Sous Vide Eggs

Here are some eggs we sous vide at 63 degrees for 2o minutes.  My banquet cook Andrew at the Jacksonville Inn experimented with just the right time and temperature for these great results.  They went great on our House smoked wild Columbia River Sturgeon we did for a party of 300 for my last big party off site.  Worked great!  We were cracking them on site.  Beautiful… 

Lots of Sous Vide

100 lbs of short ribs…  YIKES.  Had to bust out the “Jacuzzi”.

Duck, Take One…

Here is version 1.1 of our new duck dish.  It’s pretty standard with pan seared duck breast, confit leg, butternut squash puree and roasted fall root vegetable hash.   Good, solid winter flavors.  I, however, wanted to somehow make the skin **SUPER** crispy thus altering the final texture.  I was thinking of duck skin as thin as chicken skin.  On our next version, we will be involving a frozen, meat glued block of duck skin and a thermal circulator to reinvent it.  Can’t wait!  Be on the look out for version 1.2

Sous Vide Pulled Pork

We season pork butt with salt, sugar and aromatics and cure it over night.  It’s then sealed and sous vide for 12 hours at 176 deg.  We will be using this for our chicken fried pulled pork.

Pork Getting Ready for Sous Vide

We’ve taken Pork Shoulder and seasoned it heavily with salt, sugar and spices.  Then we will sous vide it for about 28 hours at 160 deg.  This will then be pulled and pressed in a terrine and then wrapped in chicken skin.

Sous Vide Filet Crusted With Rogue Creamery Blue

WIth Crispy Potatoes and Peas and Carrots (5-Color Baby Carrots from our garden…)

New Chicken Dish

Sous Vide Chicken with Linguisa and Caramelized Fennel Risotto, Toasted Garlic-Saffron Broth and Smoked Paprika Oil

Score!

$41.00 on eBay…  It may not be digital, but works great!

Oregon Cheesemaker’s Guild Dinner Final

This was a great time.  Really enjoyed havin fun with some killer cheese.  Thanks for all that came.  We had a sell out crowd of 132 people. 

Ancient Heritage Dairy Scio Heritage Sheep’s Milk Cheese and Prosciutto Sandwich with Creamy Sweet Onion and Duck Confit Soup with White Truffle Essence

Green Olive Stuffed Quail over Tillamook White Cheddar Polenta with Crispy Cheddar Tuilles

Rogue Creamery Caveman Blue Cheese Crusted Filet of Beef with Oregon Black Truffle-Potato Puree, Spring Onion and Sweet Pea Ragout and Local Cabernet Reduction

Three Ring Farms River’s Edge Fresh Chevre and Pistachio Truffles with Belgium Hot Chocolate Topped with Cocoa “Caviar”

New Short Rib Appetizer

 

Sous Vide Short Ribs with Local Wild Mushroom Risotto and Cabernet Sauce

New Application for Sous Vide Cooking (For Our Kitchen Anyway…)

So, I have been doing a lot of slow and low cooking using my thermal immersion circulator…  But for the last wine maker’s dinner we did, I cooked filets that were sealed with salt, pepper and olive oil at 130 deg F for 1 hour.  This made them a perfect medium rare and the texture was like silk.  I did not sear them after.  Simply served them as they were.  Funny, they almost looked completely uncooked…  Meat lover’s dream…  I used some closed cell foam tape attached to the bag to get an internal temperature reading of the meat without compromising the vacuum seal.

1/2 The Results

Here are some photos of the sous vide short ribs half way through the cooking process and the traditionally braised short ribs for comparison.  Tomorrow we will plate them both up side by side for a taste test.

What’s All the Fuss With Sous Vide Anyway?

Modern sous-vide cooking originated in Switzerland in the 1960s as a way to preserve and sterilize food in hospital kitchens. Many restaurants now use the technique as a combination of cooking method and storage shortcut, because the food, once safely cooked under seal, can be quick-chilled and refrigerated for days.   In today’s kitchens, traditionally a piece of meat is place in a 600 deg F pan or Blazing hot grill and cooked until the center reaches the desired temperature (130 deg F for Medium Rare).  This results in almost 50% of the flesh being dry and overcooked while the center reaches the proper temperature.  With sous vide, the entire piece of meat is cooked in a medium that is the same temperature you want the center to be.  So, if you want Medium Rare, you set the temp for 130, let it go until the center reaches that temperature and the whole piece is 130 deg end to end without anything being over cooked.  Furthermore, you cannot over cook it because the temperature never goes above this.  Also, the longer you leave it in the water, the more tender the meat becomes.  This is why more tender cuts such as filet mignon require short times in the area of about 2 hours and beef shortribs which are very tough require days.

So, that sounds great and all, but there’s a lot more to it than just that.  Suffice to say, many people may dismiss this cooking method in modern kitchens as a passing trend.  My experience tells me that it will be around for a long time.  The evidence is in marketing.  A home cook can now purchase sous vide equipment that is geared to the home cook at fairly reasonable prices. 

One such piece of equipment is called “Sous Vide Magic” that allows you to connect a temperature controller to a rice cooker that will precisely maintain the temperature required for sous vide cooking.  This will set you back about $150 (for the controller alone, no rice cooker included).

http://freshmealssolutions.com

Another product geared towards the home cook is the sous vide supreme.  It’s a heavy, tabletop (bread machine size) unit that’s self contained.  It’s creating a lot of buzz.  This will set you back about $450.

www.sousvidesupreme.com

It’s suggested that both units be used in conjuction with a vacuum sealer.

While I am not endorsing any of these products in particular, my only point is that a lot of marketing and research dollars are going into making units available to the home cook.  They may become as common as the microwave.  Sort of a reverse microwave that cooks food in hours/days not seconds/minutes. 

So, these indicators tell me there’s a market and people are into it.  Yet, still, the vast majority of diners do not know what sous vide is.  I recommend reading up on it.  As they say, once you cook sous vide, why would you ever want to cook any other way again?

Beef Shortribs. Sous Vide of Course.

Here I am playing with the 36 hour braised beef shortrib.  The beginnings of the technique are all very traditional.  They are seasoned with the old salt and pepper then seared hard and fast.  They are then combined with sweated mirepoix, aromatics, red wine and veal stock.  Just for fun and comparison, I am braising a batch traditionally in the oven, then another batch will be sous vide at 130 deg F for 36 hours and another yet will be sous vide at the same temp for 48 hours.  Holding them at 130 deg F will effectivly pasteurize the product making it very stable.  I’m hoping to achieve a fork tender shortrib that remains medium rare.

Sous Vide Potato Confit

Here is a take on a technique first done by Chris Huerta who I worked with at Old Edwards last.   He would confit the potatoes traditionally in a pot on the stove.  Here, I used seasoned duck fat and sous vide them at 176 deg F for 2.5 hours.  They will be crisped in a pan to order and served with…?

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