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Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine at Home" (Part 1)


Chris Hennes
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Hi all,

I am very happy to have found this forum.

I recently purchase the book MC@H and yesterday I tried the Turkey leg confit at 140F (60c) for 24hrs. I buy mostly all my meat from a local organic farm and he said he only as a new bread and it is wild turkey the color of the legs were very brownish kind of like duck. The were smaller About 800g total, so instead of using 40g of salts I used 30g and 3g of sugar.

The result was way too salty and the meat wasn’t tender at all, even hard to cut with a knife. I have done the regular confit with duck in the oven and it was very tender so I was very disappointed to finally open the sous vide bag and see the result after 24hrs.

I only put the duck fat on one side of the bag, maybe I should have rubbed it all over the legs beforehand. I packed both legs in one bag.

Was the meat suppose to be tender, I heard that sous vide confit is not as tender than normal tradition.

If someone can help me, maybe I have done something wrong.

Thank you.

Patmatrix,

I think the main problem would be the kind of turkey that you are using. The salt and sugar ratio that you used is actually less than what is called for in the recipe, so that shouldn't have been a problem. It is, however, important that the salt and sugar is sprinkled evenly over the legs. And indeed, as you said, the fat does need to be evenly distributed around the meat, in the bag. But, mainly I think that your wild turkey legs have two main differences with the legs that we used for testing. First, they probably have less fat content. And second, they probably have less water content. The lack of fat and water would throw off the cure ratio and result in a dryer and tougher texture. This is because the leg is becoming, essentially, overcured. If you would like to try to make the wild turkey work, might I suggest that you decrease the cure to 800g legs :: 20g salt :: 2g sugar, and also try cooling the meat in the bag before eating it. This should keep the legs moist. Let me know if I can help you further.

Johnny

Thank you for the quick reply! I will consider what you advise for next time.

Overall is cooking confit sousvide supose to be very tender as well if done corectly?

Thank you.

Patrick Provencal

Montreal, Canada

Cooking from the Heart

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Thank you for the quick reply! I will consider what you advise for next time.

Overall is cooking confit sousvide supose to be very tender as well if done corectly?

I make SV confit duck all the time (admittedly not from the MC@H recipe) and the method you describe sounds very strange. SV for 24 hours with that much salt in the bag? Surely they mean to ask you to leave the legs in salt for a few hours, then wash it off and confit for 24 hours?

If done correctly, SV confit is a great alternative to the normal method. Much less wastage of duck fat, cleaner, and more convenient. And it tastes no different - dare I say better.

There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw
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Like Kieth, I have made SV confit (duck and turkey, probably in equal proportions) and always did the cure/rinse then SV (typically for a lot less then 24 hours). The result is a bit salty if you ate it 'plain', but is dead on if you eat it in salad, etc. It has always been extremely tender.

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Er, with all their confit recipes I'm pretty sure you do exactly what Keith describes ... which is exactly what you do for confit in general, whether it's sous vide or traditional. Cure. Rinse. Dry. Cook. Steps two and three are as important as the first and last.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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The recipe does say to seal the lot in the bag and cook. I assume that they have used some sort of equilibrium brine calculation so that it cures while cooking rather than as a separate step. The MC version is mix, seal, cook, recook, serve. If the turkey composition was different, as suggested, this would explain why it didn't work in this case.

Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Thank you for the quick reply! I will consider what you advise for next time.

Overall is cooking confit sousvide supose to be very tender as well if done corectly?

I make SV confit duck all the time (admittedly not from the MC@H recipe) and the method you describe sounds very strange. SV for 24 hours with that much salt in the bag? Surely they mean to ask you to leave the legs in salt for a few hours, then wash it off and confit for 24 hours?

If done correctly, SV confit is a great alternative to the normal method. Much less wastage of duck fat, cleaner, and more convenient. And it tastes no different - dare I say better.

The books clearly states 2 legs (2.2 pounds) sprinkle with 40g salt & 4g sugar and then in the bag and even to put the left over that did not stick, in the bag as well. Being that mine was only 800g total I have put 30g & 4g. I think the call that technique hot cure.

That is why I had to ask you guys about it, the saltiest meal I ever eat! Felt bad four hours after that, drinking litters of liquids…

Patrick Provencal

Montreal, Canada

Cooking from the Heart

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The turkey confit recipe in MCAH is not a traditional method. The cure is meant to be included in the bag and not washed off. The recipe actually states that you should keep any cure that doesn't stick to the meat, and include it in the bag. A classic confit method cures the meat before it is cooked. Our method posits that the curing can be achieved during the long cooking process, and our testing backs that up. That is also why our curing ratios are probably lower than traditional recipes.

Johnny Zhu
Research and Development Chef for Modernist Cuisine
johnny@modernistcuisine.com

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The turkey confit recipe in MCAH is not a traditional method. The cure is meant to be included in the bag and not washed off. The recipe actually states that you should keep any cure that doesn't stick to the meat, and include it in the bag. A classic confit method cures the meat before it is cooked. Our method posits that the curing can be achieved during the long cooking process, and our testing backs that up. That is also why our curing ratios are probably lower than traditional recipes.

I will do it again with a traditional bird...ty all for the input.

Patrick Provencal

Montreal, Canada

Cooking from the Heart

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What type of connector does it have?

You can do a little research on McMaster-Carr.

Its the type K/J connector. I will have looked around, but seems as I mentioned, anything that can be submersed is super $.

Type K or whatever is not a connector. At least read the wikipedia article on thermocouples first.

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Type K or whatever is not a connector. At least read the wikipedia article on thermocouples first.

Really?

http://www.onsetcomp.../adapters/smc-k

Edited by johnder (log)

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

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Thank you for the quick reply! I will consider what you advise for next time.

Overall is cooking confit sousvide supose to be very tender as well if done corectly?

I make SV confit duck all the time (admittedly not from the MC@H recipe) and the method you describe sounds very strange. SV for 24 hours with that much salt in the bag? Surely they mean to ask you to leave the legs in salt for a few hours, then wash it off and confit for 24 hours?

If done correctly, SV confit is a great alternative to the normal method. Much less wastage of duck fat, cleaner, and more convenient. And it tastes no different - dare I say better.

That's a big dare! Though I enjoy the duck confit I make sous vide, I've always felt that making it in the traditional manner offered a more distinctive, dare I say more delicious, confit.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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The books clearly states 2 legs (2.2 pounds) sprinkle with 40g salt & 4g sugar and then in the bag and even to put the left over that did not stick, in the bag as well. Being that mine was only 800g total I have put 30g & 4g. I think the call that technique hot cure.

That is why I had to ask you guys about it, the saltiest meal I ever eat! Felt bad four hours after that, drinking litters of liquids…

IMHO, the equilibrium cure in MCAH is too strong. Bear in mind that a kilo of turkey legs is only about 75% meat, so the cure is actually about 5.3%. I'd say half that is probably right. You would never cook 750 g meat with 40 g salt (or, at least, I wouldn't). That's 4 tbsp Diamond kosher salt or 2 tbsp table salt. No wonder you found the confit too salty.

I suggest you try your next round taking up Johnny's suggestion of using 20 g salt, even for conventional poultry. And that's still a cured product. IME, for an equilibrium brine without curing, you need to go down to 1.6% (or less), i.e., 12 g salt for 750 g meat (net weight). Also, at these lower concentrations, I find it works best to leave the product on the cure for two days before cooking, flipping every 12 hours to even out the salt distribution. YMMV.

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Wow!

I usually go with 1% to 1.5% salt in an equilibrium poultry brine, when using cure, about 1.8% salt.

~Martin

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Type K or whatever is not a connector. At least read the wikipedia article on thermocouples first.

Really?

http://www.onsetcomp.../adapters/smc-k

Yes.That is a subminiature connector. The only relevance it has to type K is that it is colored yellow per the ANSI standard. You still have to connect the wires with the two screws, so wouldn't you technically be able to hook up any thermocouple you please?

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Aren't the prongs on the different connectors usually shaped differently depending on type?

The style of connection is not mandated by the thermocouple type. The type is only an indication of what conductor alloys are used. You can have multiple types with the same connection.

Again, wikipedia and McMaster-Carr are very useful resources here.

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I have a batch of the sous vide buffalo wings sitting in a brine at the moment. The flavoured oil, too, which serves as the base of the mayonnaise, is ticking away on the stovetop.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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I've made the pressure-cooked crustacean butter today, but I'm unsure if everything has turned out as it should. I used raw frozen lobster heads which I blanched and cleaned (eyes, gills, organs). I melted the butter, added the baking soda and the cut up shells and cooked it for an hour on high pressure. After cooling down naturally, I opened the lid. All the remaining lobster meat is browned (obviously from the baking soda fostered Maillard reaction).

What put me off a bit is the smell, which to my nose contains a hint of ammonia (my girlfriend did not notice that, however). We both tasted a knife-tip full of the actual butter and it seems to be fine. Am I imagining things, is that smell a normal byproduct of the process or did something go wrong?

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So ...

Buffalo wings -- I liked them, yeah, the sauce was merely good. I don't think it's so much a fault with the Modernist thing as it is the genre of sauce itself. Oddly I, too, like another eGer earlier in the thread, had difficulty getting the sauce to emulsify properly. I fixed it by manually whisking the broken sauce into an extra egg yolk.

Pork chop -- Dead simple technique but good, even tho' I grilled over gas rather than coals (would you stand around outside lighting and tending to a fire on a 40C day? I think it'd actually be illegal, even). Would maybe deep fry next time I didn't have a coal fire going. I used goose fat in the bag and before grilling in place of plain oil/lard.

Eggplant parmesan -- Made a few missteps along the way. My pressure cooker seemingly didn't seal properly so I wound up with a sauce that was a bit thicker, a bit more reduced than I suspect it should've been. Oh well. And then when I went to nuke the eggplant I realised I'd run out of paper towel and, again, on a 40C day wasn't going to go running around to buy some more. Nuked it nude. The eggplant, that is. Not me. I also finished the dish in the oven, as per the suggestion of someone here. Turned out okay but, yeah, can't really judge the recipe given the changes I made were important.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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The Vichyssoise is very nice on a hot day - but it only got up to 38 C here. I didn't use the diastatic malt powder and had no complaints about the texture. Found I got more juice out of the leeks by squeezing the pulp in my hands. The leeks were a bit more than my rice cooker SV coud handle easily.

I found that the steamer basket for my pressure cooker was the perfect size to fit above the bags in the rice cooker and, filled with a few rocks, kept them submerged.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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My so...

Pistachio gelato - I made my own pistachio butter. The gelato came out way too salty and was hard. Next time I will try to reduce the salt and use invert sugar to replace some of the sugar. If this doesnt work I will try a stabiliser (not sure which one - any ideas?)

Risottos came out very nice as well as the squash soup (which benefitted much from small pieces of Spanish jamon inside).

The lemon posset and lemon curd were very easy and very nice.

Polenta - tried twice. Once came out horrible. Replaced the brand of polenta and came out very nice - still just polenta.

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I've made the pressure-cooked crustacean butter today, but I'm unsure if everything has turned out as it should. I used raw frozen lobster heads which I blanched and cleaned (eyes, gills, organs). I melted the butter, added the baking soda and the cut up shells and cooked it for an hour on high pressure. After cooling down naturally, I opened the lid. All the remaining lobster meat is browned (obviously from the baking soda fostered Maillard reaction).

What put me off a bit is the smell, which to my nose contains a hint of ammonia (my girlfriend did not notice that, however). We both tasted a knife-tip full of the actual butter and it seems to be fine. Am I imagining things, is that smell a normal byproduct of the process or did something go wrong?

pep.,

This is something that we have experienced during testing. Because, with the pressure cooked crustacean butter, you are creating a sealed, high-alkaline environment there will be the slight odor of ammonia when you initially open the pressure cooker. The good news is that it dissapates and will not be present in the final product.

Johnny

Johnny Zhu
Research and Development Chef for Modernist Cuisine
johnny@modernistcuisine.com

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This is something that we have experienced during testing. Because, with the pressure cooked crustacean butter, you are creating a sealed, high-alkaline environment there will be the slight odor of ammonia when you initially open the pressure cooker. The good news is that it dissapates and will not be present in the final product.

Thanks, I find that reassuring (both that I didn't imagine the smell and that it is normal result of the process). It would have been an expensive experiment otherwise (even though I only bought lobster heads for this recipe, the price was pretty outrageous - almost US$ 12 per pound.

Another question regarding this recipe: You talk about saving the "lobster jus" remaining under the butter. In my case, this is liquid is a pretty dark greyish brown from particles of Maillardized lobster meat. Is there a simple way to clarify this jus without sacrificing the flavor (as one would with an eggwhite raft)? I mean, besides the obvious centrifuge ;-)

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