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.

Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment, 2012


rotuts
 Share

Recommended Posts

rotuts, I just happen to have pulled an oldish (two years) round roast from the freezer a couple days ago to experiment with sous vide -- I went ahead and trimmed then ground it in my fp, and I'll try a batch of chili without browning first, see how it goes. I'll leave out the water and try 24 hours @ 131F after the first dump and then check the tenderness when I open it for the second dump. This is perfect timing because I'm just getting ready to pull my 3-year-old short ribs out after 48 hours @ 140F, so maybe tomorrow night I'll have a chili report. :)

Val

Edited by valereee (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

which Ep. of Test did they use it?

here its 1203 Rise and Shine breakfast. maybe they SV'd some eggs?

is it 1206 Slow and Easy Thanksgiving?

Ive always found it odd that they didnt touch on this.

they did have a good clip on sealers (for freezing) in the past.

Ahhhh its 1205 Pasta, Please.

Edited by rotuts (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Attn: Val...

im very much looking forward to you 'experiments' these things don't seem to be done here too often.

Im glad your are using the stuff in the Freeeeeezer.

however when you have been done with that if you want "Beeeeeeeeeefy' SV taste look for a big large Chuck Shoulder. preferably on sale.

learn to peel out the muscle groups and learn that some of them are quite fine for fast steaks.

you can then limit the excess fat and well add a little butter later!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have seen lots of posts here about how to keep the bags from floating and thought I would share my solution. I obtained a few feet of 1/2" diameter solid stainless steel rod and cut it into 6" pieces. I filed the cut edges smooth to prevent them from cutting the bags. One or two of these are sufficient to hold down anything that might float.

bars.jpg

If the cooking time is short I simply roll a bar or two up in the end of the bag, fold over the ends and clip them so the bars don't fall out.

clips.jpg

For longer cooking time I double bag the meat and put a few bars in the second bag. I adjust their position as close to the seal as possible to keep the meat from sitting on the bottom of the cooker.

two-bars.jpg

Here are four boneless legs of lamb in my beer cooler version that I started last night. They will cook for 24 hours at 55C and will be perfectly medium rare. I will take two out and cook the remaining two for another 6 hours at 60C for those who prefer their lamb a bit less rare. This is in preparation for our Valentine's party on Saturday. It is part of a seven course meal my men's cooking club is preparing.

four-in-cooker.jpg

Is that a toilet tank!? Ingenious!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have seen lots of posts here about how to keep the bags from floating and thought I would share my solution. I obtained a few feet of 1/2" diameter solid stainless steel rod and cut it into 6" pieces. I filed the cut edges smooth to prevent them from cutting the bags. One or two of these are sufficient to hold down anything that might float.

bars.jpg

If the cooking time is short I simply roll a bar or two up in the end of the bag, fold over the ends and clip them so the bars don't fall out.

clips.jpg

For longer cooking time I double bag the meat and put a few bars in the second bag. I adjust their position as close to the seal as possible to keep the meat from sitting on the bottom of the cooker.

two-bars.jpg

Here are four boneless legs of lamb in my beer cooler version that I started last night. They will cook for 24 hours at 55C and will be perfectly medium rare. I will take two out and cook the remaining two for another 6 hours at 60C for those who prefer their lamb a bit less rare. This is in preparation for our Valentine's party on Saturday. It is part of a seven course meal my men's cooking club is preparing.

four-in-cooker.jpg

Is that a toilet tank!? Ingenious!

No, it is a plastic beer cooler. You can see how I built it at my Les Marmitons article. I have changed the pump since I build this thing in November 2010 and use it constantly. The pump I now use is an external centrifugal pump rated for 95C at 100 GPH and it works great under all circumstances. It sells for about $35 on ebay and comes from Hong Kong. I bought a spare but have never had to put it into service. This setup still cost me less than $200 and I have prepared food for up to 100 people in it with never a problem.

Edited by paulpegg (log)

Paul Eggermann

Vice President, Secretary and webmaster

Les Marmitons of New Jersey

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can anyone recommend a cheap vendor of vacuum bags? I've heard some of the cheaper bags won't seal properly when used with a low-rent device like my Foodsaver.

Also, has anyone experimented with low-priced circulators? I've seen some small pumps on eBay that aren't particularly expensive, but I'm not sure how well they'd hold up for 48 hours of use.

I have used hundreds of the premium bags from Vacuum Sealers Unlimited. These are partially mesh for Foodsaver use and I have never had one fail. They also have less expensive full mesh bags for foodsaver.

I purchased two of these pumps on ebay.about a year ago. One is a spare not yet required. The other has been in constant service in bath temperatures up to 85C with no problems. I regularly cook 72 hour short ribs and this pump just keeps on ticking. You will need a $5 12v power supply and a $2 plug type connector from Radio Shack to power it. I bought some high temperature silicon rubber tubing to connect it all together. You can see some of it in my previous post above on keeping the bags from floating.

Edited by paulpegg (log)

Paul Eggermann

Vice President, Secretary and webmaster

Les Marmitons of New Jersey

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has anyone made chili sous vide? I'm making chili for a chili cookoff party (not an official competition) and I'm experimenting with competition-style chili (no beans) which I haven't made before. I made it last night according to a competition-style recipe, which called for browning chili-grind chuck, draining the grease, adding 15 oz stock, 15 oz water, 8 oz tomato sauce, and cooking it at a low boil for 2 hours during which you make three spice dumps. It's delicious, but the meat is tough after all that boiling and I was thinking maybe of browning the meat, then putting it into a reclosable bag with just the stock and tomato sauce since no moisture will get boiled off and opening it to add the spice dumps at the appropriate points in the cooking process. Anyone done anything like this, or have pointers? It'll eventually go into a crockpot (to go to the party) which I can set as low as ~180. Would I be better off just making it in the crockpot?

My approach to stuff like this is to dispense with the bags and, instead, pack the product in 1 liter canning jars. Of course, strictly speaking, this is no longer sous vide, but you get the same advantage of long cook times at low temp. Takes about two hours for the jars to heat through, but this isn't important with long cook times. And you could easily remove the jars from the bath as necessary to stir in spices, then return them for further cooking.

I will mention that it seems to me the recipe you describe is poorly crafted. It's the slow boil which is making the meat tough. Even cooking conventionally, you should be using no more than a simmer. Folks sometimes ignore this rule when cooking ground beef, but it's just as true for that as any meat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will mention that it seems to me the recipe you describe is poorly crafted. It's the slow boil which is making the meat tough. Even cooking conventionally, you should be using no more than a simmer. Folks sometimes ignore this rule when cooking ground beef, but it's just as true for that as any meat.

Yeah, I think the idea of slowly boiling -- or even just barely simmering -- meat for two hours is the problem, but that seems to be an almost ubiquitous instruction in competition chili recipes.

Starting with raw chili-grind round roast into the sous vide didn't turn out well. The meat is definitely not tough, but the texture isn't pleasant. Sort of mushy. And the spices taste harsh. I saved some of the stovetop batch of chili and I'm tasting them side by side, and the stovetop version has the FAR superior flavor. Maybe 131 just isn't hot enough for such a spice-heavy recipe? I'm considering the following -- advice eagerly accepted:

1. brown beef, drain well, add stock and tomato sauce, bring to a bare simmer, remove from heat.

2. In a small amount of the drained grease, saute (or maybe reserve some of the stock and simply boil?) the first dump five minutes, add it to the meat, bag up, into the sous vide at 131F for 24 hours.

3. Saute (boil?) the second and third dumps separately and hold until it's time to add them.

4. Add second dump, sous vide at 131F for six hours.

5. Empty into crockpot on low with third dump.

I'm hoping by browning the meat first but not boiling it for two hours, I'll get tender but not mushy meat, and by precooking the spices I'll get those flavors right.

Edit: hm, just read back over rotuts' suggestion from before -- cooking the meat sous vide, the sauce separately on the stovetop/crockpot. I wonder why more chili cooks don't cook their sauce separately and add the browned meat in at the last minute? I could try one more time cooking the meat from raw in the sous vide, but cooking the sauce completely separately. But it almost seems like an unnecessarily complicated extra step -- or, wait...hm...I -could- cook half the meat from raw sous vide, half browned on the stovetop, cook the sauce separately, then see which meat process turns out best.

My husband is going to get sick of chili!

Val

Edited by valereee (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Im very interested in your studies.

how long did the meat get the '131?' to me when i hear 'mushy' I think its been in the bath too long. this happened to me only twice with some 'reduced $' chuck. but that was > 48 hrs at 131.

i cant see why 'plain' meat SV even if ground cant come out at the temp you select the same as any SV meat.

on the harshness of the seasonings: maybe just use a little or none at all.

make the 'wet' in the crock covered for however long it needs. then add the meat at the last minute.

again Im puzzled on the 'harshness' of the spices. ground paprika may be implicated, or not.

the meat doesnt have to be 'rare' to be intersting:

'hamburger' med-rare is '130' for 2 - 2 1/2

med '140' for 1 - 1 1/2 hours.

maybe too long in the SV? after all, once ground its not really tough anymore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The meat, started from raw, got 131F for 22 hours, then another 6 hours after the second dump, then because it was at that point quite soupy, into a preheated pan and into a 170F oven with the third dump for five hours.

You mean maybe use little/none of the seasonings at all in with the meat while it cooks, just put most or all of the seasonings in the sauce on the stovetop or in the crock? That's what I'm thinking, too -- I could cook the meat just with a little salt and pepper, or possibly just mixed with a little beef broth which I'm thinking will help keep the meat from becoming a big flat burger. (With the broth and the tomato sauce added to the meat the first time, I went in a couple of times and sort of massaged it to make sure it wasn't forming large clumps of meat as it cooked.)

So if I'm not looking for loooong cooking to tenderize (though it is a chili-grind, not hamburger grind) I could just sous vide the meat long enough to get it rare, then add it to the crockpot. But OTOH, if I'm not going to do a long sous vide for tenderness, why not just brown the beef on the stovetop, which will allow me to drain the fat then set the meat aside until I'm ready to add it to the sauce?

Im very interested in your studies.

how long did the meat get the '131?' to me when i hear 'mushy' I think its been in the bath too long. this happened to me only twice with some 'reduced $' chuck. but that was > 48 hrs at 131.

i cant see why 'plain' meat SV even if ground cant come out at the temp you select the same as any SV meat.

on the harshness of the seasonings: maybe just use a little or none at all.

make the 'wet' in the crock covered for however long it needs. then add the meat at the last minute.

again Im puzzled on the 'harshness' of the spices. ground paprika may be implicated, or not.

the meat doesnt have to be 'rare' to be intersting:

'hamburger' med-rare is '130' for 2 - 2 1/2

med '140' for 1 - 1 1/2 hours.

maybe too long in the SV? after all, once ground its not really tough anymore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I made a very tasty chili con carne recently using a mixture of sous vide and other techniques, as summed up below:

As chance would have it, I'm making chili as well. Here's my recipe:

5 pounds beef shank, coarse ground on my home grinder

2.5 cups ancho chili paste

2.5 cups pasilla chili paste

2 tbsp sweet Spanish paprika

2 Spanish onions

3 pounds cherry tomatoes

2 tbsps whole cumin

1 tbsp Mexican oregano

3 whole star anise

- Tomatoes were pressure cooked at 15 PSI for 20 minutes. The exuded liquid was reduced to a glaze, the tomatoes scraped through a fine sieve, then both parts combined

- Onions were diced fine, then browned to very dark over high heat in copious bacon fat with the star anise

- Cumin was dry-roasted in pan until fragrant, then ground to powder in spice grinder

- Tomato, chili paste, spices and onions (minus star anise) were combined, brought to brief simmer, and cooled

- Cooled chili base was combined with the ground meat, and the whole works was vacuum bagged and cooked 48 hours at 62C (in process)

Once cooked, I will freeze it and reheat on super bowl sunday, adjusting seasonings as necessary, add a pound or two of pork butt that I've cut into 1-inch cubes, browned extra-dark, pressure cooked for 20 minutes and coarsely shredded, and stir in some red bell peppers that I've roasted and pureed. I will offer a spicy chili butter along with creme fraiche, etc. so that that people can adjust the heat up or down to their preferred level.

As you can see, my recipe is predicated on the idea that chili con carne is really mostly about the chili component. I like to use about a cup of chili paste per pound of meat. I'm using beef shank and sous vide so that I can get all the meaty gelatin without the dry, grainy texture that often comes from simmered long-cooked ground meat.

I would call this a qualified success. Next time around, I'll go all-cubes with the meat and cook everything together sous vide. The ground beef shank didn't have quite as much texture as I would have liked. A good way to get plenty of Maillard flavors without overcooking the meat is to very aggressively brown the exterior of large pieces, and then cut those large pieces down to the actual size you would like to have. All that said, I also can't help wondering whether it might work just as well or better to do the whole thing in the pressure cooker.

--

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the meat was cooked way to long = 'mealy'

this was a 'round' cut? if you have to get 'new' meat ( ie not from the freezer ) look for a large chunk of chuck.

maybe do the browning on large chunks, very quickly as suggested, then cool ( brief time in freezer ) then cut into chunks, cool again and do the Cuisinart pulse pulse never letting the meat warm up in the Cuisi.

then do the SV at 131 and check at 8 hours for tenderness, and then every 4 hours you might need only 12 hours.

id do all the wet in the crock, including the tomats and flavors.

your meat once you finalize the time/temp will keep in a very cold refrig for 30 - 60 days.

you bring it out and add it to the crock until its heated through.

id like to also know the temp of the crock just before you add the meat.

excellent work so far!

PS its interesting to note SL above did 62 for 48 and didnt get 'mealy meat'

Edited by rotuts (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

as a side note to the above the question might be worth asking;

"what exactly does 'tender' mean to you with regard to 'ground meat' "

after all a rare hamburger and i mean really rare in the middle is tender.

as is steak tartare (ground version)

my interest in this is the 'large batch technique' of SV stuff: lots of great stuff for so little effort and can keep and freeze with no added freezer bouquet!

:smile:

Edited by rotuts (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

another term for 'mealy' is 'livery'

in the past, rarely from time to time id get some meat from the MegaloMart and cook it in the usual fashion some times hot an quick (steak) etc.

it ended up 'livery' I looked into this at the time and it was hard to track down as the MeatPackersAssoc ...

but this comes from a cow that was under a lot of stress when 'processed' ie it had a lot of circulating chemicals that made it acidotic: its pH was higher than usual and in the travels to the MegaLo the meat got 'livery' based on auto-digestion ( my term )

if this was 'meat' no one would eat it again.

this might be the process in SV either in 'for sale meat' or for too long in the Bath.

your thoughts?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

valeree, a few thoughts.

1. If you heat the dish above your SV temp, you pretty much negate any advantage of using the technique. You'd have gotten the same thing if you had braised conventionally at the higher temp. FWIW, I generally do meat braises at 150ºF, as I find the texture cooked at 131ºF to be too flabby.

2. Depending on the cut, braising ground beef serves a purpose. Although the fibers have been cut very short, there's still collagen in there (especially with chuck) which will convert to gelatin with braising. Ground beef doesn't take anything like two hours, though. Half an hour to one hour at a conventional braising temp is plenty. Don't know what the SV time would be. At a guess, eight to twelve hours at 150ºF (won't even hazard a guess as to a lower temp). BTW, I find that browning the meat before grinding is easier and more effective than browning afterwards, and pretty much essential if you're cooking SV (see point one). Also, if you do much of this I'd strongly recommend getting a proper grinder. Can be used, of course, for making sausage as well.

3. When doing SV, I always cook the sauce and and meat separately. Partly this is because I'm used to doing things that way (pressure canning simmer sauces for the pantry is one of my hobbies). Also, I've seen almost nothing on how to cook sauces at low temp. Your chili could be adapted as a stand alone sauce pretty easily, simmered about an hour conventionally. There's a learning curve, obviously but, once you learn the trick, you can apply it to almost any braise. If that seems too much like work, maybe you'd be better off cooking this one conventionally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Clarification. When I say I always cook the meat and sauce separately, I don't mean that I never SV in the sauce. On the contrary, I often do that, in whole or in part. But, when I do, I always have fully cooked the sauce separately first.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

valeree, a few thoughts.

1. If you heat the dish above your SV temp, you pretty much negate any advantage of using the technique. You'd have gotten the same thing if you had braised conventionally at the higher temp. FWIW, I generally do meat braises at 150ºF, as I find the texture cooked at 131ºF to be too flabby.

Oh, flabby's a good word for how this turned out!
2. Depending on the cut, braising ground beef serves a purpose. Although the fibers have been cut very short, there's still collagen in there (especially with chuck) which will convert to gelatin with braising. Ground beef doesn't take anything like two hours, though. Half an hour to one hour at a conventional braising temp is plenty. Don't know what the SV time would be. At a guess, eight to twelve hours at 150ºF (won't even hazard a guess as to a lower temp). BTW, I find that browning the meat before grinding is easier and more effective than browning afterwards, and pretty much essential if you're cooking SV (see point one). Also, if you do much of this I'd strongly recommend getting a proper grinder. Can be used, of course, for making sausage as well.
I do have a grinder attachment for my kitchenaide, but the kitchenaide itself needs to go into the shop (it only has one speed currently -- top speed.) I like the idea of browning large chunks then grinding!
3. When doing SV, I always cook the sauce and and meat separately. Partly this is because I'm used to doing things that way (pressure canning simmer sauces for the pantry is one of my hobbies). Also, I've seen almost nothing on how to cook sauces at low temp. Your chili could be adapted as a stand alone sauce pretty easily, simmered about an hour conventionally. There's a learning curve, obviously but, once you learn the trick, you can apply it to almost any braise. If that seems too much like work, maybe you'd be better off cooking this one conventionally.

The problem was that cooking it conventionally, I ended up with tough meat. Great flavor, but the meat was hard. Since it's a chili grind, it makes a bigger difference than for hamburger -- I think overcooked ground meat in chili doesn't feel as obviously tough to the tooth because it's chopped so small.
Clarification. When I say I always cook the meat and sauce separately, I don't mean that I never SV in the sauce. On the contrary, I often do that, in whole or in part. But, when I do, I always have fully cooked the sauce separately first.
I think I'm going to try this -- dice the chuck into a 1" dice, brown it fast over hot heat, grind, and sous vide with a little beef stock to keep it from forming a patty. While it's sous viding, I'll make the sauce, then add the meat to it. If it turns to crap, I can make a batch conventionally to take to the party Saturday while I continue my experiments. :)

Thanks, pbear!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi coz, I am thinking of ordering Boxer 35 with H2O sensor, vac level control and soft air and just came across your post. What is your experience with it- has it been a total overkill? Do you think one needs these extra functions really? I am planning to use it in the home kitchen setting ( for sous vide cooking, liquids, compression, infusions as well as for freezing). Cannot decide if the extra functions which boxer has justify the extra 1000 pounds it is going to cost more than jumbo plus.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

AnnaS, check out the Chamber Vacuum Sealer thread, at There is an extensive discussion of lots of different medium and high end sealers.

Some really like the H2O sensor, others (like myself) thought it was a waste of money, since you can just hit the Stop button if things start to boil. Certainly the vac level control is essential, and the soft air very desirable. I considered the Henkelman (Boxer and Lynks) but concluded that they were too expensive. I ended up upgrading my MiniPack MVS-31X to the MV-35XP with the label printer (also made by MiniTorre, but distributed exclusively by PolyScience). After some problems caused by their shipping the unit filled with oil, and perhaps some shipping damage, I'm quite happy with the new unit, which cost about $1000 less than the Boxer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just wanted to let you know that the first issue of the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science is finally out. It seems that all 10 articles (including my review article on sous vide cooking) are available for free download.

Some of you may be interested in the review article, Sous Vide Cooking: A Review, that I wrote for the first issue of the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science — a new peer-reviewed Elsevier journal. I'm not sure when the first issue of the journal will be out, but I'm guessing it'll come out later this month or next. Being a review article, it only has a few new things and mostly draws from my guide and a few of my ‘review’ posts in this topic.

My Guide: A Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking, which Harold McGee described as "a wonderful contribution."

My Book: Sous Vide for the Home Cook US EU/UK

My YouTube channel — a new work in progress.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been studying SV chicken breasts "Thai"

i have these:

I took one boneless CkBr trimmed and sliced with 1/2can of the above. Sealed. SV 145 3 - 4 hours, chill, refrig.

I reheated one bag at a time, added 1/2 C Coconut milk the sealed and put back in the SV.

Rice (basmati rice cooker ) and a green veg. usually Bok Choi with Thai Sweet chili sauce. tonight asparagus.

garnish cashews and green onions:

not quite ready for the "Dinner !" thread but these are very easy, have fine 'Thai' flavor, some much hotter than others.

if you like Thai, can get the pastes give it a try. I found them so far delicious. Three to go.

Maesri.jpg

SV Ck Thai.jpg

Edited by rotuts (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I took one boneless CkBr trimmed and sliced with 1/2can of the above. Sealed. SV 145 3 - 4 hours, chill, refrig.

I reheated one bag at a time, added 1/2 C Coconut milk the sealed and put back in the SV.

Why the two-step process? Does something bad happen to the coconut milk when heated for a few hours (flavor-wise)?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...