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acidfrog

Cooking beef, questions

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Does a roast sear give a different taste to a pan sear and if so is there any information on this to back that up other than opinion ?

I have come to the opinion that cooking a steak on a grill will give sub standard results is the grill pointless ?

is there any reason beyond searing that using an oven at high temperature is necessary to cook beef ?

How does braising actually effect the moisture of meat or is it just so that the sauce can be infused with the meat juices ?

when connective tissues break down to a point where the meat gives a faux type of tenderness where it is literally fall apart mostly common with slow braising or stewing is it possible to get this same effect by cooking the beef at a high temperature ?

why is that texture rarely if ever found in high dining restaurants ?

when considering sous vide is there any real reason to be using an oven to try and achieve premium quality cooked beef ?

assuming imperfection with temperature control would low and slow in an oven be better or on par than sous vide

is sous vide the best and end of, i know at FAVIKEN he only uses direct heat and never uses low temp water baths and swear by direct heat cooking but i have been unable to find any info to back him up on this so i cant really understand where he is coming from

or if he is using romantic license so to speak

can you cook your steak to the 'done-ness/texture' you want then let it cool down to room temperature or lower and then sear and raise its internal temperature to below what it was already cooked at and still have a perfect steak or does something happen in that process to dry it out or etc ?

i would hate for everything to become sous vide i guess this comes down the monopoly on trend of favored texture that runs through out fine dining

Really sorry if some of the questions don't make sense just wondering if someone can chime into a few of them and get a conversation going

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You are asking good questions. Check out the sous vide threads. eG has answers to all of these questions.

One that you don't ask is "is cooking sous vide as fun as using flames and ovens?" Short answer...no, but I would say that results trump process, and that there is still plenty of room for classic technique in non-meat food.

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i have browsed these forums for those answers but before i was a member maybe being a member gives access to more i will search now and see what i can fidn but i did dump these heard because of finding nothing in books or the internet

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"when connective tissues break down to a point where the meat gives a faux type of tenderness where it is literally fall apart mostly common with slow braising or stewing is it possible to get this same effect by cooking the beef at a high temperature ?

why is that texture rarely if ever found in high dining restaurants ?"

I think there are 2 ways to have tenderness in meat. First, lightly cook those muscles which have small amounts of connective tissue, and which do little exercise, and which preferably have lots of fat. A high quality steak, for instance. The second way is to cook meats with high concentrations of connective tissue, specifically, collagen, in such a way that the collagen turns to gelatin, thus allowing the meat fibers to fall apart, while being lubricated by the gelatin. It would be difficult to achieve the second method of tenderness with higher and dry heat, because the exterior of the meat would likely burn.

Most high end restaurants do not usually need to prepare cuts which are tough at the beginning. And, I would suppose a part of this is that traditionally, having diners wait hours for a tough cut to be cooked to tenderness is not desirable.

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when ordering a bit of sous vide meat i have never had to wait 48 hours although im sure that would make for a funny sketch

yeah of course but i mean braising at a higher as opposed to oven cooking at a temperature which is kind of linked in to my question about braising and why is that technique really used

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The answers to all these questions are in the original sous vide thread, but to answer one of your questions, you can braise meat very effectively in a pressure cooker, which brings the liquid to temperatures greater than boiling. The reason for using liquid as a medium either in braises or in sous vide cookery is that transmits heat much more effectively than air. You can easily put your hand in a 100C oven, I'd never do the same with boiling water.

Heat acts on meat to break down its various components which is real rather than faux tenderness. It also causes the fibers to shrink, pushing out liquid. This will resilt in dry meat. Cutting the fibers with a jaccard tenderizer reduces this effect.

Cooking meat is the application of heat to transform the raw product into something more appealing. It is a combination of source, time, and technique as well as a function of the type of meat used. This is why you see some meats that are recommended for braises and othes for grilling (and vice versa). Sous vide is a technique that can cook meats in a way that is different from other techniques, which is hy many of us use it. We also cook, chill, and reheat the meat over a very high heat. This gives a Maillard effect on the meat that is very tasty. Typically we would reheat sous vide before doing so to ensure that the centre is up to an appropriate temperature. The idea is to brown the outside without overcooking the perfectly cooked meat.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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

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Most high end restaurants do not usually need to prepare cuts which are tough at the beginning. And, I would suppose a part of this is that traditionally, having diners wait hours for a tough cut to be cooked to tenderness is not desirable.

Many restaurants serve 'tough cuts'. Short ribs, lamb shanks, etc.

In fact, you should consider yourself lucky if you're being served a batch from the day before. IMO stews and braises are almost always better the second day.

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"results trump process". hmm. for the eaters maybe. for the experimental cook, maybe not.

this subject could perhaps start a different thread.

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Most high end restaurants do not usually need to prepare cuts which are tough at the beginning. And, I would suppose a part of this is that traditionally, having diners wait hours for a tough cut to be cooked to tenderness is not desirable.

Many restaurants serve 'tough cuts'. Short ribs, lamb shanks, etc.

In fact, you should consider yourself lucky if you're being served a batch from the day before. IMO stews and braises are almost always better the second day.

Yes, both short ribs and shanks are served (and I agree they would be better on the second day), but they seem to be the exception. Steaks, chops, fish, some portions of duck, etc. seem to be offered more.

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The answers to all these questions are in the original sous vide thread, but to answer one of your questions, you can braise meat very effectively in a pressure cooker, which brings the liquid to temperatures greater than boiling. The reason for using liquid as a medium either in braises or in sous vide cookery is that transmits heat much more effectively than air. You can easily put your hand in a 100C oven, I'd never do the same with boiling water.

Heat acts on meat to break down its various components which is real rather than faux tenderness. It also causes the fibers to shrink, pushing out liquid. This will resilt in dry meat. Cutting the fibers with a jaccard tenderizer reduces this effect.

Cooking meat is the application of heat to transform the raw product into something more appealing. It is a combination of source, time, and technique as well as a function of the type of meat used. This is why you see some meats that are recommended for braises and othes for grilling (and vice versa). Sous vide is a technique that can cook meats in a way that is different from other techniques, which is hy many of us use it. We also cook, chill, and reheat the meat over a very high heat. This gives a Maillard effect on the meat that is very tasty. Typically we would reheat sous vide before doing so to ensure that the centre is up to an appropriate temperature. The idea is to brown the outside without overcooking the perfectly cooked meat.

Yes i understand all this obviously

but a braise is often said to not be cooked at boiling point i guess that is just one of those handy down recipes myths that really don't make much of a diffrence

@The reason for using liquid as a medium either in braises or in sous vide cookery is that transmits heat much more effectively than air.@

if you are cooking your beef in the oven at 200c or in boiling water at 100c i don't really see that conductivity is going to matter

which is why im wondering why braising is ever used is it just to get the sauce or is it specifically with the moist heat breaking down certain fibres

would love to know if anyone has more info behind favikens direct heat method


Edited by acidfrog (log)

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Yes, both short ribs and shanks are served (and I agree they would be better on the second day), but they seem to be the exception. Steaks, chops, fish, some portions of duck, etc. seem to be offered more.

I was simply responding to your comment about diners having to 'wait for food to be cooked'. Some things are cooked a la minute, some things are prepared well ahead of time and simply reheated to order. Cooking time is almost never a limit on what a restaurant can offer on the menu.

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Scientific research back to 1979 (Buck, Hickey and Rosenau, Journal of Food Science) reported that meat cooked in water (ie sous vide) is more uniformly coloured, more tender, and gives greater cooking yields. This is due to the conductivity of the cooking medium making it very relevant for a discussion on cooking methods.

The sous vide thread is long and comprehensive, McGee contains extremely relevant information for those who can understand it. Perhaps the questions can be refined after these sources have been consulted so we do not waste our time stating what is apparently obvious.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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

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which is why im wondering why braising is ever used is it just to get the sauce or is it specifically with the moist heat breaking down certain...

Both. And the flavor from reduction of the sauce and caramelization of the protein/garnish can not be achieved in sous-vide.

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To address your Faviken question specifically, and high end restaurants generally, he states in the book that

1. He prefers to have the range of donesses in a direct cooked steak

2. He also prefers not to rest and reheat (fresh baked cookie analogy)

That is why he prefers it to sous vide. He specifically dislikes an edge to edge homogeneous piece of beef, and also dislikes rested and reheated beef.

Other high end restaurants make use of direct heat meat cookery to great extent, Extebarri, Manresa, Bras, Roberta's/Bianca, even Mugaritz and I'm sure hundreds others. Like every method of cooking, how you go about it and what result you want is a choice. What the dining public may see as a trend/monopoly is only a matter of perception. Restaurants all over the world cook their food in myriad ways...but what's reported tends to skew towards novelty/trend identification.

I don't have any sources to cite, so feel free to repudiate or challenge, but I feel that in the context of tender beef cuts, skillfully applied direct heat surpasses sous vide in retaining a heterogeneous mouthfeel. Magnus describes it as the range of doneness, but in my experience, there is also a difference in the release of fat and lean on the chew. It is also very much possible to have edge-to-edge "perfect" doneness via direct/oven heat. These are both phenomena that I see little talk of, but that I attribute to public perception more than lack of example. Direct heat, a la minute cooking of beef is a serious challenge, as depending on the cut cooking times are quite long. A 3 1/2" square cross sectional piece of sirloin can take roughly 40 minutes to cook. And if the restaurant chooses to rest/reheat, that can add even more time. This requires a serious amount of timing management, so it's easy to see why many restaurants love sous vide. In the latter case, all of the temps can be set in the prep period, and the portion rethermed for pickup.

As for why you don't see braises more often in high end fine dining...one answer is that it's simply more difficult to make a braised beef cut look presentable. Diners are very visual, and regardless of the deliciousness in the mouth, the red center/brown exterior will generally be more appealing than the duller brown/grey of braised meat. Another answer is that, if the dining public is sitting down to a "high-end" meal which ends with a cut of beef, the expectation is for a more "high-end" (i.e. rib, loin, etc) cut of beef. Benu has served braised beef, and noma does a wonderful dish of braised beef cheek cooked in hay...so there are definitely beef braises in the highest-end kitchens, but it is far from common.

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Scientific research back to 1979 (Buck, Hickey and Rosenau, Journal of Food Science) reported that meat cooked in water (ie sous vide) is more uniformly coloured, more tender, and gives greater cooking yields. This is due to the conductivity of the cooking medium making it very relevant for a discussion on cooking methods.

The sous vide thread is long and comprehensive, McGee contains extremely relevant information for those who can understand it. Perhaps the questions can be refined after these sources have been consulted so we do not waste our time stating what is apparently obvious.

Think you are missing the point

you are simply repeating your self in recycled words about the difference in conductivity between different heat source which is all fair and well for stroking yourself but pretty irrelevant to what i am asking for

Infact i have looked over it again and you have completely misunderstood what was being asked but i will give you an A* for your description of the difference in direct and moist heat well done clap clap


Edited by acidfrog (log)

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WOW that is awesome Renn, really great answer

definitely what i was looking for i love how through this forum you may not instantly get what you are hoping for but at some point an absolute superstar will prevail

is there any science behind the leaving and reheating ? or is it just down to his preference

will take tonight to think through your bit of brain juice

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I'll leave aside your impolite comments just this once, if only because the question is interesting, but don't expect me to do it again.

Resting and reheating is generally done so that:

1. The meat is cooked to the proper temperature

2. The rest allows the juices to thicken and stay in the beef until chewed, rather than spilling out with the knife

3. It's reheated to serve the beef at a warm temperature.

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yeah sorry about that but maybe i have incorrectly picked up a bad smell from parts of this forum which i have smelt far to often in and out of kitchens as it is if that is wrong and i am incorrect then i can only be sorry

but i have meant no offense to you personally

ah yeah i meant behind not preferring to leave something to rest as opposed to why one would do it

aka

- 2. He also prefers not to rest and reheat (fresh baked cookie analogy) -

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Well, he feels that beef simply is never as good reheated as it is just cooked. And I think he has a point, as vegetables cooked a la minute are almost always better than vegetables cooked before hand and reheated. Just, as in his example, fresh baked cookies just cooled down enough are better than cold cookies reheated in the oven. We always make compromises in the kitchen, it's just natural. Magnus's interest lies in upending some of the compromises that most take for granted.

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