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 an account.

Fay Jai

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

Recommended Posts

I think it was Salmon. And no I have not tried this at home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How long does it take to cook an 6 oz. filet fo beef to medium-rare at 140 degrees?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I ate at Can Roca a little while back . Joan Roca told me that his sous vide book will be coming out in English, hopefully later this year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The English edition of Roca's book is already available. Ted Nicely posted a note in the Food Media forum. I can't wait to get it - the table of contents looks like this is an important reference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vac Pac Spring Onions (white part) in a Bag and cook for about 1.30 - 2 minutes in the Microwave (600 W). Test with your fingers and when "tender" put it immediatly in a bucket of icewater. For service just reheat in the microwave or in a pan.

Microwaves.....are not always bad !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.cookingconcepts.com/

Click on the 'gastrovac' pic, also the 'Roner'.

This is a great site, and it just got even better because you can download pdf's on the various bit's of gear in many languages now, including English.

Not exactly sous vide but maybe a new companion too it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A truly great site. Interesting that the Spanish appliance manufacturers are catching up with and going beyond their chefs when it comes to innovation.

Thank you for bringing this site to our attention

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been going through the english version of Joan Roca's book Sous Vide - it is a great reference on the topic. Those fluent in Spanish already know this about the original verison, and I myself cooked with it for over a year but there are some interesting subtlites that come across when you can read in your native tongue.

This is highly recommended as the best book on Sous Vide.

It is also just about the only book on sous vide, but that isn't quite do it justice to say it that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How long does it take to cook an 6 oz. filet fo beef to medium-rare at 140 degrees?

Depends on a lot of things.

First off, 140F is closer to medium. There is no universal agreement.

Anyway, the key thing is not the weight, it is the thickness. If you put it in a water bath at 140F, it should probably take 30 minutes. The good news is that it won't over cook.

I would cook at 135F to get medium rare.

You'll have to brown the outside afterwards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The beauty of sous vide is that it doesn't harm it if you leave it in for too long. Just put it in when you start cooking and it should be done by the time all the sides are prepped (assuming you have labour intensive sides), otherwise, just put it in 1 hour beforehand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a recipe in Joan Roca's Sous-Vide book that features beef filet. The startling thing (to me) is the low temperature / short cooking time. He starts with a 1 3/4 pound filet and cooks it sous-vide at 65 ° C / 149 ° F for 15 minutes (! :shock: )followed by a brief sear over charcoal grill. Even after the second cooking this has to result in a blood-rare piece of meat.

I suspect that Nathan's timing will get you closer to medium-rare, and the finishing sear should take it home. Please report back on any findings. :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You'll have to brown the outside afterwards.

Out of curiosity, what would happen if you browned the meat before sealing it in the sous vide bag and cooking it?

SD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Browning before sealing has its advantages (the "browned" flavors can permeate the meat during cooking, and surface bacteria are killed in the process), but logistically the brown-after-sous-vide (what Roca calls "double cooking") has the edge. You can remove the meat from the bag, reserving the juices for a reduction sauce, and sear it just before service. Or you can rapidly chill the meat in an ice bath or flash-chiller and refrigerate it for later use.

Don't be put off by the weird appearance of meat cooked sous-vide. The oxygen-free cooking results in an unappetizing purple-brown color. A quick finishing sear restores the rosy-red color.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My guess is that you would have a moooshy textured filet with no discernible crust, but with perhaps a bit of external colour. Like a cooked filet that had been accidentally dropped into the sink. I may be wrong. But I doubt it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Browning before sealing has its advantages (the "browned" flavors can permeate the meat during cooking, and surface bacteria are killed in the process), but logistically the brown-after-sous-vide (what Roca calls "double cooking") has the edge. You can remove the meat from the bag, reserving the juices for a reduction sauce, and sear it just before service. Or you can rapidly chill the meat in an ice bath or flash-chiller and refrigerate it for later use.

Don't be put off by the weird appearance of meat cooked sous-vide. The oxygen-free cooking results in an unappetizing purple-brown color. A quick finishing sear restores the rosy-red color.

right, however logistics in your explanation are tightly linked to a restaurant type of service. I was thinking more about other situations, such as maybe catering, where you might not be able to finish 500 sous-vide cooked steaks. I guess in this case you would have them seared and finish them in ovens?

I guess my question is, "will a sous-vide cooked meat (any meat) cut always need finishing for it to be estethically / texturally pleasing, or is there a way to skip one step and go from bag to plate (with previous heating, of course)?".

Again, this is out of curiosity and from a beginners point of view, maybe I'm terribly wrong.

SD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simply slice the sous vide meat and sauce it. (The liquid remaining in the bag can be used to enhance a sauce for the meat or accompanying side.)

Sous vide is a whole other technique than grilling/searing. It yields a very different texture, appearance, and concentrated flavor of meat that should be appreciated rather than compromised with a technique (like searing) that may be more familiar. Sous vide filet should be proudly served in all its startling difference. Of course, I didn’t always think that way. Years ago, when I was first served sous vide lamb loin at Ducasse, I was initially shocked, then disappointed that I didn’t order something else. But days after that dish I was still curious and kept remembering and trying to figure out the new texture and intense taste. Like encountering food from Mars. Some of my dinner guests are simply polite and don’t say anything, or eat any more when I’ve served sous vide filet. But most guests really appreciate the new sensation. Curiously, my children prefer sous vide meat to grilled or seared. Traditional adults are harder to convince.

I use 135 degrees for about half an hour. My kids like to cook it and call the temperature “hot tub” hot. After lots of experimentation you can learn to sense doneness by finger touch or color of juices. I’ve found that simple sauces with spicy North African or fragrant Southeast Asian flavors accent the smooth, melty texture of sous vide filet.

How is Roca’s book? Are there enough innovative ideas to justify the price?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Simply slice the sous vide meat and sauce it. (The liquid remaining in the bag can be used to enhance a sauce for the meat or accompanying side.)

Sous vide is a whole other technique than grilling/searing. It yields a very different texture, appearance, and concentrated flavor of meat that should be appreciated rather than compromised with a technique (like searing) that may be more familiar. Sous vide filet should be proudly served in all its startling difference. Of course, I didn’t always think that way. Years ago, when I was first served sous vide lamb loin at Ducasse, I was initially shocked, then disappointed that I didn’t order something else. But days after that dish I was still curious and kept remembering and trying to figure out the new texture and intense taste. Like encountering food from Mars. Some of my dinner guests are simply polite and don’t say anything, or eat any more when I’ve served sous vide filet. But most guests really appreciate the new sensation. Curiously, my children prefer sous vide meat to grilled or seared. Traditional adults are harder to convince.

While I agree with your overall philosophy, I would think that if you're cooking sous vide for someone who might react negatively to the new texture or appearance of the dish served AND he's paying for it, you might be in a tough spot. Of course you give Ducasse a chance, but what happens when the old bar around the corner starts serving burgers sous vide? How would the clientele react? If however the external appearance is that of the usual seared meat but the flavor is greatly improved, it seems to me that you are clearly getting something out of your troubles cooking sous vide.

I use 135 degrees for about half an hour. My kids like to cook it and call the temperature “hot tub” hot. After lots of experimentation you can learn to sense doneness by finger touch or color of juices. I’ve found that simple sauces with spicy North African or fragrant Southeast Asian flavors accent the smooth, melty texture of sous vide filet.

Are you cooking sous vide at home? would you mind describing your setup? I've been toying around with the idea of testing it at home, but it seems like the initial setup is a bit complex/expensive.

How is Roca’s book? Are there enough innovative ideas to justify the price?

I ask the same question. I've been trying for the last few days to get hold of the book here in Barcelona to take a good look before deciding to buy it, however it seems to be sold out/on special order on most bookstores here.

SD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I failed to mention about the Roca beef filet recipe is that he seals the meat with three tablespoons of Lagavulin (a smokey single malt from Islay). In my experience one needs to be extremely cautious in using strong alcohols or acids in sous-vide cooking, but the short (very short!) cooking time he uses probably guards against the weird overpowering effects I've seen in longer cooking. So maybe one reason he finishes the meat with a brief sear is that the alcohol needs to be burned off. Actually, I'm surprised that he doesn't flame the whiskey first...

Roca doesn't specify a time or temperature for the final sear - he just says to "lightly brown on a charcoal grill". It's clear from the accompanying photo that the grilling only effects the very thinnest outer layer of the meat. Generally when he uses the "double-cooking" technique (his term for a finishing sear or browning), Roca cautions against allowing the internal temperature to rise too much. He doesn't want to negate the inherent advantages of the sous-vide treatment.

crosparantoux, I don't disagree with you about the virtues of simple unadorned sous-vide. But even you admit that you had to revisit the new texture and flavor of the sous vide lamb. Had it not been Ducasse, would you have given it a second thought?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Silly Disciple, you don't have to make a huge investment to try sous-vide at home. One of the consumer-level vacuum packaging machines (e.g. "Foodsaver") will get the job done, with a couple of caveats. First of all, you won't be able to enclose any liquids in the bag - they just get sucked into the vacuum and ruin the seal. You can slip some frozen liquids in as long as you work quickly. And well-chilled butter works fine with the external clamp machines. The cheapest chamber machines (such as the lowest-end Ary VacMaster that I have) will cost considerably more. Another minor annoyance with the external clamp machines is that they require an embossed bag (sort of tiny channels imprinted on the surface), and the texture from the bag gets transferred to the contents.

For shorter cooking periods you can try cooking in a really big pot of water on the stove top. For the longer-cooking techniques an immersion heater is nice to have - precise temperature control without having to constantly monitor.

As for Roca's book, I wish that the English version was available two years ago - it probably would have paid for itself by now. At this point it mostly serves to confirm what I've learned through trial and error. Lots and lots of error.... :blink:

This is really the only authoritative book available at this point. It's more of a reference volume than a conventional "cook book". There are a couple of dozen recipes (with nice photo illustrations) to demonstrate the principles he's describing.

There's a sous-vide topic started by nathanm here [Moderator's note: you are reading that topic now -- CA], and another on water baths here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been experimenting with sous vide at home, mostly with fish but I did try a brisket.

I use a foodsaver and a slow cooker that has a temperature control on the side. Sometimes I just use my oven and a roasting pan filled with water.

As far as I am concerned, there is no better way to cook fish. I cook salmon at roughly 150 F for 5 minutes then turn over the bag and another 5.

I do nothing more than put butter, some lemon slices, and some fresh herbs in the bag before sealing it.

The flavor is intense with no fishy smell or aftertaste. It is taking some trial and error to get right, for example I recently undercooked some salmon because the lemon slices were too thick and I didn't adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Here was the surprising thing, I returned a piece of the fish to a heated pan to finish cooking it (my wife is nursing and I am paranoid). All of a sudden the house STUNK of fish.

I plan on trying the steak experiment soon.

Msk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cooking time is something that is very misunderstood - the time depends totally on the thickness not the weight. This is true in regular cooking, but is particularly important in sous vide.

The key issue is the temperature of the water bath, or steam oven, in which you cook the sous vide bag, and the thickness of the meat in the bag. So, the difference between Joan Roca's timing estimate and another one is depends on how thick the meat was cut before being placed in the bag.

If you cook with the water bath at close to the final temperature, then it is slow to come to temperature, but as was pointed out above, you can leave it without fear of overcooking. THat is NOT true if you cook at much higher than the final temperature, then timing becomes important.

So, if you want a piece of meat to be 130F internal temp, I will generally put it in a 131F water bath. I will post some times later.

Roca and some others like to have a bigger temperature difference between the water bath and the final temperature.

Searing the beef is purely for appearance. I use a blowtorch often, but a hot pan or super hot broiler works too.

Beef is not very attractive after sous vide, particularly for long cooking times - the exterior is a greenish brown. If you envelope it in sauce that may be OK. If you have a beef fillet, most people expect a certain look.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Silly Disciple, Edsel pretty much answered the home-cooking question above.

The setup is simple: a higher-quality Food Saver (I don’t know the model number), a medium pot, and an instant read thermometer which I constantly dip in the water to check temperature. Over lots of experiments, I’ve taught myself to feel the right temp with my fingers, but I still use the thermometer. My stove (Wolf) has a really low simmer function, and over 30 minutes to an hour, I may move the flame between simmer and low to keep it at the temp I need.

As noted above and in other sous vide threads, liquids are sucked out by Food Saver machines. I first chill oils in the freezer to solidify them or I mix flavours into butters. For beef fillet, I simply use salt, parsley, and a pat of butter on each side. As someone said above, the Food Saver bags imprint a funny texture on the outside of meat, but that’s ok you don’t see it when sliced.

I am not a professional , and only do this for fun at home. Therefore my guests are friends, not customers. You are right, asking people to pay for a new weird sensation is tricky. True, I let Ducasse get away with it and paid him hundreds to do it. Coming from N.California, where meats seem to be always grilled, what surprised me about that first sous vide experience is that no where in the meal, (fish, game, meat), was there a hint of charring or browning. Ingredients were gently prepared and each piece of vegetable or meat showed off its unique texture and concentrated flavor. That is the reason for sous vide, I think.

Edsel, I notice you sign off with your Spoon number (2568/5000). If you notice, though it is not described in detail, sous vide is the method for cooking most of the meats and game in that book. I’ve used the various condiments and flavoring recipes in Spoon for my sous vide experiments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you notice that the sidebar links back to this topic? Also, the comments about Paula Wolfert are nice - especially the upcoming revision of The Cooking of Southwest France.

Pretty good summation for a short piece.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I pretty much follow the same method as you Crosparantoux, just raising or lowering the flame to balance out the temperature - a little time intensive, but easy enough to do while preparing the rest of a meal.

But I must admit I always do some browning. For me the Maillard reactions are as integral to the taste of meat as the texture. Just as I'd never grill a steak to well done (and lose texture in the centre) I'd never cook purely at low temperature and miss out on the browning flavours. Just a personal thing, obviously, but I like having the best of both worlds. Browning prior to vacuuming does seem to help that flavour permeate the meat (as well as killing those bacteria), but for a final taste kick and touch of crust I always do a quick blowtorch at the end, too - especially useful for duck or chicken with the skin on.

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.

×