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.

Rahxephon1

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

Recommended Posts

I appreciate the dilemma this kind of thing poses for a company. They can’t say it’s ok to circulate anything. Gasoline, sulfuric acid, raw sewage, nitroglycerine: not ok. There’s no way they could come up with an exhaustive list of what not to put in there. But that’s not the same as saying nothing’s ok besides water. 


 


BTW, I personally don’t have any need to circulate other stuff. I’m not about to do a bionic turkey. I’m just curious about why they’re so restrictive after seeing how easily cleaned the unit is.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: tenderness and juiciness being mutually exclusive. My girlfriend saw that post over my shoulder and was afraid it was cry for relationship advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

I think the real issue is this: The paper is comparing sous vide to sous vide. Almost any increase in time will result in a decrease in retained liquid when temp is held constant. So if retaining moisture is the only concern, than less time is better. The question isn't whether one can attain maximum tenderness and maximum juiciness at the same time (the answer is no, as one requires less time, and one required more time), but does sous vide allow for retaining more moisture at a given tenderness than other cooking methods. I don't know of anyone familiar with the technique who would argue this claim.

 

Reading the article, I got this impression:

 

Sous vide cook: "Sous vide is amazing because it lets to cook fork tender meat while retaining all the juices you would normally lose at higher temps!"

Scientist: "That's not accurate. Maximum moisture and maximum tenderness are mutually exclusive" --> Data follows

 

What the cook meant was that sous vide allows for much more retained moisture when compared to traditional high-heat methods. 

 

Max moisture = Raw

Max tenderness = Cremated

 

We live in the middle somewhere. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

seems to me, judging by photos, that Keller circulates butter (or beurre monté)

 

if I were less worried about damage and cleaning, it would be an appealing idea to try

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a very expensive idea to try!!! Other than the glory shot or advertising ability, what's the advantage to circulating butter (or any other fat or liquid) versus bagging the product with butter and circulating water like normal? To the same point, Modernist Cuisine points out that cooking in fat does not help cooking or add flavor to the interior of the meat - the fat molecules are too big to penetrate muscle - so you might as well bag naked then brush with butter once fully cooked. Otherwise, some of your meat flavor is going to making flavored butter.

The only purpose I can see to circulating non-water is if you are cooking something that is too big to bag - like Dave Arnold's bionic turkey that he had to keep whole due to family expectations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I strongly advise against circulating milk - see earlier posts!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If cooking in butter at SV temps is really what you want to do then the Sous Vide Supreme is the way to go. Circulation is by convection but the unit is completely sealed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If cooking in butter at SV temps is really what you want to do then the Sous Vide Supreme is the way to go. Circulation is by convection but the unit is completely sealed.

I have one

 

but because the unit is all in one, and so not submersible, it's MUCH harder to clean than a cambro and separate circulator

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...To the same point, Modernist Cuisine points out that cooking in fat does not help cooking or add flavor to the interior of the meat - the fat molecules are too big to penetrate muscle - so you might as well bag naked then brush with butter once fully cooked. Otherwise, some of your meat flavor is going to making flavored butter.

 

so by this "logic" there's no such thing as confit? cooking in fat is "no different" for flavour than in a sealed bag and brushed with fat afterward?

 

really?

You're sticking to that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have one

 

but because the unit is all in one, and so not submersible, it's MUCH harder to clean than a cambro and separate circulator

I am surprised to hear you say that. I have the Demi and have no issues cleaning it. I lay it on its side, wash it out with a soapy cloth, tip it slightly and hose it. I dont find it any more of a challenge to clean than the Anova and container. Obviously your mileage varies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's what MC found.  As I recall, they blind-tasted duck (?) cooked in fat or brushed with it after cooking and found no difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another use for non-water circulation is if you're doing high volume of a single item, placing them directly in the bath will cause the bath water to eventually equilibriate with the item. This is similar to the principle behind "dirty water" hot dogs in NYC. The advantage is that you can add and remove items at will and not have to deal with opening and closing plastic bags.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another use for non-water circulation is if you're doing high volume of a single item, placing them directly in the bath will cause the bath water to eventually equilibriate with the item. This is similar to the principle behind "dirty water" hot dogs in NYC. The advantage is that you can add and remove items at will and not have to deal with opening and closing plastic bags.

OK - I get this for a restaurant situation turning out tons of the same dish.... another analogy would be the cooking water for chicken-rice - hawker stalls will recycle this liquid forever...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's what MC found.  As I recall, they blind-tasted duck (?) cooked in fat or brushed with it after cooking and found no difference.

That's what I was referring to. It was duck they tested, and they blind, triangle-tested several variations - cooked with no fat, then with no fat added; cooked in fat; cooked with no fat, then brushed with fat; then other variations brushing with other non-duck fats. They could absolutely tell the difference between non-duck fats and brushed with duck fat, but could not tell the difference between cooked in duck fat and no-fat cook and brushed with duck fat.

Because of this, when I do confit at home, I just package the duck legs naked - and you know what I find after the cooking is complete? The duck leg is surrounded by duck fat - no brushing required!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone seen a similar evaluation of butter poaching? This is a technique Thomas Keller used a lot. Eventually he replaced the giant pot of beurre monté with butter in the sous-vide bags. But experiments ... real ones and my own .. suggest you don't infuse any butter flavor into proteins.

 

I've SV'd steaks with melted or mounted cultured butter in the bags, hoping for the best. I didn’t do any kind of blind testing, but did a lot of eating, and really couldn’t detect any butter flavor.

 

Which raises another question: if you’re cooking protein in ziplock bags, and want some liquid to displace the air, what are the best options?

 

Assume you’re not specifically making a braise. You just want liquid for conduction, with a minimum worry of osmotically leaching more than necessary from the meat, little risk of curing or excessive tenderizing, and ideally, something wouldn’t interfere with making a pan sauce from the bag juices.

 

Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's in Keller's book that you can see what looks like a cambro filled with beurre monté, and a circulator 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Which raises another question: if you’re cooking protein in ziplock bags, and want some liquid to displace the air, what are the best options?

 

Assume you’re not specifically making a braise. You just want liquid for conduction, with a minimum worry of osmotically leaching more than necessary from the meat, little risk of curing or excessive tenderizing, and ideally, something wouldn’t interfere with making a pan sauce from the bag juices.

 

Thoughts?

I have a couple thoughts... To answer your question, I just use a neutral oil (peanut mostly) when the goal is conduction. I don't use it for much, things like hamburger patties that have a very coarse surface. 

 

I've found that most whole proteins put out enough juice fairly quickly to surround themselves and push the air bubbles to the top of the bag. Couple that with the "fact" that small bubbles don't have a huge effect on <12 hour cooking times, I only add liquid to the bag (for conduction purposes) with chicken, because I find that chicken breasts get a weird "chicken-y" smell and taste if they don't have anything at all in the bag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm interested in trying to cook a whole fennel bulb SV, as I find that blanching makes it a bit watery. I understand Keller's book recommends doing most veg at 85C, but how long will it approximately take?


Edited by ahpadt (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What texture are you trying to end up with? Still some crisp, or cooked until soft?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there is probably a table for this somewhere where you enter the diameter  and relate that to the texture you want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm interested in trying to cook a whole fennel bulb SV, as I find that blanching makes it a bit watery. I understand Keller's book recommends doing most veg at 85C, but how long will it approximately take?

I've done a cut up bulb 85c/60 min with a shot of sambuca. Cooked through but still had good texture

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently finished reading Under Pressure and was not terribly inspired by it.  But I am fond of fennel and might give fennel a try sous vide.  I cooked carrots sous vide at 85 deg C and was not terribly taken by the texture.  Pork/beef/chicken/lamb sous vide give much better results for me than vegetables.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With vegetables, cooking is a matter of breaking down cell walls, which is roughly analogous to breaking down collagen in meat. We're not going for a level of temperature-determined doneness, but for a temperature/time-determined texture. Which means timing is important in a way that it's not with most SV proteins.

 

I've only done a few vegetable experiments. So far I haven't achieved the carrot nirvana that some people talk about. I've had great asparagus, though. SV has been brilliant for in-season, fat stalks of it. Just prep them well (including peeling the bottom halves) and bag them with some salt and pepper and olive oil (or whatever) ... 85C for 15 minutes. Really beautiful flavor and texture. 

 

Not a total replacement for roasted asparagus (which I still prefer if the asparagus is less than great). But much prettier, and much more pure asparagus flavor. 

 

Next up is mashed potatoes ... the circulator is the perfect tool for retrograding the starch for a smooth puree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive only done a few veg

 

Asp. when plump w tight tips are excellent..  much better than I can do by streaming or simmering.  there is a very narrow window of

 

'personal doneness' w Asp.   I usually miss it most other ways  except grill

 

i did supermarket carrots  not much there for me.  you know the ones  no tops.   got some w tops ;  a bit better

 

Farmers Market carrots w tops are another matter, very very good.  but they dont come around here for long.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Similar Content

    • 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 
    • By TdeV
      I'm thinking that one isn't supposed to add salt to meat which is about to be sous-vided. I have no idea from whence the idea came, nor whether it's correct.
       
      Also I'm thinking that raw onion is ok in the sous vide bag, but not raw garlic (because it imparts a harsh flavour).
       
      Either of these impressions have value?
    • By Fabio
      Last year I had dinner at Belcanto in Lisbon and one of the dishes featured a "tomato water snow" or "tomato water cloud" (translated from the original Portuguese: "Nuvem/neve de agua de tomate") that I'm trying to replicate without success. Imagine a thick and solid foam of tomato water that immediately liquefies when you put in your mouth. The cloud was atop smoked fish and olive oil was drizzled over it.
       
      I whipped a mixture of tomato water and albumin powder (2 tsp albumin, 2tbsp tomato water) along with a pinch of cream of tartar, getting to the stiff peaks point after some effort. Trying to dehidrate the foam even as low as 150F didn't work; the foam collapsed. I then tried the savory meringue approach with some sugar and salt. The result was indeed a meringue that tasted like tomato but completely different from what I had at Belcanto. What am I missing? I've attached a photo of the dish so you can see what the cloud looks like.
       
      Thanks!
       

    • By johnathanlee
      Recently I had the unforgettable experience of dining at Andoni Luis Adurizis’s restaurant, Mugaritz and had to buy one of his cookbooks, "Mugaritz".  One of his many innovative recipes is “Edible Stones”.  This makes use of kaolin, an edible clay sometimes sold as “Agalita”.  A slurry is made using Agalita and Lactose to which is added food colouring.  Boiled baby potatoes are skewered, dipped, and allowed to dry in the oven.  They are served with real rocks to maximize what has been described as the culinary equivalent of  trompe-l'œil. Guests of course are not to see the process or the skewered potatoes drying so as not to ruin the surprise. I have attached some pictures showing my results which, although visually not exactly like the real stones, were texturally and by weight,  reasonably convincing. 
       
      Now that I have served them at a dinner party, I am left with a large amount of Agalita!  I am hoping there are some modernist chefs out there with more ideas for my remaining Kaolin.
       
       




       
    • By ProfessionalHobbit
      I had completely forgotten about our dinner there in December. 
       
      Anyone who is a serious eater here on eGullet needs to come here soon. Highly recommended. @MetsFan5 - here is one place you might love over Gary Danko. You too @rancho_gordo.
       
      I'll let the pix speak for themselves...
       

       

       
      Horchata - Koshihikari rice, almonds, black cardamom, cinnamon.
       

       
      Scallop chicharrón, scallop ceviche, crème fraîche.
       

       
      Jicama empanada, shiso, pumpkin, salmon roe.
       

       
      Smoked mushroom taco with pickled wild mushrooms.
       

       
      Dungeness crab tostada, sour orange segments, sour orange-habanero salsa, Castelfranco radicchio, tarragon.
       

       
      Pineapple guava sorbet
       

       
      Fuyu persimmon, habanero honey, tarragon
       

       
      Tasmanian trout ceviche, dashi, Granny Smith apple
       

       
      Aguachile, parsnip, red bell pepper
       

       

       
      Black bean tamales steamed in banana leaves, with salsa on the side
       

       
      Smoked squab broth, pomegranate seeds, cilantro flowers
       

       
      Tres frijoles with sturgeon caviar, shallots and edible gold leaf
       

       
      Black cod, salsa verde, green grapes
       

       
      Wagyu beef, pickled onion
       

       

       
      Smoked squab breast served with spiced cranberry sauce, quince simmered in cranberry juice, pickled Japanese turnips and charred scallion, and sourdough flour tortillas
       
      Yes, it's the same squab from which the broth was made.
       

       

       

       
      And now the desserts:
       

       
      Foie gras churro, with foie gras mousse, cinnamon sugar, served with hot milk chocolate infused with cinnamon, Lustau sherry and coffee.
       
      By the time I remembered to take a pic, I'd eaten half of the churro. Dunk the churro into the chocolate.
       

       
      Dulce de leche spooned atop pear sorbet with chunks of Asian pear, macadamia nut butter
       

       
      Pecan ice cream, candied pecans, shortbread cookie, apples, clarified butter
       
      The cookie was on top of the apples. Break the cookie and spoon everything over.
       

       
      Cherry extract digestif, vermouth, sweet Mexican lime
       
      We'll definitely return. I'm an instant fan.
       
      Prepaid tix were $230 per person, plus there were additional charges due to wine pairings. It's worth every cent you'll spend.
       
      Californios
      3115 22nd Street (South Van Ness)
      Mission District
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×