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

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Glad they turned out well. We love beef shin. There is an organic farmer north of us who sells the most wonderful grass fed beef and we get the shins which are dirt cheap. We also just got a Berkshire pig and I have a 'shin' out for cooking tomorrow. Maybe SV would be the way to cook them. Too late for the one I have out but next time I'll try that. There is no skin on the meat so may as well SV it. Nigella Lawson has a great recipe for roasting skin on pork shank/shin on a bed of apples/onions bathed in beer...that's a good one too. From her "Kitchen" book. cheers

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Glad they turned out well. We love beef shin. There is an organic farmer north of us who sells the most wonderful grass fed beef and we get the shins which are dirt cheap. We also just got a Berkshire pig and I have a 'shin' out for cooking tomorrow. Maybe SV would be the way to cook them. Too late for the one I have out but next time I'll try that. There is no skin on the meat so may as well SV it. Nigella Lawson has a great recipe for roasting skin on pork shank/shin on a bed of apples/onions bathed in beer...that's a good one too. From her "Kitchen" book. cheers

The beef I used was from a milk breed of cattle. Btw. over 90% of our beef comes from milk cows, it's tough to buy anything better than that; for angus beef etc. you have to go online.

When I was in UK, the simple 21 day aged beef sirloin from tesco was much better than anything Iv'e had here (and I've supposedly had the best home product).

Regarding the pork, aren't you afraid of trichinella? Here we are paranoid about it and are taught to basically overcook it.

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Regarding the pork, aren't you afraid of trichinella? Here we are paranoid about it and are taught to basically overcook it.

It's not hard to kill trichinella, either by cooking or freezing. Even with a margin of safety, the USDA APHIS Trichinella fact sheet says this will happen at an internal temperature of 132° F in 15 minutes and after about 5 days in a conventional freezer:

Cooking - Commercial preparation of pork products by cooking requires that meat be heated to internal temperatures which have been shown to inactivate trichinae. For example, Trichinella spiralis is killed in 47 minutes at 52° C (125.6° F), in 6 minutes at 55° C (131° F), and in < 1 minute at 60° C (140° F). It should be noted that these times and temperatures apply only when the product reaches and maintains temperatures evenly distributed throughout the meat. Alternative methods of heating, particularly the use of microwaves, have been shown to give different results, with parasites not completely inactivated when product was heated to reach a prescribed end-point temperature. The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations for processed pork products reflects experimental data, and requires pork to be cooked for 2 hours at 52.2° C (126° F), for 15 minutes at 55.6° C (132° F), and for 1 minute at 60° C (140° F).

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that consumers of fresh pork cook the product to an internal temperature of 71° C or 160° F. Although this is considerably higher than temperatures at which trichinae are killed (about 55° C or 131° F), it allows for different methods of cooking which do not always result in even distribution of temperature throughout the meat. It should be noted that heating to 77°C (171° F) or 82° C (180° F) was not completely effective when cooking was performed using microwaves.

Freezing - Experiments have been performed to determine the effect of cold temperatures on the survival of T. spiralis in pork. Predicted times required to kill trichinae were 8 minutes at -20° C (-4° F), 64 minutes at -15° C (5° F), and 4 days at -10° C (14° F). Trichinae were killed instantaneously at -23.3° C (-10° F). The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Code of Federal Regulations, requires that pork intended for use in processed products be frozen at -17.8° C (0° F) for 106 hours, at -20.6° C (-5° F) for 82 hours, at -23.3° C (-10° F) for 63 hours, at -26.1° C

(-15° F) for 48 hours, at -28.9° C (-20° F) for 35 hours, at -31.7° C (-25° F) for 22 hours, at

-34.5° C (-30° F) for 8 hours, and at -37.2° C (-35° F) for 0.5 hours. These extended times take into account the amount of time required for temperature to equalize within the meat along with a margin of safety.

- Sharif

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I agree. Being multi-cellular organisms, trichinae (the roundworms which cause trichinosis) are pretty easy to kill. The USDA regulations, for example, are a little more conservative than the quoted fact sheet, but still approve anything from 30 minutes at 130F to one minute at 140F. Cite (see table at p.2 of the pdf). This is well within any sous vide protocol anyone is going to use for pork.

BTW, credit to jmolinari for posting this information in the original sous vide thread, which is where I learned about it.

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If you are interested in a somewhat readable explanation of trichinella I would suggest you take a look at the FDA bad bug book available here Page 139 goes into some frequency of illness.

7. Frequency

Between 2000 and 2007, an average of 13 laboratory-confirmed illnesses were reported, per year, through the U.S. National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System. However, adjusting for under-diagnosis and under-reporting, the frequency of domestically acquired trichinellosis isestimated to be between 40 and 340 illnesses per year. Much higher infection rates per capita occur in less-developed pork-consuming nations and in countries that have disruptions in modernized pork production due to political upheavals.

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2


I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Our pork has been frozen. Our local butcher/sausage maker said that the government regulations here in Canada say he has to freeze his sausage bound pork for a certain number of weeks to kill any pathogens. Interesting.

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One question conerning the size of meat:

For new Year we want to prepare a Roastbeef/entrecote piece of meat sous vide.

The piece will be 4kg, around 7cm high and about 40cm Long.

Wanting it Medium rare i thought about 56 degrees Celsius, but for how Long? I am worried that After 24 hours (as Baldwin suggests) the meat will be mushy.

Thanks for your advice!

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One question conerning the size of meat:

For new Year we want to prepare a Roastbeef/entrecote piece of meat sous vide.

The piece will be 4kg, around 7cm high and about 40cm Long.

Wanting it Medium rare i thought about 56 degrees Celsius, but for how Long? I am worried that After 24 hours (as Baldwin suggests) the meat will be mushy.

Thanks for your advice!

I can't imagine that it will become mushy after 24h. If you are concerned, portion it into individual steaks first and then cook for 8h or so.

(Coincidentally, I am currently cooking 3cm-thick rib eye/entrecote steaks for 8-9 hours at 130F/54.5C for tonight's dinner.)

Edited by jmasur (log)
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Hi All,

One of the features of sous vide that interests me is the ability to cook and rapidly chill food for later reheating and serving. While this is great for storing your 72 hour-cooked short ribs, I'd like to learn more about strategies to adopt when coming home from the store with freezer-destined meat including steaks, chicken, salmon etc.

One option I am considering is the following:

Sear > Seal > Cook > Chill > Freeze > Reheat (1 degree lower) > Sear > Serve

The other is:

Sear > Seal > Chill > Freeze > Cook > Sear > Serve

The questions I have are the following:

1) Does cooking from frozen (in any scenario) result in measurably less-favourable results than simply refrigerating?

2) If not, then would there be a preferred option?

3) Does this vary depending upon the protein/vegetable? If so, how?

Any help here would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,


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I have never seared prior to cooking, because I don't see any benefit. Any texture development would be lost in the subsequent cook, so you'd have to sear again anyway, and you'd be starting further in the doneness process than I'd want. (I find one of the biggest challenges with sv to be putting a final sear on with high enough heat to avoid further cooking the interior.)

But in your second scenario - sear, but don't cook, before freezing - I would have food safety concerns. You would have raised the temperature of a portion of the meat to the danger zone without cooking long enough to pasteurize. It may be that the chill and freeze would address that adequately. But again, since I see no upside, I can't imagine doing it.

I have prepped and frozen raw meats (beef, and poultry, and fish), then cooked and seared; and I have prepped, cooked, fast chilled in an ice bath, frozen, and reheated/recorded, then seared. I couldn't tell you that it has made a difference in taste or safety, just convenience.

Edited by jmasur (log)
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Wise Words, above

there is a great deal of information on eG re when to sear, w refs to independent tests.

sear last just before plating is what Ive taken away from this diswcussion

its worth a look through the archives to find these refs.

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Ditto on searing at the end, always. For exceptionally long times, such as three day short ribs, pre searing can impart odd flavors, or so says MCaH. I've never seen a benefit, so I never pre sear.

As far as cooking from frozen, I do it all the time. It's one of the best things about sous vide as far as I'm concerned... No thawing.

I noticed you plan to reheat 1 degree lower. I personally drop the temp more. I've noticed texture changes that result from longer cooking time, and with meats you get more moisture loss with higher temps. Think of it this way. If I cook a roast sous vide and it takes two hours to reach temp, leaving it in for another hour will not overcook it, but it will result in more melting of connective tissue (good or bad depending on the application) and more moisture loss (rarely good). The higher the temp, the more pronounced. So if I have something cooked to where I want it and have to reheat it later, I only heat it to the temp I have to for serving. This can end up being one degree, or 10 degrees lower, depending on the food (or 20, or 15, you get the point). I want to see almost zero moisture loss from the reheating.

As a bonus, the lower temp means my searing (especially when using the deep fry method) will have less of an effect on the interior.

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ChefSteps on presearing.....

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!


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Hi DiggingDogFarm,

This video was actually the thing that convinced me of the benefits of presearing.

In addition to disinfecting the surface as scubadoo97 suggested, it also means that, as the meat is cold beforehand, less of the meat is overcooked as a result of searing when the meat is hot.

I'm going to run with this for a while and provide updates on my progress.

I guess the only outstanding question I have is regarding freezing in the first place.

Although something needing to be cooked for a number of days may be cooked in advance and then refrigerated/frozen. I see no reason to do this for, say a filet steak, other than convenience. Presearing upon returning from the store, then packing, prevents the need for me to try and sear the meat from frozen and repackage later on.

I guess I could freeze the meat straight from the store, sear from frozen when I need to, then sous vide in a zip lock bag (of which I have about a billion).


Kind regards,


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I only freeze food I need to store long term. If you are planning to freeze everything you sous vide as a matter of procedure, I'd say you may be over complicating the method.

Pre-searing: I agree with the video that under those circumstances, pre searing will help minimize over cooking, but that's one reason I don't like that method of finishing. I find the pan (even a thick skillet, which didn't look as hot in the video as it should have been) doesn't store enough heat to sear fast enough. It's why I either use a torch or deep fry to sear. The torch has plenty of heat to sear fast, and the large quantity of oil in the deep fryer can maintain temp much better than a thin layer of oil in a skillet.

BUT, if you find that pre searing produces a product you like better, do it's that's really the whole point, after all. I just don't find the benefits worth the extra work. Let us know what you think after trying it. Cheers

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I've always pre-seared steaks after they had been frozen for 30 minutes. Not sure if it really reduces over-cooking that much compared to a pre-sear from the fridge.

Ryan Imgrund

Food Lover and Published Foodborne Pathogen Expert

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