yay!) and half the crowd wanted medium (meh). Accommodating both requests was easy. Filet mignon, even cooked sous vide to an exact medium-rare, is…well…kinda boring. Sure, it’s tender, and beefy, but it doesn’t have much going on beyond that. I topped mine with a flavor-packed gremolata, made with parsley, lemon zest, Parmesan, garlic, and a …

Sous Vide Rack of Lamb with Dijon Bread Crumb Crust

I love the way sous vide cooks meat to medium-rare. If I want to cook to a warm pink interior, sous vide is now my default technique. This is a big deal for me; a few years ago, I thought of sous vide as crazy molecular gastronomy, something a mad scientist chef would use. It was out of the range of home chefs, even ones as adventurous as me. At the same time, I would sit over my grill, watching, poking, taking temperatures, and hoping that I wasn’t overcooking my steaks. My mom wants her meat cooked rare. Someone described it as: “if the steak gets immediate medical attention, we can save it.” That’s how my mom wants it cooked. It hurts when I cook her a steak…and she cuts into it, and it is more pink than red (or, even worse, more gray than pink). She puts on a brave face on, and acts like it’s OK…but I know, oh yes, I know. How things have changed in those few short years. Thanks to …

Sous Vide Pork Shoulder Steaks with Purple Cabbage Slaw

Pork shoulder is one of my favorite cuts of meat. Cook it long enough and it turns into tender, juicy shreds of pork. So, how about 24 hours? Is that cooking it long enough? That’s the beauty of Sous Vide. It takes low and slow to its logical conclusion. I bought a pair of frozen pork shoulder steaks at the farmers market…last summer. They’ve been in the freezer ever since. Shame on me for forgetting them, but when I uncovered them, I realized they were perfect for sous vide. The only downside to Sous Vide cooking is it takes planning ahead…a day ahead. While the kids were cleaning up Wednesday night dinner, I started to work for Thursday. Not that it was much work – I cut the frozen pork steaks out of their bags, sprinkled them with salt and pepper, and re-sealed them in new vacuum bags. (The kids enjoy watching the vacuum sealer at work.) The bags went in my Sous Vide Supreme, the kids finished the dishes, and we all went about …

Sous Vide Chicken Thighs with Garlic and Herb Pan Sauce

Famous chefs use Modernist Cuisine to make the perfect meal. Me? I use it to get dinner on the table in ten minutes. A month ago, chicken legs were on sale. I bought five pounds worth, separated them into thighs and drumsticks, seasoned them, sealed them in vacuum bags, and stacked the bags in the freezer. They sit, waiting for me to need a quick dinner – like I did today. Before I left the house this morning, I filled my SousVide Supreme with water, set it for 80°C (176°F), and dropped in one of the bags of frozen chicken thighs. Eight hours later I come home. Dinner time! The chicken is cooked, but the skin is pale and flabby. I sear the chicken, skin side down, for three minutes, and then make a pan sauce with a half cup of rosé, herb sprigs, and the chicken juices from the vacuum bag. Look at that – weeknight sous vide. Ten minutes of active time and I’m ready to serve chicken, with crackling crisp skin, perfectly …

Sous Vide Grilled Sirloin with Tex-Mex Rub (from the freezer)

Molecular Gastronomy for a time pressed home cook? Absolutely. When I did my sous vide testing earlier in the year, one of the questions in the back of my head was “when will I have the time to use this?” The meat was perfect, but the one hour cooking time? Most of my cooking is done on weeknights, trying to get dinner on the table while chaos erupts around me…ahem, sorry. I meant to say while my angelic kids sit quietly at the table doing their homework. How could I work in the hour long sous vide process? It turns out the answer is in the vacuum sealing – just freeze it. Sous vide cooking is now in my weeknight rotation, because I can do all the work ahead of time. I buy steaks and chops in bulk, season them, vacuum seal them, and put them in the freezer. Then…they wait. Later that week, I need a quick dinner. As soon as I walk through the door I pull a bag out of the freezer …

Grilled Sous Vide Filet Mignon with Sous Vide Egg and Fresh Herb Salad

I didn’t win the Sous Vide BBQ contest – bummer – but they said I can keep the SousVide Supreme if I send them $100, or write four more sous vide recipes over the next six months. Guess which one the cheapskate chose… [This] is the stance of a man I met in eastern Africa. He was a reedy, white-blond Berliner named Gregor. Gregor had spent five years driving trucks up and down the coast from Mombasa to Capetown. He had seen a lot of backcountry meals over that time, and whenever he was served one, he reacted in one of two ways. If the plate of food he was handed included an egg, he would look happy and eat. If it didn’t, he’d look mournfully up at whoever had delivered it and ask, always as though for the first time: “What about egg?” Tamar Adler, An Everlasting Meal Put an egg on top is my new motto. I’m home alone this week, cooking for one. I also had some important stuff to do (hey, …

Sous Vide Grilled Lamb T-Bones with Provencal Tian

  Shameless plug alert: This recipe is my entry in the SousVide Supreme Summer Blogger BBQ Challenge. Please go vote for me – if I win the fan favorite voting, I get to keep the SousVide Supreme. Otherwise, I’ll have to send it back, and I’ll be sad to see it go. There’s something in it for you, too, (beyond not listening to me whine: “I could have been a contender.”) If you vote, you’re entered in a drawing for a $200 gift certificate from SousVide Supreme. So, get over there and vote! …UPDATE: Whoops. They linked to my 48 hour short ribs recipe, not this one. My fault, and they’re trying to fix it. Until they do, please vote for my 48 hour short ribs. Thanks!Lamb on the grill takes me back to Provence. I spent a week, taking cooking classes and exploring hill towns, the rolling vineyards, the heat of a Provencal summer… …oh, wait, my memory’s getting carried away. I was there in March. A chilly wind was blowing, and I spent …

Sous Vide Grilled Top Sirloin Sandwiches

…Trying to explain Sous Vide cooking to my mom… DadCooksDinner: I vacuum seal the steaks in a plastic bag, and put them in a water bath at the exact finishing temperature we want. Mom: You’re boiling the steak? But I want it rare! DadCooksDinner: The water is set for rare. It takes a few hours to get there, but the steak will never go past that temperature, so it won’t go past rare. Mom: I don’t get this. At all. DadCooksDinner: It’s been cooking since we got here . Now I take it out of the bag, pat it dry, sear it on the grill, and serve it up. [DadCooksDinner Sears the steaks. Mom keeps peeking over his shoulder.] Mom: This will never work… DadCooksDinner: Mom, I’ve done this for you before, with a beer cooler. You loved it. Mom: You did? I don’t remember that. Be careful with those steaks, now, don’t overcook them. [DadCooksDinner Steaks are done. Starts slicing.] Mom: [Gasps] Those are perfect! Can I have a piece…just to check? DadCooksDinner: Of course, …

48 Hour Sous Vide Grilled Short Ribs (with Sous Vide Q&A)

In the back of my mind, I was worried. I was having fun with my Sous Vide experiments, playing with different temperatures and vacuum sealers – but I didn’t know if any of my readers were interested. Boy, was I wrong – those posts generated a bunch of questions.*Shameless plug: voting opens for the SousVide Supreme Summer BBQ Contest next week. I’ll be begging asking for your vote.** If I am boring you with all this Sous Vide cooking, I apologize. I’m having fun. I have a couple more recipes ready to post, so hang in there – I’ll have some non-sous-vide posts soon. What does a cross section of 140°F Sous Vide chicken look like? Like this: Bone in, skin on chicken breast cooked for two hours at 140°F, and seared for 4 minutes over high heat on the grill, flipped and brushed with barbecue sauce every minute while searing. Why use the grill? Why not sear in a pan? Don’t want to lose that perfectly cooked interior… Sure, a ripping hot pan will …

Sous Vide Grilled Chicken Breasts With Japanese Glaze and Dipping Sauce

140°F chicken? This is madness! Juicy, juicy madness… Heston Blumenthal’s 140°F sous vide chicken was high on my “sous vide must be magic” list. Now, I know it’s safe – the USDA says that Chicken is safe to eat after 15 minutes at 140°F, and with a sous vide water bath, I can keep it there for hours. USDA’s 165°F recommendation, the one you always hear for poultry, kills salmonella after 15 seconds. Why 140°F? It cooks the chicken to medium – cooked all the way through, not looking pink and underdone – and the temperature is low enough to keep the chicken juices in the meat. These breasts are the exact opposite of overcooked, dry as dust white meat. They’re moist, and tender enough to cut with a butter knife. But don’t use a butter knife – it can cut the meat, but the skin is too tough. The downside to sous vide is no browning. A quick sear on the grill takes care of that.Sure, I can use a frypan to sear the …

Sous Vide Grilled New York Strip Steaks with Herbs (and first impressions of the SousVide Supreme Demi)

The Sous Vide Supreme folks asked me to be part of their Sous Vide BBQ recipe contest. My thoughts were: There’s no way I’ll win. My recipes are too basic for a cooking competition. Wait, they’ll loan me a SousVide Supreme and a vacuum sealer for a month? Yes! I’m in! I’ll be shamelessly asking for your vote on June 25th. You’re all willing to stuff the ballot box for me, right? Um…right? Anyone? Mom? I enjoy my Bubba Sous Vide experiments, but a beer cooler full of water is a hassle, and doesn’t have the precise temperature control of a true sous vide water bath. And there are so many Sous Vide recipes I want to try: Momofuku 60°C (140°F) eggs [fitbomb.com] Thomas Keller’s 72 hour short ribs [ruhlman.com] Heston Blumenthal’s 140°F chicken [seriouseats.com] Kenji Alt’s 130°F steak [seriouseats.com] Modernist Cuisine at Home – almost every chapter has sous vide in it UPS (aka The Big Brown Truck of Joy) dropped off the SousVide Supreme Demi last night. It’s 24 hours later. I’m sous …

Beer Cooler Sous Vide Salmon with Fennel Salad

I saw this video of Nathan Myhrvold and Melissa Clark making sous vide salmon, and I knew what I was making for dinner. Beer Cooler Salmon, here I come! *Someday I’ll get my own copy of Modernist Cuisine…someday… In the original, Mr. Myhrvold didn’t even bother with a beer cooler. He uses a regular pot and adds hot water to keep the temperature at 116*F as necessary. I went with my beer cooler because (1) I’m used to it, and (2) my wife told me she was going to be late getting home, and I had to hold the salmon for an hour and a half instead of the suggested 30 minutes. The cooler’s insulation kept the water exactly where I needed it. Grilling cooked salmon is delicate work – it wants to flake apart. Be gentle, and assume at least one filet will have a big wedge of salmon slide loose. Another key to this recipe is a diligently cleaned grill. Brush the grates until all the carbonized remains are gone, and all that is left is the …

Beer Cooler Sous Vide Grilled New York Strip Steaks

*Or, as I like to call it, Bubba Sous Vide. I’ve been reading about the magic of sous vide cooking for a while now. Chefs have been using the technique for years; it lets them cook food to a very specific level of doneness, using a water bath with an immersion circulator. If they want a steak cooked to perfect medium-rare, 128*F, they set the immersion circulator to 128*F, seal the steak in a vacuum bag, and put it in the water bath. The steak cooks all the way through to the temperature of the water, and stays at that temperature for as long as it is in the water. When the chef is ready to cook, they unseal the bag, sear the steak, and serve it. Voila – perfect medium rare from edge to edge. Immersion circulators aren’t cheap; professional models are out of the price range of home cooks. (Or at least this home cook.) Sous Vide Supreme came out with a model for home cooks last year – it is tempting, but at $500, …