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Sous Vide

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Bill Spohn

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Sous Vide

by Bill Spohn » Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:36 pm

She-who-must-be-obeyed has taken an interest in this cooking technique although the fact that she has trouble with starting the unit has her more than a bit distracted. I watch her hitting the start button multiple times in frustration without getting it started, before I (having waited for the unit to actually be ready) extend my magic finger and start it with one touch (perhaps my habit of then raising my index finger and blowing at it as if it were the gun of a sharp shooter contributes to her frustration?).

In any case she now wishes to embark on a voyage of discovery and I thought I'd ask here if anyone could point me at any sous vide recipes that they thought were particularly suited for that cooking technique for the neophyte.
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Re: Sous Vide

by John F » Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:39 pm

I was just talking with a colleague yesterday.... he has been using skis code a lot for steaks and cannot say enough good things about.... set the steak for 129..... it basically pauses there for hours if you want... he pulls it out and Sears both sides for a minute ... says it is a total game changer about not having last minute steak grilling impact your dinner delivery
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Re: Sous Vide

by Bill Spohn » Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:40 pm

John F wrote:set the steak for 129..... it basically pauses there for hours if you want... he pulls it out and Sears both sides for a minute ... says it is a total game changer about not having last minute steak grilling impact your dinner delivery


Excellent idea, thanks.
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: Sous Vide

by Jeff Grossman » Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:24 pm

Bill, I don't own a sous vide so I have no experience to offer you. The gist of what I hear from friends:
-- eggs are a good place to start, as they cook quickly, don't cost much, and everybody knows what they like (runny, not so runny, etc.) so it helps focus the cook's attention on temperature/time concerns
-- as said above, meats are one of the big wins because you can get exactly the rareness/doneness you want, just sear it off at the end to get a little char and texture
-- be careful about seasoning in the package, however: because nothing escapes during the cooking, even a little bit of herbs (e.g.) might be overpowering to taste
-- avoid foods that are already very soft, esp. fin fishes, because they remain mush without a blast of heat to firm them up

And, of course, food is always better if you toss a pat of butter on it first. :D
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Re: Sous Vide

by Bill Spohn » Sat Jan 16, 2021 8:00 pm

Agree about the butter! Intend to do some salmon and will now try a steak as well, thanks.
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Re: Sous Vide

by Christina Georgina » Sat Jan 16, 2021 8:19 pm

I have not been overwhelmed by sous vide cooking but have been gifted pheasant breasts and I think sous vide would be an ideal cooking method - retaining flavor and moisture with a brief sear for color. My only reservation is a safety concern about low temps and time for cooking- even lower than chicken. I might be tempted to pull those out since you ask.
I think Jenise has more experience with this method.
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Re: Sous Vide

by Jenise » Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:11 pm

Bill, would not personally recommend salmon or any kind of fish unless it's something like shrimp or lobster where merely being poached in butter or flavored butter is the complete cook. A piece of salmon you would normally cook for only 12 minutes at 375 and is already very tender--and would be even more so if you'd turn the temp down to 250 and cook it about five-eight minutes longer--what do you gain except going to a lot more trouble because you pre-cooked it mechanically? IMO, nothing.

What John F said about steak is exactly true. I first observed the whole thing in action while seated at the kitchen counter in a really cool restaurant in Kansas City years ago--at a point where no one I knew had a home SV unit. I could see the vat of strip steaks floating around and actually ordered one (notable because I never order steak) just to experience the SV difference. What a bonus to a professional kitchen--those steaks could float around all night then get fired a la minute when an order comes in. You might personally have some issues in that you and Suz don't like the same doneness, so hers would have to be left on the fire longer (or ideally, yours started later so that they both came off at the same time).

My favorite meat for SV is pork. You cannot get that kind of uniform moist pink medium color and tender texture any other way. It's unparallelled.
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Re: Sous Vide

by Jeff Grossman » Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:37 pm

Heh, yes, you can always tell a sous-vide steak: it's the same color from top to bottom and side to side. A steak cooked by a normal method has a progression from black to grey to pink (to red).
Last edited by Jeff Grossman on Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sous Vide

by Larry Greenly » Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:00 pm

Jeff Grossman wrote:Heh, yes, you can always tell as sous-vide steak: it's the same color from top to bottom and side to side. A steak cooked by a normal method has a progression from black to grey to pink (to red).


Sounds wonderful, but I don't have a SV. FWIW, I achieve close to the SV effect for cooking steaks by searing steak for a minute or two and then slow baking for 12-15 minutes. Med-rare pink out to the edges, just like the steak I cooked tonight.
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Re: Sous Vide

by Jenise » Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:18 pm

Jenise wrote: A piece of salmon you would normally cook for only 12 minutes at 375 and is already very tender--and would be even more so if you'd turn the temp down to 250 and cook it about five-eight minutes longer--what do you gain except going to a lot more trouble because you pre-cooked it mechanically? IMO, nothing.


I meant to add that the texture of fish others have served me that they cooked sous vide? Mush.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Sous Vide

by Dale Williams » Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:30 am

I have an Anova sous vide machine and think it’s really great for some things (and not so great for others)
Like Jenise, number one on my list would be double cut pork chops which you can cook till 140 safely and then just sear (if you consult pasteurization tables can safely cook things at lower temps than other methods.
You can do great things with duck (both breast and legs), game birds, chicken and I personally like salmon cooked to a low temp (110, just don't let it sit too long).
. It’s true that it can cook steak to a perfect temperature but I don’t always love to the texture, tend to do reverse sear instead. . It’s great however if you’re doing a pre-cook steaks to sear on the grill for a big party.
I know a lot of people who spend a lot of time with eggs to you can get some amazing textures. I was as at a party last year ( remember when we used to have parties?) and people were going crazy over an apple pie where person sousvided the apples before baking.
It's fun to experiment and see what you like and what you don't.
Besides Joule, Anova, and Chefsteps sites, Kenji/SE is a good resource,
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Re: Sous Vide

by Bill Spohn » Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:23 pm

I wanted to try it out on making a foie gras torchon - until I read this: https://ruhlman.com/how-to-make-torchon-recipe/
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Re: Sous Vide

by Dale Williams » Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:37 pm

Did you read the comments? As SV was originally developed for FG, strange. But then Ruhlman says he didn't have a vacuum seal. BTW sous vide means "under vacuum" :(
I've never tried a FG torchon either way, but maybe I should (HVFG is fairly local to me)
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Re: Sous Vide

by Bill Spohn » Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:52 pm

I did, Dale. We don't vacuum seal, hence my reticence to risk a good FG in the water bath.

OTOH, if we find ourselves doing more sous vide cooking I suppose a vacuum sealer will find its way onto the Christmas list.
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Re: Sous Vide

by Jenise » Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:41 pm

Larry Greenly wrote:
Jeff Grossman wrote:Heh, yes, you can always tell as sous-vide steak: it's the same color from top to bottom and side to side. A steak cooked by a normal method has a progression from black to grey to pink (to red).


Sounds wonderful, but I don't have a SV. FWIW, I achieve close to the SV effect for cooking steaks by searing steak for a minute or two and then slow baking for 12-15 minutes. Med-rare pink out to the edges, just like the steak I cooked tonight.


Bingo. Before sous vide I used to amaze people with my roast filet mignon--I seared the outsides, let it cool, then roasted it around 250. Always that edge-to-edge beautiful rare color that you would never get via the Betty Crocker method (as I think of all procedures taught by our parents), and better control when cooking for a dinner party where the schedule is occasionally a bit more fluid than one might prefer.

And Dale, YES. Pork responds so well. In fact, I just now prepped two thick pork chops for sous vide in separate pouches containing lime and clementine slices, rosemary sprigs, bay leaves, garlic cloves, plus fennel seed, juniper berries and whole cloves from the spice pantry. Which serves to point out to Bill the other great advantage of sous vide--the ability to infuse complex flavors into a piece of meat. The fruit will not only be a great flavor enhancement, they'll encourage better color when grilled off to finish.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Sous Vide

by Jeff Grossman » Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:16 pm

Anybody here used sous-vide to make confit?
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Re: Sous Vide

by Dale Williams » Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:25 pm

We did it, the faster method (8 hours I think). Doesn't really call for extra fat, but we threw a couple tablespoons in each bag as we had. Better than Olive oil stove method, maybe not as good texture wise as stove in duck fat,
I'd try the longer SV method next time
But amazing that didn't need lots of duck fat,.

One other thing about SV (if using Joule or Anova etc) for those of us with small kitchens- it can be anywhere with a plug, when doing a long SV in summer I've put on patio , front porch, and upstairs bedroom.

I also left off vegetables, especially carrots, as great things to do SV.
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Re: Sous Vide

by Bill Spohn » Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:33 pm

https://www.internationalsousvideday.com/

International sous vide day.

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