Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Fay Jai

Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment (Part 1)

Recommended Posts

Thanks Nathan,

I think I may stretch the budget and go for the Minipack you so kindly offered a link to.  But that page raised another question.  They have an option of either 2 4mm seals or one mm seal and a cutoff wire.  Would the cutoff wire be used for roll bag applications, not really applicable to sous vide?

The cutoff wire is for roll bags, or for using heat shrink bags. You could use either one for sous vide. However it is not particularly useful.

Meanwhile having double seals can be useful to keep the bag shut. So, I had the option, I'd go for the dual seals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was a bit surprised because I ate there recently and would not have thought that. But maybe so...

At CityZen, also in DC, it is quite easy to believe, but Citronelle is more classic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got my copy of Sous-vide Cuisine on Friday, and I'm ready to start testing with chicken breast.... but........ I found the recipe for Breast of Poulard on page147, and I started staring at the picture on 146.... The morsel of meat in the upper right corner of the picture looks very moist, and I'm ready to go, but the strips that are curled up look rather "raw" to me. Is this another mind over matter learing curve like moving to sushi? I can eat rare meat, and love sushi, but I'm not sure I'm ready for raw looking poultry. Is that the appearance we'll end up with? How do I assure family and friends that it is indeed cooked and safe?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, after discovering that my Lauda MS was defective and finding a Lauda B instead, I was finally ready to do my first sous vide experiment this weekend. I cooked beef short ribs at 60C for 30 hours. The short ribs were not browned before or after. I had trimmed the external fat from the short ribs beforehand, had rendered out the fat and had used the meat scraps and a few of the smallest bones to make around a quarter cup of super-concentrated beef stock. Both were frozen and added to the bag with the short ribs before I sealed it. Here is the result:

gallery_8505_1885_16986.jpg

I made a sauce out of the defatted liquid from the bags. This tasted much more like a gravy made from roast drippings than it did a sauce made with stock. Very interesting. I served it with kale and smoked garlic mashed potatoes.

gallery_8505_1885_2060.jpg

As you can see, the meat is quite pink (ambient light)

gallery_8505_1885_67735.jpg

Here is another look at the meat (with flash)

It was very interesting. Next time, I think I'd go longer with the cooking. It was very tender with some resistance. Not dissimilar from a strip steak, I'd say -- which is to say that it wasn't cut with a spoon tender. But it was quite interesting to eat what was more or less medium rare short rib that was tender like that.

More thoughts later. . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Following the Sous-Vide thread, I'm trying my luck at some short ribs. I packaged them with a FoodSaver and have them sittling in my combi oven at 130. When I packaged them, yesterday, they were nice and tight, but I noticed today that the bags are bloating. They went into the oven at room temperature about 24 hours ago, so I don't think the 60 degree temperature change would cause that much gas expansion. They're not to the point of bursting, I can squeeze them a bit, maybe 1/2 capacity. In normal cooking this would tend to make me think the food is probably bad, and serving it would not be a good idea. Do the same rules apply with sous-vide, or is this bag bloating to be expected?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bag bloating is supposed to be an issue with FoodSaver bags compared to bags vacuumed and sealed by the commercial machines. I don't think it's a big deal from a safety standpoint, as long as you cook for a sufficient length of time (there is safety information in the main sous vide thread).

How much air are you talking about? I just did a bunch of short ribs for around 30 hours at 60C using a FoodSaver bag and a circulating bath with very little air showing up in the top of bag. That said, I carefully positioned the short ribs in the bag to minimize any hidden air pockets, I did an extended vacuum before sealing, and after sealing I sealed the bag again much closer to the meat (essentially eliminating a lot of extra bag space to which air or liquid might migrate).

What do you have in the bag besides short ribs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1/2 full I think is more than simple temperature expansion of the bags, though.

I'd be concerned. If you know a microbiologist, have them open the bag and smell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How much air are you talking about? 

What do you have in the bag besides short ribs?

Well, I'd say it's about 1/2 capacity with air now... I did add some mushrooms to the bags before sealing as a test, and some wine and stock (seasonings and a little garlic as well).

Here's a pic...

SV-short_ribs_bag_bloat.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm. That is an awful lot of bloating. But I think I have read that certain vegetables tend to be gassy when cooked. Perhaps the mushrooms? Or the alcohol from the wine? Others will know more about this than I.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More sous vide experimentation. This time it was chicken breasts with scallions and shitakii mushrooms. I bagged it all together with the FoodSaver and cooked it for 40 minutes in a 65C water bath. Nothing else in there but some salt, white pepper and around a teaspoon of rendered chicken fat from the freezer. Yea, yea. . . I know I could have gone for a lower final temperature, but as this was the first time I wanted to make sure it had a familiar "cooked chicken" texture.

Here are some looks at the bag after it came out of the water bath:

gallery_8505_1885_31085.jpg

Mushroom Side

gallery_8505_1885_20951.jpg

Scallion Side (the vacuuming sucked the scallions into the "valleys" between breasts)

Here are the results. Incredibly moist and tender, and exquisitely perfumed with shitakii and scallion. The juices in the bag made a very nice, light "sauce" that I poured over the chicken.

gallery_8505_1885_34787.jpg

On the Platter

gallery_8505_1885_23745.jpg

With Wilted Savoy Cabbage (I think this gives some idea of how moist the chicken is)

This really couldn't have been easier, too. And hardly anything to clean up! With Nathan's charts, it's very easy to get started.

Next time: fish.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That looks great Sam :) I noticed that you didn't get any bloat. We ate the short ribs tonight, and they tasted great. No off odors when I opened the bags. I've posted some pictures on the Big Green Egg Forum. I'm still somewhat baffled by the bloat. Guess if we're all still smiling come morning.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we've solved the mystery of your "bag bloat." If this is your short ribs and mushrooms after sealing, it doesn't have nearly enough air removed before sealing. To my eye, there is still plenty of air in there. The bag should be tight on all the food.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No such luck :( That was before it was sealed.... Here's a pic of after they were sealed... not the best picture, but they were tight.

SV-short_ribs_being_sealed2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bloating due to gases from biological growth would only occur if the bacteria have time to grow. They can't grow while cooking if the temperature is 130F/54.4C or above.

Biological bloating would occur if you stored the food too long after cooking - in a fridge or at room temp.

So, I think that your bags are not getting hard enough suction. What happens is that it seems to be enough, but then when you heat the bag the residual air expands.

Alcohol is another possibility. It boils at 175F/78.3C, so as you approach that temperature the alcohol will turn to vapor (gas) and the bag will puff up. At the boilng point you can expect a lot of that, but even below the boiling point you'll get some vapor.

In general, I try NOT to do sous vide with alcohol in the bag. Many chefs (like Thomas Keller) don't like to marinate food in alcohol and will boil wine marinades in an open pan prior to using them to get the alcohol out. Traditional braising recipes usually do not call for that, but it doesn't matter much because a few minutes into the cooking and the alcohol is all gone. However in sous vide there is no place for it to go.

If you get the bag cold - say putting the bloated bag in ice water, does it shrink?

The main harm in bag bloating in sous vide is that if you use them in a water bath the bags float and then the food does not cook evenly. In a steam oven or combi bloat really does not matter.

In addition, it takes longer for the food to reach temperature because the air in the bag does not conduct heat as well as water would against a tightly sealed bag. However it will still work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eh? Check the temperature profile out here. Bacteria do grow at those temperatures. I have some in my lab that just to get to grow, I have to incubate at 130F.

Bloating due to gases from biological growth would only occur if the bacteria have time to grow.  They can't grow while cooking if the temperature is 130F/54.4C or above.

I'd still say, better safe than sorry. If you're really curious, I'm still recommending talking to a microbiologist and letting them open/culture one bag to see what is really going on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just as a test, (after reading upthread some more) You may want to try a bag with everything but the spare ribs, or even, one bag with sauce, one bag with veg, etc. See how those bags act.

What kind of mushrooms and how are they treated before bagging?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello world! For my first post (ta dah!) I though I'd ask if anyone has done a rack of venison this way. Its farm raised, 5 ribs, the eye is about 3" in diamater and I was wondering if cutting it into chops would work better than cooking the whole thing as a single piece. FWIW, I plan on adding a little veal jus and some juniper berries to give it more of the "classic" flavors of a Grand Veneur sauce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I noticed in the NY Times magazine article about nathanm's amazing kitchen that, when he made lamb chops, he did individual (Frenched) chops rather than the whole rack. Remember to blowtorch the outside of the rack and the rib bones. Otherwise they can look kind of raw.

Be careful with the juniper. I love juniper with venison, but sous vide cooking will amplify the impact of the juniper 10 times what it would normally be. Even one juniper berry per individually wrapped chop might be overkill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have my sous-vide station set up... I bought a lauda water bath unit, and didn't like the idea of just putting it in a pot because I'm looking forward to some long, 72 hour cooks. So I bought an ice chest designed for under a bar. It has about an inch of insulation on all sides, a drain, and I cut out a piece of styrofoam board as a lid to keep the evaporation down, and heat in. Here's a pic with the lid off (three porterhouse steaks in there for dinner tonight, and a brisket that's got 48 hours on it.... planning to use it tomorrow )

SousVideSetup1.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I though I'd ask if anyone has done a rack of venison this way.  Its farm raised, 5 ribs, the eye is about 3" in diamater and I was wondering if cutting it into chops would work better than cooking the whole thing as a single piece.  FWIW, I plan on adding a little veal jus and some juniper berries to give it more of the "classic" flavors of a Grand Veneur sauce.
I noticed in the NY Times magazine article about nathanm's amazing kitchen that, when he made lamb chops, he did individual (Frenched) chops rather than the whole rack.  Remember to blowtorch the outside of the rack and the rib bones.  Otherwise they can look kind of raw.

Be careful with the juniper.  I love juniper with venison, but sous vide cooking will amplify the impact of the juniper 10 times what it would normally be.  Even one juniper berry per individually wrapped chop might be overkill.

I haven't tried cooking venison sous vide yet, but since yours is farm-raised it can probably be treated similar to lamb. Cutting into chops will allow it to cook faster. If you're aiming for medium-rare (low temperature) it should work with the whole rack, but will take considerably longer. Maybe nathanm can provide some guidance here. I've done baby lamb racks whole and cut into chops, and prefer the latter.

Sam's right about the flavor amplification. If you include anything like wine or calvados, be sure to boil off the alcohol first. Sam, do you torch the chops before or after sous vide?

Welcome to eGullet, Ted!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With conventional roasting there is a reason to keep things like a rack of lamb or venison together - because roasting works better with a larger piece of meat (having to do with surface to volume ratio). However, with sous vide you can cook a large piece or a small piece equally well. The only problem is cooking time.

Most sous vide chefs cut food into individual serving portions first, then season, bag, seal and cook. It is almost better to do this.

Elsewhere in this thread are the time / temperature tables. If you cut your venison into individual chops the cooking time will drop. The rule of thumb is that half as thick takes one quarter the amount of time. So, if you have a 3 inch diameter loin on the rack of venison, and you cut it into 1.5" thick chops, cooking time will go down by a factor of 4. What matters is the distance to the center - with a 3" thick cylinder, the radius is 1.5". With a 1.5" thick chop the distance to the center is 0.75".

The thickness to cut the chops depends on the spacing of the bones on your rack, and also how you want the food to appear on the plate.

So, if I were cooking the venison, I would cut into chops. I would be very careful with the juniper berries (as discussed above), probably grinding them and just putting a pinch into each bag. Also, boil off the alcohol for any liquid put in the bag.

I would cook it at 131F / 54.4C. Use the times from the tables depending on the thickness of the chops. If the venison is tough, then you can add some time to the charts - from 8 to 12 hours. Howver it sounds like your venison isn't very tough.

Some people like venison even more rare than this, in which case you could do 122F/50C.

Then right before service I would sear the outside with a blowtorch, or broiler, or pan on the stove with smoking hot oil. As discussed above, running a torch over the frenched bones makes them look nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nathan do you really mean 8 - 12 hours for one venison chop? A six ounce portion of lamb or veal loin cooks to medium rare at 140° in less than an hour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The time to reach 130F/54.4C is short - it depends on the thickness, and the time is in the tables, just look it up.

Typically in sous vide you use a cooking temperature (of the water bath or combi-oven) which is the same temperature as the final core temp you want to achieve. So, to cook to an internal temp of 130F/54.4C I would use a water bath at 131F/55C.

So, if the chops are 25mm / 1 inch thick, it should take about 42 minutes to cook. If they are 50mm / 2 inches thick it should take 2.5 hours. At that point they are done.

Since the cooking temperature is basically at, or only slightly above the core temperature you can leave the food in the water bath or combi oven for longer without it overcooking. The primary reason to do this is if you want the meat more tender. This is explained elsewhere in the thread in more detail. If you wanted to tenderize the venison you could add 8-12 hours to the times above. The reason that the time is so long is that the chemical reactions that help tenderize the meat are very slow at 131F/55C.

Most likely, farm raised vension, and that particular cut, do not need extra time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think he did. Remember, you need a relatively short period to make the meat "safe" at 131F, but the additional time will contribute to tenderness. I believe in the times article it indicated that he did the lamb chops for 10 hours. At or about 130, the collagen will disolve/melt, but very slowly. Consequently, while the meat may be ok to eat in less than an hour, it might not be as good as it could be... Sous-vide is all about slow cooking....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Similar Content

    • By lindaj1
      Is there any recipe from the modernist universe or any other galaxy to make ketogenic (low carb) puff pastry and strudel type doughs?  Unusual ingredients OK.  There must be a way...
    • By haresfur
      I got to thinking after the disgusting job of separating globs of fat from sous vide short ribs and debating never doing them that way again. If the fat renders out in a braise, but not in the sous vide, what temperature would you need to turn the fat liquid to get rid of it? Is it below well-done or do you really have to cook the shit out of it? Is it just temperature or a time&temperature thing?
       
      Along those lines, what happens with marbled, tender cuts? where is the sweet spot between solid fat and something more palatable?
    • By Daily Gullet Staff
      By John Sconzo

      The Daily Gullet is proud to present this, the first in a multi-part, front-row report on the recent "Spain and the World Table" conference. Watch for subsequent installments in this topic.

      In his introduction of Ferran Adria, Thomas Keller -- perhaps the most celebrated American chef ever -- described four elements that go into making a great chef. The chef must be aware. Once aware of one’s culinary and other surroundings that chef can then be inspired, which leads to the ability to interpret those surroundings. But a great chef does not stop there. Instead, the great chef continues to evolve. Ferran Adria, perhaps more than any other chef who has ever lived, is the embodiment of those four elements.

      The moment that Ferran Adria strode towards Thomas Keller on the stage at the CIA/Greystone’s World of Flavors’ “Spain and the World Table” Conference was electric -- as if a giant Van de Graf generator had been turned on. The feeling didn’t subside when Adria took the stage from Keller; it only became more pronounced as the packed crowd rose to its feet, raining applause, admiration and love on the Spanish master. Adria accepted the response with aplomb, and gave it right back to the audience -- and to his fellow Spanish cocineros, who were standing off to the side. He brought each one up to join him on the stage for a rousing thank-you to the conference organizers, sponsors and participants. Once this emotional release subsided, Adria got down to what everyone had been waiting for -- his discussion and demonstration.

      Ferran Adria, with eyes sparkling like the finest cava, began speaking Spanish in a voice as gravelly as the beaches of the Costa Brava, while Conference Chairman Jose Andres translated. The crowd, hushed and straining for every word, moved forward in their seats as Adria explained El Bulli and himself, with a lesson in recent culinary history thrown in. Ferran explained that El Bulli is not a business. While offshoots of El Bulli are operated on a for-profit basis, the restaurant runs without profit as a primary motivation. For example, he said, the greatest difficulty they have is distributing reservations. Given the extraordinary demand and the severely limited supply, he explained that they could simply raise the price of a meal to the point where the supply and demand met. Indeed, the price of a meal at El Bulli is in itself quite reasonable given the stature of the restaurant and well within means of most motivated diners should they be able to get there, and this is how Adria prefers it. He stated that he was not interested in cooking solely for those with the most money. He prefers to work for people with a true interest in exploring the limits of cooking with him. To this end he showed a short film depicting “A Day in the Life . . .” of El Bulli set to the Beatles’ song of the same name. The film showed a couple’s response to the experience.

      Ferran’s voyage into creativity began with a visit to Jacques Maxima at Le Chanticleer Restaurant in Nice, France. He learned from Maxima that to be creative is not to copy. This idea changed his entire approach to cooking -- from making classic cuisine to making his own. Aware of elaborate books of French cuisine, Adria resolved to catalogue his work, the results of which are the richly detailed El Bulli books, published by period. These books, as wonderful as they are, are huge and extremely expensive. During his presentation, Adria announced -- and demonstrated -- that the individual dishes photographed and described in a chronology within each book are all now available online at elbulli.com.

      He finished the philosophical discussion by talking about the general style of haute cuisine that he and others are engaged in. While others have coined the term “molecular gastronomy” to highlight the scientific component of the creativity involved, Adria rejected it, saying that all cooking is molecular: most of his techniques are in fact rather simple and don’t employ radical new technology. Most of the technology that they do use has been around for some time; they have simply adapted it to their own purposes. Nevertheless, he applauds contributions to gastronomy from Harold McGee and other food scientists, and welcomes their collaboration in the kitchen. He has yet to find a term that describes the movement: as of now, he feels that there really is no good name for this style of cooking.

      More than any other single thing, Ferran Adria is known for the use of “foams” in cooking. While he is proud of his achievements with foams, he stressed that while appropriate in some circumstances, the real utility of foams is limited. He bemoans their ubiquity -- and wishes to not be blamed for others’ poor deployment of the concept. In the course of describing this and other techniques, Adria made a point of stating that using them should not be inferred as copying. Techniques and concepts are to be used and shared. He invited everyone to learn and harness whatever they found interesting, and to employ it in to their own pursuits.

      Another set of techniques discussed and demonstrated by the master and his assistant, Rafa Morales from Hacienda Benazuza, included three types of spherification. These included the use of calcium chloride (CaCl) and sodium alginate as well as the converse, and exploration of a new agent, gluconodeltalactone. The original combinations of alginate into CaCl for “caviar” production, and CaCl into alginate for larger “spheres” have chemistry-related limits as to what can be sphericized. In private correspondence, Harold McGee explained to me that Adria described encapsulating a mussel in its own juice. While this would make the dish technically an aspic, unlike conventional aspics it remains a liquid. Adria said that though gluconodeltalactone is very new, and they are just beginning to get a handle on it, he is very excited by it. He also demonstrated a machine for spherification on a larger scale than they had originally been able to do, as well as liquid nitrogen and freeze-drying (lyophilization) techniques. At the conclusion of his demonstration -- and thus the Conference -- the audience once again awarded him a standing ovation.

      While Adria’s appearance was the culmination of the conference, the energy it produced was not just because of his stature in the world of gastronomy -- it was also due to the excitement generated by the conference that preceded it. If there had previously been any doubt, Thomas Keller’s welcome of Adria was a clarion: Spanish cuisine has landed on North American shores and is finding a niche in the North American psyche. Spanish cuisine -- in its multifaceted, delicious entirety -- lives here, too.

      + + + + +

      John M. Sconzo, M.D., aka docsconz, is an anesthesiologist practicing in upstate New York. He grew up in Brooklyn in an Italian-American home, in which food was an important component of family life. It still is. His passions include good food, wine and travel. John's gastronomic interests in upstate northeastern New York involve finding top-notch local producers of ingredients and those who use them well. A dedicated amateur, John has no plans to ditch his current career for one in the food industry. Host, New York.
    • By docsconz
      About Jose Andres
       
      Throughout his career, Jose’s vision and imaginative creations have drawn the praise of the public, the press and his peers. José has received awards and recognition from Food Arts, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Saveur, the James Beard Foundation, Wine Spectator, and Wine Advocate. In addition, José has been featured in leading food magazines such as Gourmet as well as the New York Times, the Washington Post, Good Morning America, Fox Sunday Morning News with Chris Wallace, the Food Network, and USA Today.
       
      Widely acknowledged as the premiere Spanish chef cooking in America, José is a developer and Conference Chairman for the upcoming Worlds of Flavor Conference on Spain and the World Table at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, November 2 – 5, 2006.
       
      In 1993, Jose moved to Washington, DC, to head the kitchen at Jaleo. From there, Jose took on executive chef responsibilities at neighboring Café Atlantico and later Zaytinya. In July of 2003, Jose embarked on his most adventurous project to date with the opening of the minibar by jose andres at Cafe Atlantico. A six-seat restaurant within a restaurant, minibar by jose andres continues to attract international attention with its innovative tasting menu. In the fall of 2004, Jose opened a third Jaleo and Oyamel, an authentic Mexican small plates restaurant and launched the THINKfoodTANK, an institution devoted to the research and development of ideas about food, all with a view toward their practical applications in the kitchen.
       
      Every week, millions of Spaniards invite Jose into their home where he is the host and producer of “Vamos a cocinar”, a food program on Television Española (TVE), Spanish national television. The program airs in the United States and Latin America on TVE Internacional.
       
      Jose released his first cookbook this year, first published in English, Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America (published in the United States by Clarkson Potter) and shortly after in Spanish, Los fogones de José Andrés (published by Planeta). The book is an homage to Spanish cooking and to tapas, one of Spain's gifts to the world of good cooking.
       
      Jose Andres is passionate, intelligent, dedicated, witty and a fan of FC Barcelona.
       
      Jose has been a member of the eGullet Society since 2004.
       
      More on Jose Andres in the eG Forums:
      Cooking with "Tapas" by Jose Andres
      Vamos a Cocinar - cooking show with Jose Andres
      Jaleo
      José Andrés' Minibar
      Zaytinya
      Oyamel Cocina Mexicana, Crystal City
      Cafe Atlantico
       
      Jose Andres recipes from Tapas in RecipeGullet:
      Potatoes Rioja-Style with Chorizo (Patatas a la Riojana)
      Moorish-Style Chickpea and Spinach Stew
      Squid with Caramelized Onions
    • By gibbs
      With Modernist Cuisine I waited a couple of years and ended up with a copy from the 6th printing run the advantage of this was that all errors picked up in the erratta had been corrected in the print copy.  I am looking to get modernist bread soon and wondered if someone had purchased it recently to check or if someone knew of hand if they have printed any additional corrected runs 
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×