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francois

Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment (Part 2)

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Nathan, I have a Groen combi which is probably 12 years old now (maybe older). When I first purchased it, there was a humidity control for lower cooks (below 210 F). Unfortunately, during a repair, they told me that the original control pannel was no longer available, and they "upgraded" it to one with no humidity control. Basicly, it's on or off. I've found that cooking a roast with it on generates too much moisture, and the roast tastes "washed out". I'm sure the newer ones have better controls and I'd agree with you fully. I believe you've commented before about how a good combi oven can be use for many sous-vide tasks.

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Sounds great. How big was it (weight or thickness)? I would like to give it a try

It was between 4 and 5 pounds. You can check Nathan's charts, but at the 10 hour range, an extra pound or so isn't going to matter.

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just for the sake of this forum i would like to put in one of my dishes using the principles of sous vide...

there are some points i want to clarify though

1. i don't have a temperature circulator so i used it on a traditional stove with a pot of water brought up to 140 degrees farenheit with careful monitoring of temperature.

2. no vacuum machines were used so i just used the "fake o vac" technique using plastic wrap.

"fake sous vide beef tartare, pan smoked tomatoes, rocket with whole mustard dressing"

gallery_46313_3283_115019.jpg

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"fake sous vide beef tartare, pan smoked tomatoes, rocket with whole mustard dressing"

Looks good.

At what temperature for 1.5 hrs?

And how was it packaged for cooking? Just wrapped in film? Or also in another bag, but not vacuumed?

Doc

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140 degrees farenheit and i just packed it up tightly in plastic wrap twice and flashed in a450 degree oven for about 30 seconds to get a good seal then off it went to the water bath.

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Sounds easy enough, but it probably depends on the particular plastic you wrap with. Do you know what it is? Polyethylene? Saran? PVC? other? A brand name would be helpful. I would like to try it.

Doc

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i think i used the saran wrap.. as it is the one most commonly used in restaurant kitchens. and show me the pictures if you did. :)

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Pork confit question.

I have made pork confit from pork shoulder a few times (salt overnight and then cook in duck fat for several hours over a low temperture). I have not been thrilled with the results and I am thinking of trying to confit it via sous vide.

I sous vide duck confit at 180 degrees for 11 hours. Would this work for pork as well or should I cook it more like short ribs (lower temp - 54C for 36 hours)?

Many thanks!!

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If you want it to be like confit, you need to cook it at confit temperatures.

Might be good cooked lower, but won't be anything like confit.


--

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If you want it to be like confit, you need to cook it at confit temperatures.

Might be good cooked lower, but won't be anything like confit.

Exactly! If you want to match traditional confit texture then you need to be 170F / 77C to 180F / 82C, and generally for at least 6 hours.

The exact time depends on how tough the meat is (which cut etc). You can up to 12 hours, especially if you got at the lower end of the scale.

In general I don't like to cook hotter than 82C in a water bath because the water evaporates too fast. However you can cook confit-style items up to 212F/100C. This is convienent in a combi-oven. Or you can use a pot of boiling water on the stove (which will generally be below 212F) but if so be careful the water does not evaporate.

Or, a conventional crock pot on High will usually cook around 180F.

I have not detected much of a difference in cooking confit at 212F versus 180F. However the cooking time will be shorter. If you leave it in too long the meat can just fall apart, which is sometimes the idea, and sometimes not.

You certainly can cook pork at 130F/54C - the US FDA food code approves of that from a safety standpoint as long as you hold the meat at that temperature for longer than 112 minutes.

As predicted above, the texture will be totally different than confit. Connective tissue will still be tough, and fat will not render. So for a tough or fatty piece of pork the low temperature approach is not a good idea. However, it works well for pork tenderloin.


Nathan

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Found a nice looking boneless chuck roast yesterday at the market. Seems like a good piece to sous vide. Tough if cooked fast, but tasty if braised. I'm thinking of doing it for 24 hours.

Do you guys think this is enough? or should i do it for 36 like short ribs?

thanks

jason

This depends a lot on the precise cut of chuck roast - there are several. Also how tough the beef is. If you would do short ribs from the same meat source for 36 hours, then that is what I would try for the chuck roast.


Nathan

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If you want it to be like confit, you need to cook it at confit temperatures.

Might be good cooked lower, but won't be anything like confit.

Exactly! If you want to match traditional confit texture then you need to be 170F / 77C to 180F / 82C, and generally for at least 6 hours.

The exact time depends on how tough the meat is (which cut etc). You can up to 12 hours, especially if you got at the lower end of the scale.

In general I don't like to cook hotter than 82C in a water bath because the water evaporates too fast. However you can cook confit-style items up to 212F/100C. This is convenient in a combi-oven. Or you can use a pot of boiling water on the stove (which will generally be below 212F) but if so be careful the water does not evaporate.

Or, a conventional crock pot on High will usually cook around 180F.

I have not detected much of a difference in cooking confit at 212F versus 180F. However the cooking time will be shorter. If you leave it in too long the meat can just fall apart, which is sometimes the idea, and sometimes not.

You certainly can cook pork at 130F/54C - the US FDA food code approves of that from a safety standpoint as long as you hold the meat at that temperature for longer than 112 minutes.

As predicted above, the texture will be totally different than confit. Connective tissue will still be tough, and fat will not render. So for a tough or fatty piece of pork the low temperature approach is not a good idea. However, it works well for pork tenderloin.

Thanks for the input. I have had the problem of the evaporating water at 180 degrees as well and I wouldn't think it would be very viable at 36 hours but 6 - 10 is worth a try. It is a pretty tough piece of shoulder with lots of fat running through it. I have cubed it into 1" x 1" pieces and plan to confit it with some rendered pork fat so the higher temp. probably makes sense.

On a slightly different topic - I read in Ruhlman's book that Keller does his lobster tail sous vide. Ruhlman claims he cooks it at 125 degrees and suggests that it stays in the water bath throughout service because it can't overcook at that temp. Does that sound reasonable or will the lobster start to deteriorate after a few hours?

Many thanks to all for all the fantastic information shared in this thread.

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Need a little help with my next sous vide project.

I'm going to make a pork belly. I've read above that it should be cooked at 190-200 for about 12 hours. This seems really high...is this correct?

Also, after taking the belly out of the bag, what are the thoughts on putting it under a broiler to crisp the skin? Can this be done in a hot pan instead? Am i going to ruin the meat by putting it under a broiler for a few minutes?

thanks

jason

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180F for that time period wolud be more like it. At 190F - 200F, do it for shorter 6 to 8 hours.

I find that searing in pan works very well for pork belly. The only issue is that after being cooked sous vide it will be soft and could come apart, so handle very gently.

Broiler also works well, but has the problem that you want very high heat to crisp the outside. Many broilers are not hot enough to do this - they get hot, but the heat diffuses in and overcooks the interior by the time the exterior is crispy. However, you are unlikely to actually ruin pork belly this way.


Nathan

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I recently did pork belly at 180F for six hours. Tough. Next time 12 hours.

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What about veal breast? I am thinking this might far well in a sous vide environment? Would you recommend 54C for 36 hrs like short ribs or going the pork belly/confit route at 180F for 10 hours or so?

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180 for 12 hrs it is.

12 hrs is way too short for pork belly, you should cook it for 24 to 48 hrs at 70 C.

You can then ice down the bags, portion it cold and then crisp it up on all sides.

When you cook it that long, the lean part is actually confited by the fatty part.

I just staged at the Fat Duck a while back and they also do 70C 36 hrs....

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