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Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment (Part 5)

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I'm sure that buried deep within these pages there is a bitchin' recipe for artichoke, but I can't seem to find it. does anyone have suggestions? time? temp? olive oil in the bag? I know TK does artichokes but I haven't gotten around to shelling out the $75 for Under Pressure yet (It's on my list) any ideas would be cool, thanks

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I've never cooked meat for 76 hours but have done many a brisket and short rib for 48 hours. I have never had an off flavor -- but I haven't used garlic salt either. Raw garlic can lend an off-taste. I would think that garlic salt would be ok but that could be the culprit.

The other possibility is that the meat itself had some off-flavors to start off with. Did you notice anything before you put it in the bag?

For future reference, if your dinner plans change like that in the future, take the meat out of the bath after 48 hours and chill in an ice bath and store in the fridge or the freezer (see Doug Baldwin's pages for guidelines about storage) and then put the meat back in the bath an or or two before you will be serving it to bring it up to temp.

Decent quality, well-trimmed short ribs cooked at 133 for 48 hours should taste like a nice roast beef with no off-flavors at all.

Well I did my first long cook SV this weekend and ate the dish last night. Was extremely disappointed with results. I'm sure some of it is down to my technique.

.....

I cooked short ribs at 55.4C (131.8F) for about 76 hours, followed by a few minutes per side in hot skillet. (Originally planned them to be on for about 48 hours, but dinner plans changed on Sunday). All I used was S&P and a bit of garlic salt.

Colour was fantastic: perfect medium rare and texture was pretty good (when I could find meat).

The taste and smell however were somewhat odd/unpleasant.

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I also had an off flavour when I cooked something for a long time. I think it was due to my plastic bag. Make sure if you cook for a long time that you have boil safe bags. I only made this mistake once and have not had problems since.

2 day chuck is amazing, it's how I sold my wife on all this.

I cooked 36 hours then froze it. Out of the freezer and ready at the same time as my sides-a med-rare steak that cost $3! That should convince anyone.

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I've tried 48 hr. short ribs a few times now.  The first time with just basic seasoning, S&P.  Results were OK, and everyone enjoyed them, but I thought they could be better.  Next time I used a store-bought beef marinade (Stubbs) and I thought they were excellent, much improved from the first batch.

Thanks for reply bob

What temp did you do them at and how do you finish them? How much of the fat did you remove before you bagged them?

I wish I'd taken photos of them. Maybe it was just a bad batch: there seemed to be so little meat on them. My wife actually asked if they were pork (because the flavor was so odd)!


Edited by mark_anderson_us (log)

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For future reference, if your dinner plans change like that in the future, take the meat out of the bath after 48 hours and chill in an ice bath and store in the fridge or the freezer (see Doug Baldwin's pages for guidelines about storage) and then put the meat back in the bath an or or two before you will be serving it to bring it up to temp.

Thanks for reply e_monster.

I didn't notice any strange smell before bagging. Never occurred to me to take them out for 24 hours, but I was curious to see how they would be after 72.

Regards

Mark

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I also had an off flavour when I cooked something for a long time.  I think it was due to my plastic bag.  Make sure if you cook for a long time that you have boil safe bags.  I only made this mistake once and have not had problems since.

Thanks for reply howsmatt

I'm using foodsaver rolls, so these should be OK. I;ve stred, but never cooked, food in them before. Maybe I'll try the chuck this weekend in some beef bourgignon

Regards

Mark

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Baby Back Pork Ribs

Has anyone tried them? I have some in the bath now at 135 with some 5 spice, garlic and ginger. I was planning on 24 hours, but I could go 48. I was thinking I'd take the juice from the bag, add honey, reduce to a glaze, brush it on the ribs and blow torch them to make a bark. What has been your experiences with this cut of meat?

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I have not done ribs but I have done meats with garlic and ginger and my main advice here is to use way less then you think, the flavors an become incredible strong over a long cook time in the bag. good luck and let us know how it works out.

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Thanks for reply bob

What temp did you do them at and how do you finish them? How much of the fat did you remove before you bagged them?

I wish I'd taken photos of them. Maybe it was just a bad batch: there seemed to be so little meat on them. My wife actually asked if they were pork (because the flavor was so odd)!

Mark,

I do short ribs at 135F for 48 hrs. I might try 131F sometime, but some of my friends don't like their meat too pink. Out of the bag into a Hot cast iron skillet with canola oil. First time I dropped a chuck roast into the skillet, it was way too hot! Sent up a huge cloud of smoke that my crappy little exhaust hood couldn't handle. I've learned to tone it down a little using the skillet indoors.

I only had to do very minimal trimming on the short ribs. They were already trimmed up nicely at the butcher shop.

Bob

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Enter "baby back" in the search topic box towards the bottom of the page and you will find several posts about this. Short version, I smoke them for 15 minutes in a stovetop smoker and cook at 170F for 5 to 6 hours and then brown with a propane blow torch. They are falling off the bone tender.

I don't think that I would cook them at a much lower temp since the fat won't do much rendering and (at least for me) a big part of the rib experience is contribute by the melted fat. And at that temp, I wouldn't cook much longer than 6 hours.

Baby Back Pork Ribs

Has anyone tried them?  I have some in the bath now at 135 with some 5 spice, garlic and ginger. I was planning on 24 hours, but I could go 48. I was thinking I'd take the juice from the bag, add honey, reduce to a glaze, brush it on the ribs and blow torch them to make a bark. What has been your experiences with this cut of meat?

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Hey sous vidies,

Thanks for all the amazing info. Plowing my way through the thread got me excited enough about trying sous vide at home to order up an Auber PID and a tabletop food warmer. Thought you might enjoy hearing the story of my first trip out.

I was cooking a big dinner party and had planned on serving hot spring eggs and SV black cod. I'd tested both in the weeks before the party and loved the results--I was sure guests were going to be into it.

Unfortunately, the morning of the party I took off a chunk of my thumb with the mandoline, so I spent the rest of the day behind on my work, dropping stuff because of my slippery glove, etc. When I got the water bath up and running, it was way later in the day than I'd planned and *could not* get the temp to stabilize. It just kept shooting way, way up--like 20 degrees C over what I'd set. I spent the night manually turning the food warmer on and off to keep the temperature somewhere near the goal zone, dumping in ice cubes and just generally being pissed at the whole thing.

Everything turned out okay, but the fish was way hotter than I wanted it to be. As I lay in bed that night mentally going over the entire day, a little light bulb illuminated: in my rush to get things hooked up, I'd plugged the PID into the wall then plugged the warmer into...the wall. Oops. That's one fancy thermometer.

The moral of the story is that no amount of technology can fix stupid. Next time I will make sure to make myself a little "Pants first, then shoes"-esque sign. Sheesh.

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It sounds like a nightmare. For fish like cod or salmon try olive oil poach at 60 deg for 15 minutes. It is my favorite way of cooking fish. I like it more than SV in bag.

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Anyone catch the final of Top Chef tonight? One of the finalist let her sous chef talk her into a sous vide NY strip even though she had no experience with it. The meat was judged to be tough. No particulars as to timing and technique. Did see them Food Saver bagging the meat but no water bath or temp controlling equipment was shown. They were cooking at Commander's in New Orleans.

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That is odd, i mean usually with a tender cut like ny strip you just have to get it up to temp, sear it and it is golden, I have cooked these loads of time doing the minimum time from Douglas' site and have never experienced this, I wonder what went wrong...

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Actually, the cut of beef used by contestant Carla was referred to as sirloin and the resulting texture was deemed tough by the judges. She and her sous chef had a three hour time limit. Is that not long enough to properly cook sirloin via the sous vide method or is that method inadvisable with that cut of meat? I know nothing about sous vide but marvel a the glorious food you are all able to prepare with this technique. Just awful that her sous chef would suggest a method of cooking she herself obviously didn't know how to do properly.


Edited by divalasvegas (log)

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If sirloin were indeed the cut then that would be a little more problematic and could explain the toughness. I don't think sirloin is a cut that is ideal for sous vide. Kind of a tweener. Not the tender cut that you nail at 131 in an hour and a half or the tough or the flavorful cuts like short rib that you cook for ever.

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Sirloin can be tough. 3 hours is pretty marginal timing, particularly if it was thick.

That said, there is no cooking techique that could render it tender in that timeframe unless you cook it to death, which of course you could do with sous vide also.

If I had to cook sirloin that might be tough in 3 hours, I would still use sous vide. If possible I would jaccard it. I would make sure that it was not too thick (cutting it if need be) and then cook it at 125F/51C to 130F/54C, then sear.

The key however is to plate it thinly sliced and fanned out. Or thin sliced as part of a dish like fajitas, thai beef salad etc.

Regardless of whether you cook it sous vide, or cook it any other way, you aren't going to tenderize it in that time frame without overcooking it. So you need to deal with the toughness mechanically. Thin slicing and jaccard are about the only way to "tenderize" it in that time frame.

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It just seems crazy that she would pick sirloin as a "meat and potato" meal for all of the money. They showed her butchering the large primal cut and it looked (albeit on a real fast cut) like a portion with some rib in it. Not the sirloin. As Nathan says the three hour window doesn't allow for an easy way to pull it off either sous vide or conventional. Her only hope was to cook it conventionally and then slice it thinly and hope for the best. She from the pictures served in a large piece of meat. She had a free rein with product, nail a two hour strip that we all know and love. I hope this doesn't mean that the public become disenchanted with sous vide.

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Baby Back Ribs Results

I rubbed the ribs with a paste of garlic, ginger and salt then sprinkled Chinese 5 spice powder on top. Then I vacuum packed them and cooked SV for 24 hours.

First surprise was that they lost a huge amount of liquid which worried me. I tasted ate one straight from the bath and was surprised by how nice the texture was. They were soft but not mushy. Perfect texture. The taste was very subtle... actually they were bland and that disappointed me.

So I took the juice from the bags, added honey, barley malt syrup, soy sauce, black vinegar and some dried thai chilis and reduced it to a glaze. Then I brushed the glaze on the ribs and cooked it on with a torch.

The result was an intensely delicious, sweet, spicy porky bark on perfectly cooked soft pork meat that lacked flavor. The fat didn't render out, but since I used very high quality meat there were no bothersome stripes of fat.

They were good, but not nearly as good as smoked ribs. I'm going to try it again but next time I'm going to marinate them for several days to see if I can up the flavor quotient.

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It just seems crazy that she would pick sirloin as a "meat and potato" meal for all of the money.  They showed her butchering the large primal cut and it looked (albeit on a real fast cut) like a portion with some rib in it.  Not the sirloin. 

It looked like NY Strip to me and that is how the Bravo Recipe page identifies the steak.

I did a google search and the recaps I found which mention the cut of meat Carla used all stated it was NY Strip.

The recipe for the steak on the Bravo recipe page omits the Sous Vide cooking.

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I feel that marinading for a long time is not the answer as it (in my opinion) hurts the texture. If you like smoke ribs, there are a few things. Even just 15 minutes in a stovetop smoker will imparts a fair amount of smoky flavor. I would rub 'em with your favorite rub -- rather than fresh garlic and ginger I would use garlic powder and ginger powder. I find that fresh garlic and ginger SV don't work great.

If you don't want to hassle with pre-smoking, 1/2 cap of liquid smoke works wonders. I sometimes cook ribs in with some marinade in the bag that is made up of equal parts cider vinegar, soy sauce with a little sugar and olive oil thrown in.

I also think that the mouth-feel is better at 170F for 6 hrs versus 24 hours at something like 135. I think the rendered pork fat is an important flavor component in addition to how it feels in the mouth.

Anyway, that is my take.

Baby Back Ribs Results

I rubbed the ribs with a paste of garlic, ginger and salt then sprinkled Chinese 5 spice powder on top. Then I vacuum packed them and cooked SV for 24 hours.

First surprise was that they lost a huge amount of liquid which worried me. I tasted ate one straight from the bath and was surprised by how nice the texture was. They were soft but not mushy. Perfect texture. The taste was very subtle... actually they were bland and that disappointed me.

So I took the juice from the bags, added honey, barley malt syrup, soy sauce, black vinegar and some dried thai chilis and reduced it to a glaze. Then I brushed the glaze on the ribs and cooked it on with a torch.

The result was an intensely delicious, sweet, spicy porky bark on perfectly cooked soft pork meat that lacked flavor. The fat didn't render out, but since I used very high quality meat there were no bothersome stripes of fat.

They were good, but not nearly as good as smoked ribs. I'm going to try it again but next time I'm going to marinate them for several days to see if I can up the flavor quotient.

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Well I did my second SV experiment yesterday. A Chicken breast and a couple of tenders with just S&P. 1.5 hours at 60-degrees.

Came out deliciously juicy. Somewhat bland as they were just some purdue ones that were in fridge and needed to be eaten. I may drop it a couple of degrees next time.

Pepper was pretty coarsley grated, so got big mouthfuls of pepper when I encountered it. need to use a fins grate next time. it also looked like it had "burned" into the breast.

Looking forward to getting some decent chicken this weekend and adding more ingredients to the bag.

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Baby Back Ribs Results

I rubbed the ribs with a paste of garlic, ginger and salt then sprinkled Chinese 5 spice powder on top. Then I vacuum packed them and cooked SV for 24 hours.

First surprise was that they lost a huge amount of liquid which worried me. I tasted ate one straight from the bath and was surprised by how nice the texture was. They were soft but not mushy. Perfect texture. The taste was very subtle... actually they were bland and that disappointed me.

So I took the juice from the bags, added honey, barley malt syrup, soy sauce, black vinegar and some dried thai chilis and reduced it to a glaze. Then I brushed the glaze on the ribs and cooked it on with a torch.

The result was an intensely delicious, sweet, spicy porky bark on perfectly cooked soft pork meat that lacked flavor. The fat didn't render out, but since I used very high quality meat there were no bothersome stripes of fat.

They were good, but not nearly as good as smoked ribs. I'm going to try it again but next time I'm going to marinate them for several days to see if I can up the flavor quotient.

I live in the South, so BBQ and especially ribs are a pretty big deal down here (there are two sole food restaurants within a mile of my house) so I have spent the last two weeks trying different approaches to get some good sous vide pork ribs and here is what I have come up with so far: Cooking ribs in a water bath has a couple of problems if you use fatty ribs, like spare ribs. First, even though the meat is fall apart tender, the fat does not render sufficiently and you end up with fat and meat that almost share the same constancy. Second, if you put a rub on your ribs, it tends to get washed away from all the juices in the bag. Third, no smoke flavor! So here are some things I have tried, and had some success with. Let me start by saying, I'm not claiming this to be the ultimate rib recipe, just a work in progress.

First I cut the ribs into groups of four-five, then submerge in brine (10% salt) for six hours. The ribs are patted dry and a rub is applied (I use the one from CIA Pro Chef) I then smoke them with apple wood chips in a smoker box @ 225F for one hour, after smoking they go on a low temp grill (350F) for ten minutes. At this point a lot of the fat has rendered, but there's plenty left to keep them tender in the bag. The ribs are then chilled to room temp and bagged. From there I have cooked them at several different times and temperatures and found what works best for me is 24 hours @ 141F

The result is a rib not quite as tender as one cooked en sous vide from the get go, but still tender, the rub is crusted to the rib from the grill, and they are deliciously smoky.


Edited by photon (log)

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If the fat doesn't render, it is because you are sous-vid'ing at too low a temp. Have you tried temps over 167F? If you cook them at 170F, the fat will render. If you cooked at high-heat long enough to render out the fat of spare ribs you are also missing out on some of the advantages of sous vide because the proteins have probably been pretty well cooked too. I think you will find that if you smoke the ribs for 15 minutes to 30 minutes at lower temp and then bag them put em in the bath at 170F or so that you will get tender ribs and rendered fat. For spare ribs it might take longer than the 6 hours I use for baby backs. And the liquid in the bag will turn the rub into a marinade.

When you take them out of the bag, blasting with a blowtorch or putting 'em under the broiler will give a nice crust and carmelize the sugars from the rub.

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Does anyone know where to get small/mixed quantity of vac bags (3mm) for sous vide and freezer storage?

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