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Sous vide offal


asiebengartner
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I am interested in experimenting with inexpensive cuts of meat, especially offal, cooked sous vide, but I am having trouble finding information on temperatures and time. The two cuts I'd like to try first are pig's trotters and lamb neck. Any suggestions for time and temp for either one? Has anyone come across a helpful chart for cooking offal sous vide?

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I'd try 2–4 days at 130˚F (55˚C) for the lamb neck; give it a squeeze (through the pouch) once a day to judge if it's tender enough yet; I'm guessing that 3 days will give you what you want.

My Guide: A Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking, which Harold McGee described as "a wonderful contribution."

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indeed, i would also like to know, some tips for liver, kidney, sweetbread etc.

(i love the taste of liver more muscle meats). I once triend some

temps/times recommended by "Under Pressure" but i felt liver was cooked way too hot.

I also like lamb hearts and kidneys.

But those work so well on the grill so never bothered with sous vide.

And bone marrow, i use it to flavor many things, even vegetable casserolles. :)

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Thanks for the suggestions. I hope Jan's post will generate some more interest. I too would like to know about about those products.

This discussion raises a question I have had since starting to learn about sous vide: If I have two products that require several days of cooking, but each at a different temperature, is it OK to put both products in at the lower temperature and then simply raise the temp for the higher-temp product once the lower-temp product has been cooked long enough and removed from the bath? If so, how do I decide how long then to keep the higher-temp product in the bath? I would have thought that this would end up saving time, that the higher-temp product would only need to be in the bath for a relatively short period of time. Or would it really need to be held at its higher temp for the full several days of cooking?

I hope that makes sense. With one circulator, and an eagerness to use it for almost everything as I get acquainted with it, it can be frustrating to have to cook each product separately at its designated temperature. Any tips on saving a bit of time, and cooking several products at once, would be great to hear.

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Results of trotter experiment:

So, I did one whole trotter at 145° for c. 60 hours. The plan was to use the meat to make Thomas Keller's trotter dish from his Bouchon book, which involves extracting the trotter meat, making a "log" with it (+ mustard, shallots, seasoning), chilling that, then slicing the log into thick discs and frying them covered with Panko crumbs (adhered by Dijon and flour). He braises the meat.

ANYWAY: I opened the bag and, well, my girlfriend was absolutely right in describing the smell as that of a Porta-Potty. Really bad.

This was a good quality trotter from a great butcher and they had been in the refrigerator for (only?) 3 days or so before I started the cooking. Did they go off in that time? Was the smell something normal? It seemed to emanate most intensely from the skin. Did I not clean the trotter well enough? (I did blanch it in boiling water for a few minutes before cooking, as TK recommends doing in his recipe for braising them.)

The other problem, even if I'd been brave enough to eat this foot, was the amount of meat. I really had expected more. There was probably a little more than 100g of meat that I could extract. TK says he uses fresh ham hocks because of this issue.

All this having been said, the meat seemed to have reached a perfect consistency and was easy to extract while the trotter was still hot (as TK recommends doing). The fat and connective tissue had broken down nicely and the skin was easy to remove.

Any tips? Anyone else try a trotter sous vide before?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I once had a similar experience with beef cheeks. The best guess anyone could come up with was lactic acid.

I don't even know what a trotter is, so I'm not much help, but I suspect that offal is even more likely to receive poor handling that other, finer cuts, so pre-searing or briefly blanching the meat before cooking it sous vide might be a good idea.

I did cook a beef tongue a couple of days, ago, following the recipe in the Big Fat Duck cookbook for Blumenthal's "Royal Beef". Brined it for 24 hours, then cooked it sous vide for 48 hours at 65C in 500 g of water. It was great -- very tender and pink.

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Results of trotter experiment:

So, I did one whole trotter at 145° for c. 60 hours. The plan was to use the meat to make Thomas Keller's trotter dish from his Bouchon book, which involves extracting the trotter meat, making a "log" with it (+ mustard, shallots, seasoning), chilling that, then slicing the log into thick discs and frying them covered with Panko crumbs (adhered by Dijon and flour). He braises the meat.

ANYWAY: I opened the bag and, well, my girlfriend was absolutely right in describing the smell as that of a Porta-Potty. Really bad.

This was a good quality trotter from a great butcher and they had been in the refrigerator for (only?) 3 days or so before I started the cooking. Did they go off in that time? Was the smell something normal? It seemed to emanate most intensely from the skin. Did I not clean the trotter well enough? (I did blanch it in boiling water for a few minutes before cooking, as TK recommends doing in his recipe for braising them.)

The other problem, even if I'd been brave enough to eat this foot, was the amount of meat. I really had expected more. There was probably a little more than 100g of meat that I could extract. TK says he uses fresh ham hocks because of this issue.

All this having been said, the meat seemed to have reached a perfect consistency and was easy to extract while the trotter was still hot (as TK recommends doing). The fat and connective tissue had broken down nicely and the skin was easy to remove.

Any tips? Anyone else try a trotter sous vide before?

I always forllow Blumenthal's (well, it's not just his, but first time I saw it done is in the FD book when I made Beef Royal) advise to dunk any packaged meat that is going to be cooked for a long time at a relatively low temp into a pot of very hot water (around 85C) for about 2-3 minutes. This should kill any surface bacteria that might have a chance to multiply under low cooking temp over a period of a few hours before dying off.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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People suggested that I ask about beef kidney sous vide here - I usually slice 3/4" thick, flour them and cook them in a pan with garlic and salt and pepper and an herb mix, then add some water, and they frequently come out tough from overcooking.

I was thinking about doing a sous vide prep - maybe a dunk in hot water, the slicing, the flouring with wondra, maybe, a quick surface fry and then into the bag for about 8 hours. I saw one table that gave a temp of 180F for about 4 hours, and now I can't find it. I don't think I want them rare or even medium, but I don't want them cooked to toughness, a mistake I've made before when pan cooking them.


SousVideOrNotSousVide - Seller of fine Artificial Ingredients such as Lactisole through Amazon.Com....

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