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Fay Jai

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

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I dug this out of the garage.

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He..he..Control panel? :laugh:

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Little dusty

I think I can miniaturize it for sous vide. :smile:

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just got my hands on roca's book on sous vide - wow

I am going to be trying a few of his techniques as I work a few recipes that use sous vide into the menu of a restaurant I am helping to open. I have one question that is really bothering me, he has a recipe in which he places a piece of fish in the bag with a little of smoke infused oil, I think the salmon dish... How does one infuse oil with smoke? I am sure I was once told but can not recall and it is driving me nuts!

Thanks,

RS

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Hi atlanta cook. I look forward to following your progress as you work through some of the techniques in Roca's sous vide book. I'm afraid, I can't answer your smoke infused oil question... but, if it doesn't seem too cheeky... I have a question for you. Is there a recipe for sous vide/slow cooked egg in the book?

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I saw Alton Brown demonstrating how to create your own liquid smoke by inverting a large metal bowl over another bowl of smoking wood. He put ice on top of the inverted bowl to create condensation on the inside. The moist smoke condenses on the inside of the bowl and run down into a catch. Pretty cool. I'd imagine that if you put some oil in a small bowl in a smoker of sorts and kept stirring it you would get a fair amount of smoke flavor in the oil..but it would be nice and subtle.

I use powdered smoke from The Spice House for cooking, but haven't used it in sous vide. I'd be careful in using normal liquid smoke in the bag. A little would go a long way I'm sure.

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I'd imagine that if you put some oil in a small bowl in a smoker of sorts and kept stirring it you would get a fair amount of smoke flavor in the oil..but it would be nice and subtle.

that was my plan, I just thought maybe there was another way...

I did not see a recipe for the egg...

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Amazing thread, this one. I stumbled on it a few weeks ago after a growing interest in sous vide because of various press coverage. A friend gave me an article from the MIT tech review editorial that prompted a search for gear and more info. I purchased a prosumer vacuum packer and have my immersion heater on order so I can try some of the more precise recipes discussed here.

I did try doing some fingerling potatoes as my first experiment. Bagged with bay leaf, couple cloves of crushed garlic and about 1/4 cup of duck fat, I cooked them for 90 minutes on the stovetop at a bare simmer (should have recorded the temp, but didn't).

When I cut the bag the most intense potato smell emerged, the skins were perfect. In fact, the potatoes didn't looked cooked at all (no wrinkles or cuts in the skin). The texture was firm, but the taste was cooked. We marveled at how much the process changed the perception of something as simple as a potato. The only think I'll do next time is fewer potatoes in the bag, since the larger bag created a very dense package. Doing a single layer should improve the cooking rate and evenness.

I'm anxious to try more vegetables using this technique, and meats once the immersion heater arrives. I make lots of duck confit and I'm anxious to try it sous vide!

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Roca puts a pan of oil in a smoker to make his smoke infused oil, which he then uses for cooking salmon in a sous vide bag.

This is NOT the same as liquid smoke, which is VERY concentrated, whereas what Roca uses is very mild. You would need to experiment with the amount.

You might be able to simulate it by putting a TINY drop of liquid smoke in a neutral vegetable oil, but I think you would need to dilute it a LOT.

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thanks nathan, I will be infusing with the former. have you seen him do this firsthand? if so, any other little nuggets to share? thanks

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I didn't see it, but I did ask him....I do not have the details, but I think you could experiment pretty easily if you have a smoker. I have one and may fire it up this weekend to test, but I may not have time...

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Gentle Gulleteers,

I am currently inaugurating a water bath that has arrived at my apartment, courtesy of eBay. I've read the sous vide threads here with great interest, and have some idea of how to do simpler preparations using this technique (poached fish, confits,etc) from past experience. What I am intrigued by, however, is using sous vide to replicate the Daniel Boulud braised short rib method. I have some idea of the ingredients and techniques for the traditional preparation (brown meat, saute mirepoix, add red wine reduction and stock) and can guess that the way to work this with sous vide is to reduce the wine, combine with sauteed mirepoix and stock, freeze, and stick frozen stuff into vacuum bag with meat. However, I'm unsure of a few things:

1) Time and temperature. 36 hours at 141 F? 8 hours at 150 F? Something in between?

2) Sear meat before or after?

3) Adding herbs. How bad is the concentration effect from cooking sous vide, exactly? Is 1 thyme sprig per 24 oz. of meat too much?

Any comments/insights would be VERY helpful. Thanks!

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Ducasse has two relevant recipes. The first he does for 36 hours at 60C/136F. The second is for 72 hours at 58C/140F.


Edited by MobyP (log)

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Wow; thanks for the prompt response!

Hmm; the one for the shorter time is also for the lower temperature? Odd. These are in the Grand Livre, I take it? Any more details you might be able to share?

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Sorry - that was a typo. 60C is 140F - for 36 hours, which is also the temp and time that Heston Blumenthal uses for his famous pork belly (which, little known, he brines first). I'll look up the Ducasse recipes for you later to give more details.

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I am currently inaugurating a water bath that has arrived at my apartment, courtesy of eBay.

I'm sorry that this is not to your question, but CLEAN that water bath until you think you could lick cake batter off of it...then clean it again twice. We want to hear about how the ribs went :)

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Sorry - that was a typo. 60C is 140F - for 36 hours, which is also the temp and time that Heston Blumenthal uses for his famous pork belly (which, little known, he brines first). I'll look up the Ducasse recipes for you later to give more details.

Thanks SO much! My fault as well, though; I should have deduced that the celsius was the right metric.

As for cleaning the bath: The main reason for my selecting this particular unit was that it's new and thus hasn't been subjected to the potential nastiness of lab use. I've still cleaned it with some serious chemical solvents (I have lab worker friends of my own!) and it's sparkling at the moment.

I'll let you know how the ribs went!

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You have many choices. Ducasse does the ribs as described above.

I personally like them medium rare, so I do short ribs in a 131F/55C water bath for 24 hours. Past 24 hours the flavor isn't as intense. I had some today, as matter of fact.

However, you asked about Daniel Boulud - he does his short ribs in the style of a convential braise so the temp is higher. He does them at 66C for 24 hours.

Nathan

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The one thing that is amazing about doing short ribs LTLT sous vide is the extent to which any flavorings completely permeate the meat. I included a small (maybe 2 inch) branch of fresh rosemary in a fairly large batch of short ribs I did for 36 hours. It was incredible the way every bit of the beef was infused with rosemary flavor. Even when I deliberately sampled meat from the innermost part of the short rib, it was flavored with rosemary.

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Nathan, 55C for 24 hours? Weren't they rather tough yet?

Has anyone noticed an "off" taste with the longer cooks....48+ hours? I've tried some 72 hour briskets, and noticed this taste that a friend has described as a "blood" taste. Anyone else notice this?

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Hmm; lotsa options!

Given that I have this precise temperature control at my fingertips, I'll try for as low and slow as I can get...

nathan: How do you do your short ribs? Any chance you could post a step-by-step? I'm curious as to how 55 C for 24 hours turns out; does this yield something with the texture of a good steak, then, or something with an actual braised meat mouth feel?

Thanks in advance!

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Nathan, 55C for 24 hours?  Weren't they rather tough yet? 

They are fine - not tough at all. They get more tender as you go -all the way out to 72 hours which is the longest i have done. But for these short ribs (bonless, from Costco in a big pack) they are plenty good to eat at 24 hours.

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I've just read through most every sous-vide thread on eG, but I have one nagging question about the actual setup/function of the circulating water bath.

I thought I read in a different thread that circulating water baths have a hook-up for a water input. Does this mean they have a some sort of input to which you have to attach to a hose? Can't you just pour water in and the pump inside the unit will circulate the water by itself? I hope I'm not being unclear, but I just don't want to buy something that I won't be able to use.

Sorry for missing out on a pretty obvious part of sous-vide technology. I'm excited to invest in the equipment and make sous-vide cooking my holiday project.

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water baths typically have a pump and an inlet and outlet. This is used to circulate water through various tanks or scientific intstuments. You typically just connect input to outlet with a short tube.

Nathan

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What's the best kind of fuel to use when blowtorching a sous vide protein? I know there has been some disagreement about this on other threads but what type of fuel canister should I be buying?

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While you can probably buy one of those fancy smancy "gourmet" mini blow torches from Williams Sonoma or the like, I much prefer the cheaper bernzomatic torches you find in the local home center. One of these canisters will last quite a long time. You will have two choices, either pure propane, or MAPP gas, which burns hotter. I personally use the propane one.

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