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haresfur

"Modernist Cuisine at Home": Hacks, cheats, and embellishments

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The cooking with Modernist Cuisine at Home topic seems to have mostly run its course as many of us have had the book for quite a while.  One thing I like a lot about the book is that it presents ideas for variations along with the recipes and presents many variations of ways of achieving similar results.  So my motivation for this topic is to have a place to talk about our experiments in modifying the recipes - successful or not.  You see I have difficulty following instructions...

 

To start, is serendipity with this post in the sous vide thread asking about using bag juice that came out right as I finished up an experiment with the red wine glaze. The experiment was motivated by a mistake where I made SV short ribs at too high a temperature a while back.  The meat was not very good but juice was wonderful.  So instead of frying up a bunch of ground beef, I took a half kilo of relatively lean stewing beef and bunged it in the SV at 88 C for an hour.  At the end of that time the meat was dry and the bag full of meat juice.  The juice was very clear and light in colour with little in the way of 'gunk'.  I added it to the wine and veg, started reducing, then strained the veg out and reduced the rest of the way.  I skipped pressure cooking the knucklebones (I'm not sure why the recipe has you reduce the wine, then add water to pressure cook the bones, why not cook the bones in the wine then reduce?)

 

To cut to the chase, I was quite happy with the result.  I don't agree with the 'fat is flavour' mantra and the only fat in this was the little that rendered out of the meat in the SV.  I might try adding a little gelatin for mouth feel and to make the glaze with less reduction.

 

... and the dog was happy with the dried out meat for his tea-time.

 

 

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Neat!

 

Do you have an idea of the reduced liquid yield / lb meat?

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Agree that "fat is flavor" is overdone by a lot. I don't find a fatty piece of meat appealing.

 

But it will carry flavors that aren't water-soluble.

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Yeah, I should have measured but I would estimate about a half cup of liquid goodness.  Then again, I'm cheap and only used  1/2 kilo of meat and the recipe calls for frying up 1.3 kilos.  Obviously I didn't get the browning.

 

You are correct that fat can carry flavours and one thing I wonder about is if you could use something like liquid-liquid extraction to get some flavours to go into the oil and from there into the aqueous phase.  

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It's called osmazome.

 

Check out this link for a pictorial I did on creating this using mince.

 

 

 

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Hallelujah! Thanks for coming in, Nick. I've been trying to remember that word for weeks.

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It's called osmazome.

 

Check out this link for a pictorial I did on creating this using mince.

 

Thanks Nick.  A couple of differences with what I did.  I cranked the temperature up and the time down and used pretty lean meat.  This saved time but also seemed to keep from rendering much fat.  I didn't try boiling the liquid by itself but there was no protein coagulation as I reduced the wine.  I'm guessing that the time/temperature conditions were a factor in this.  Certainly the liquid was very much lighter and clearer than in my usual slow cook SV.  The higher temperature can only help increase the yield.  It would be interesting to do a taste comparison with different times in the SV.

 

My main motivation though was to minimise the fat, simplify the process, and keep from having to wash a fry pan.

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 one thing I wonder about is if you could use something like liquid-liquid extraction to get some flavours to go into the oil and from there into the aqueous phase.  

 

Might be easier to put in some alcohol with the flavor in it. Or pot the flavor in a tiny bit of roux

 

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Sous vide beef juice is is covered in the full Modernist Cuisine books.  It's a pretty simple technique. Bag ground lean beef and cook SV for 1.5 hours at 90C.  Yield is around 30% (meaning that 100 grams of lean beef will get you around 30 grams of beef juice).  It's probably not included in MCAH because the low yield makes it too expensive for most home cooks.  

 

Osmazome is… okay, I guess.  When it's produced as a byproduct of something I'm already making, I often chuck it into whatever sauce I'm making.  But I wouldn't go to a lot of trouble and expense to make osmazome on purpose.  IMO it doesn't hold a candle to jus, with all its Maillard flavors from intense browning and viscous mouthfeel from dissolved gelatin.

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MC also covers making jus, or maybe more accurately an embelished/extended jus-like liquid.

 

Basic method is to cut aged chuck into 1" cubes, and cook sv. for 4 hours at 53C. Optionally add some bromelaine to the mix to increase yield. Juice by pressing against a fine seive.

 

Then they suggest centrifuging (thankfully this is optional), and mixing with an equal quantity of water slightly thickened with guar and xanthan. Seasoned with salt and MSG.

 

This is from vol. 5; there's another (similar) method elsewhere if I recall.

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I can't remember if I posted something about this to the soup or pressure cooker thread but I've been extracting leek juice in the pressure cooker instead of sous vide for the Vichyssoise or cauliflower-leek soup.  The idea is to cut the leeks lengthwise and put in the bottom of the pressure cooker with just a little water. I put the potatoes or cauli over top and pressure cook.  Cauliflower takes about 8 min on high.  Crash cool and remove the cauliflower.  Mash the leeks in a sieve over a bowl to get the juice.  I haven't done the potato-enzyme stuff but I think you could after cooling them.  For Cauliflower, I just blend with a stick blender then, if I'm feeling posh, sieve it.  Add the juice, and season.  Add water from the bottom of the PC to thin to taste.  I think cream hides the leek flavour but YMMV.  

 

Yeah, so different method but IMO easier and much faster. You might lose a little flavour from the leeks to the water but the squeezings are still very concentrated.

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I took a hint from the pressure cooked catsup to jack-up the tomato for some pressure cooked osso bucco. Instead of catsup I took a can of tomato paste, added baking soda to make it alkaline and put a jar of it on the trivet in the PC with a loose lid. Cooked for 30 min on high and got some lovely thick maillard paste to add to the dish.

 

You could probably do this as proper pressure canning but I'm cautious and used it within a day. For storage, you could also make it acidic with some vinegar afterwards if you are worried about botulism.

 

(The dish was a bit of a failure because the meat didn't fall apart but the sauce was really nice.)

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