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Rahxephon1

Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment (Part 9)

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​I'd go maybe 15 minutes, then prod them through the bag.  If they're still squishy, give them another five.

 

Are you familiar with the very cheffy trick of judging doneness (of steak, but it should more or less translate to prawns)?  Touch your thumb and first finger together, then press the ball of that thumb (with a finger on your other hand).  That's what rare meat feels like.  Now touch your thumb and second finger together - that's medium-rare.  All the way up to your little finger for well-done.  Not entirely scientific, but some swear by it.

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I've verified that the texture and taste of shrimp changes noticeably when using temperatures above 50ºC. So I bag (often with some butter and aromatics), blanche about 10 seconds in boiling water to deal with surface contamination, then move to a 45-50ºC water bath for 15-20 minutes, depending on diameter. With a 55ºC bath I would reduce time to about 10-12 minutes.

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Another sous vide success!  The four rib pork roast I pre seared last night and chilled.  Bagged with a bit of salt and sage and rosemary at 57 Torr after reading that Dave Arnold found cooking meat sealed at lower pressures could damage texture.  Cooked at 70 deg C with the Anova for 15 minures, then temperature reduced with added ice and cooked at 60 deg C for 8 1/2 hours.

 

Rubbed with olive oil and post seared 20 minutes in 450 deg F oven.

 

Wow was this good...or is good since I have a lot of it left.

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Sear the prawns on high heat, turn then serve. Why cook sous vide? Sometimes a hammer is too much, choose another implement to hit your nail with.

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Sear the prawns on high heat, turn then serve. Why cook sous vide? Sometimes a hammer is too much, choose another implement to hit your nail with.

 

- To infuse aromatics in the prawns

- For operational reasons (e.g. to serve may guests at the same time)

- Because you prefer "boiled-style" shrimps to seared ones (individual preference, to avoid potential carcinogenic compounds from the high heat, or whatever)

- Because it cooks evenly, even the narrower tail, so it's evenly sweet and tender

 

There's always a reason, I hate judging other people's reasons to cook one way or another.

 

And yes, I do usually prefer seared prawns with the center just barely cooked, but have found many instances where I preferred cooking them sous-vide.

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Another sous vide success!  Tonight I cooked a chicken breast with the Anova at 64 deg C for 1 3/4 hours, per Douglas Baldwin.  Chilled in an ice bath, then broiled one of the halves till the skin was nice and crispy.  Lovely texture.  I made sure to bag the breast pieces at moderate vacuum, per Dave Arnold.  I included quite a bit of Modernist carotene butter in the bags because I wanted to get the carotene butter out of my refrigerator.

 

Only problem was that the bags tended to float a bit in the bath.  The real difficulty was boning the breast.  Not so much difficult, I guess, as messy.  What the store sells as boneless chicken breasts are slices of meat that are quite unsatisfactory.

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I haven't seen much conversation about using the bag drippings in a sauce. I'm a bit mystified by the chemistry here ... I don't know why what comes out doesn't more resemble jus, and why there's so much myoglobin that coagulates, and which seems to contribute to a mess that doesn't taste good.


 


I've seen some recommendations to filter the juices and then reduce. But nothing I've seen resembles the great stuff that drips from a roast or braise.


 


How do you like to deal with this? I hate to throw away all that potential flavor. Are there different approaches in dishes that are essentially braises vs. dishes that will be finished and served dry (steak)?

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For last night's chicken breast I broiled with the bag juices.  On the othe hand, with red meat I have thown the juices down the drain.  They are kind of gross and disgusting.

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Bag juices if traditionally cooked, would ooze out of the meat and caramelize on the pan...and then be deglazed with wine etc and turned in to a nice pan sauce.

 

I cook them down to just caramelized dryness, and deglaze as usual. pat of butter...shallots...little s/p...touch of sugar perhaps.

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Bag juices if traditionally cooked, would ooze out of the meat and caramelize on the pan...and then be deglazed with wine etc and turned in to a nice pan sauce.

 

I cook them down to just caramelized dryness, and deglaze as usual. pat of butter...shallots...little s/p...touch of sugar perhaps.

Interesting. You get the same flavor / effects on final sauce as with pan drippings?

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pretty much

you just have to let the stuff caramelize a bit.

it happens quickly...boils down seemingly forever (actually a couple minutes)...then brown..then too brown/blackened.

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In one of the earlier SV threads nickrey had posted comments on using bag juices to make a pan sauce.

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Has anyone seen this discussion, on a paper that concludes tenderness and juiciness are somewhat mutually exclusive?

 

The paper is unfortunately expensive to view without subscription. And was performed at higher temperature ranges than what most of us would probably prefer.

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That graph makes sense in general... but it ought to vary with cut of meat...and it seems high temp for all but the toughest stuff.

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One hot water bath with six variations. Turchetta prepared as presented from Serious Eats, pork sirloin with five spice, pork sirloin with kind of a New Mexico Chili rub, turkey thighs stuffed with homemade chorizo, turkey legs and wings with Old Bay seasoning variant and turkey tenderloins. The pork, tenderloins and turchetta were cooked 4.5 hours at 140 F and the thighs and wing were finished at 165 for and additional 3 hours. All packets were chilled in an ice bath when they came out of the of the circulator then air dried prior to being finished on the grill and smoked with pecan.

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Edited by Steve Irby (log)
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Has anyone seen this discussion, on a paper that concludes tenderness and juiciness are somewhat mutually exclusive?

 

The paper is unfortunately expensive to view without subscription. And was performed at higher temperature ranges than what most of us would probably prefer.

 

On first read, that seemed pretty dramatic.  On reflection, though, maybe not so much.  Look at it this way.  Take one factor first, say tenderness.  We all know, from experience, that one can get to pretty much the same place with any given cut of meat by cooking longer at a lower temp or less at a higher one.  We also know, from experience, that the higher the temp, the greater the amount of liquid which will be extracted.  The upshot of which, as a practical matter, is that a cut cooked just above pasteurization will be much juicer than one cooked to the same level of tenderness at a higher one.  The question then becomes which texture one prefers.  I prefer the latter, others the former.  IMHO, that's as close being able  to optimize for both tenderness and juiciness as anyone needs.  And certainly SV/LT offers a greater range of outcomes than conventional braising.

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I think the more significant issue raised by the paper involves cooking time. At the same temperature, increased time seems to reduce juiciness as it increases tenderness. 

 

I'm not 100% convinced of the universality of this, or at least of it universally happening to a significant degree. I wish they'd used a lower temperature range. And I'd like to see the experiment repeated with some different cuts.

 

I made two chuck steaks a few days ago, at 55C. I pulled one at 24 hours and the other at 48. I thought the 48 hour one was as juicy, and (predictably) more tender. Granted, this was a long shot from scientific, but it raises some questions for me.

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I don't doubt there's a time effect, but it's much smaller than the temp effect.  Take a common scenario, e.g., the beef chuck you just mentioned.  You could cook at 130F/54.4C or 150F/65.6C.  To achieve the same tenderness, you would cook much longer at the lower temp, about twice as long, but the meat will be much juicier.  Or, I would say, somewhat flabby.  IOW, yes, at either temp, juiciness declines with time, but temp has a much greater impact..

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Tonight I tried to adapt Dave Arnold's technique for sous vide creme anglaise:

 

http://www.cookingissues.com/2009/06/24/creme-anglaise-sous-vide-vs-low-temp/

 

 

Dave Arnold calls for blending all chilled ingredients at once in a Vita Prep.  I don't have a Vita Prep.  I don't have any sort of blender except for an immersion blender, so I blended up the stuff in my Cuisinart instead.  The volume about doubled, probably from incorporation of air.

 

When I applied vacuum the mixture quickly boiled of course.  I was able to hit the seal button in time to narrowly avoid a tragic mess.  But there is a lot of air still in the bag and I could get the bag under water only by means of a steel pan and an old fashioned Pyrex baking dish.

 

I expect Dave Arnold's Vita Prep incorporated a lot less air.  Does one really need a blender?  Is there some way I could have done this better?

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Just a whisk is fine.

 

Based on previous experience I'm not sure about that.

 

A few minutes ago I saw grose black contamination in the bag...until I realized it was vanilla seeds.

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The vita prep will probably pulverize the vanilla seeds and disperse them invisibly. interesting, but not required. Otherwise, I think a whisk or immersion blender will work fine. I doubt that you’d incorporate less air with a vita prep. 


 


A whisk should be fine for anything that doesn’t require extreme shear forces to dissolve. Some gums need a blender, and some are probably helped by a really fast one. But creme anglaise is pretty low maintenance.


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This one probably belongs in the No Duh file, but I decided to buy some chicken thighs that were already shrikwrapped and just throw them in the bath. I didn’t consider that the package was designed to be easily openable (most packages seem designed to violently resist opening, IME). Anyway, the predictable happened, and I had some chicken soup circulating for about 20 minutes.


 


The good news is that the chicken didn’t suffer noticeably, and the circulator was almost effortless to clean. 


 


Kudos to Anova such a smart design. Which brings me the question, why do you think they’re so insistent that you only circulate water? People circulate all kinds of stuff with the PolyScience lab units, including oil. I’m thinking it’s either 1) liability paranoia or 2) the patented low-water indicator could freak out in non water-based solutions. 


 


If it’s not one of these two, it’s hard to imagine what it could be. The Anova’s actually an easier unit to clean … there’s no closed-off pump unit.


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This one probably belongs in the No Duh file, but I decided to buy some chicken thighs that were already shrikwrapped and just throw them in the bath. I didn’t consider that the package was designed to be easily openable (most packages seem designed to violently resist opening, IME). Anyway, the predictable happened, and I had some chicken soup circulating for about 20 minutes.

 

The good news is that the chicken didn’t suffer noticeably, and the circulator was almost effortless to clean. 

 

Kudos to Anova such a smart design. Which brings me the question, why do you think they’re so insistent that you only circulate water? People circulate all kinds of stuff with the PolyScience lab units, including oil. I’m thinking it’s either 1) liability paranoia or 2) the patented low-water indicator could freak out in non water-based solutions. 

 

If it’s not one of these two, it’s hard to imagine what it could be. The Anova’s actually an easier unit to clean … there’s no closed-off pump unit.

 

Do the polyscience units condone circulating liquids other than water, or do people simply do it?

 

I'd imagine it would open up the company to a lot of returns for people scorching butter on to the heater coils. 

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