I get to participate for real too now. I've done a few quick cooking items sealed in my food saver and monitored with a candy thermometer. But I finally got myself an immersion circulator so now I can join in on long cooking with precision control.
I've been searching eBay for a deal on an immersion circulator since January, and earlier this month I found a Haake DC1 that I won for just over $100. I've quickly discovered that with this unit you need a fairly deep vessel to avoid spilling water everywhere. I don't have anything deep enough on it' own, but I rigged some aluminum foil around the interior of my 8-quart stock pot and it did the trick. Does anyone have a recommendation for a large cooking vessel that doesn't take up much space when stored? I'm in a small NYC apartment.
One thing I like about the Haake circulator is that it basically stands up on its own. To make sure it didn't tip over I fastened it the the handle of the pot with some rubber bands, but it was fairly stable without it. I suppose I should buy myself a clamp to make sure the electronics never fall into the water.
I also like the digital control, but I'm not sure what all the buttons do. Nathan, are you familiar with all the functions and buttons on this unit?
Anyway, like Chris, my first trial was with Duck breast. I did two of them last night at 55.2 degrees for just over three hours. Then I put them in a pan to brown and render the skin side. I started them in the pan on a medium low heat and gradually moved the heat up to medium high for the last two minutes. The browning process had a minimal impact on the temperature of the meet. I served them with poblano peppers stuffed and roasted with rice, shallots, currants, and a little bit of chopped olives. Everything was finished with a 'vinaigrette' of wine wine vinegar, port, a splash of white wine, some of the rendered fat, and peppercorns.
Overall, the dish came out pretty well. However, I'm not convinced the sous vide process did much to enhance the meat. I think I could have gotten similar results doing the whole thing in a pan. Next time I might go at a slightly lower temperature (maybe 54.5) as I'd like it slightly more rare. But I was also hoping for the meat the come out a little more tender and I'm not sure how to help that.
Next up are the legs from said duck which are ready for a long confit.
Edited by zEli173, 16 March 2008 - 02:01 PM.