Category: sous-vide cooking

sous vide beef short rib

So, this weekend our sous vide cooking experiments continued with beef short rib. We wanted to achieve a pull apart, juicy texture. Looking around at suggestions online, we finally decided to try cooking a 1kg piece of beef short rib at 62 degrees C for 46h. This most certainly lead to amazingly pull apart beef. Especially near the bone the meat was especially tender and juicy. Next time we aim to try cooking this cut of beef at the same temperature for 24h, to maybe achieve a slightly pinker but still pullable texture:

48h sous-vide cooked short rib with gratin potatoes and mushroom sauce

  • We seasoned the short rib with salt and pepper and then vacuum packed it.
  • We cooked the short rib sous vide at 62 degrees C for 46h.
  • To make the gratin potatoes we rubbed garlic around the gratin dish and then layered thin potato slices with cheese, salt, pepper and 200ml cream. We cooked this, covered with foil for 1h at 200 degrees C. In between we kept checking the potatoes weren’t drying out and added more milk as needed, to keep them cooking nicely. Finally we removed the foil to allow the potato gratin to brown on top for about 10 minutes.  
  • Meanwhile, to prepared the sauce, we caramelized handfuls of finely chopped fennel, celery, red onion, red pepper and a crushed garlic clove. We then browned 100g of chanterelle mushrooms and 8 quartered chestnut mushrooms. We combined the mushrooms with previously caramelized vegetables and added a handful of halved small cherry tomatoes from our balcony garden as well as 10 black olives. Then we added a tablespoon of local berry jam (jostaberry in our case but you could use redcurrant or other jam), half a bottle of red wine, a glug of port, 1 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce and 1 teaspoon of mustard and simmered the sauce to reduce and thicken it.
  • Once the beef had finished cooking, we added the beef juices to the sauce and then rendered the fat from the beef short rib on a searing hot pan for a few minutes, until nicely browned.
  • And there you go, ready for serving with a sprinkle of chopped, browned walnuts and parsley from the balcony garden.

sous vide pulled pork

Today we tried making pulled pork for sunday lunch. We have made it previously, by cooking a piece of pork on the BBQ on low heat for a long time. We were interested to find out whether we could get it to remain more tender and juicy by cooking it sous vide:

  • We used a 700g piece of pork neck meat without bone.
  • We prepared a spice rub, to season the meat before cooking: 15g paprika, 15g brown sugar, 1tsp mustard seed, 1tsp ground black pepper, 2 cloves of garlic crushed, 2 tsp coriander seeds. We ground the spice rub in a pestle and mortar and then rubbed it into the pork meat on all sides.
  • We then vacuum packed the pork and cooked it at 74 degrees C water temperature for 18 hours.
  • The next day, we prepared a coleslaw to go with the pulled pork: half a red cabbage, shredded; 1/4 fennel, shredded; 3 raddishes, shredded; 1 red onion shredded.
  • Then we prepared a dressing for the coleslaw, according to Jamie Oliver’s coleslaw recipe
  • Finally, after 18h of sous vide cooking, we removed the pork and roasted it in the oven for 30 minutes at 150 degrees C.
  • Meanwhile we reduced the pork juices from the sous vide cooking. There were a lot of lovely juices with pork and spice mix flavour.
  • Finally, we pulled the pork into thin strips using a fork and hands. This was really easy, as the pork fell apart on its own, without any effort from us really. A sign that the cooking had been right.
  • We then drizzled the reduced pork juices over the shredded pork.
  • Finally we toasted burger bun roll halves on a griddle pan, topped them with the pulled pork and coleslaw. 

Highly recommended and hardly any effort at all, since the pork can be cooked this way over night.

 

sous vide guide for different meats, fish and seafood

Last week we decided to buy a sous vide device for cooking food, vacuum packed, in a water bath. We’ve always wanted to experiment, cooking meat sous vide, to achieve end results not achievable in the oven, slow cooker or on the grill. Mostly a more even cooking throughout the meat and a more tender texture. 

Us being scientists, we can’t resist the temptation to experiment a little. Surprisingly, for certain types of fish or meats there are lots of suggested cooking parameters (temperature and time), but there isn’t a general consensus online to obtain best results, sous-vide. Therefore we will attempt to test different meats and record the best parameters (in our opinion) here. So, watch this space:

Octopus

400g piece – 82 degrees C for 5 hours (achieves a tender but firm meaty texture)

Pulled Pork

700g neck meat – 74 degrees C for 18 hours, then transfer to the oven at 150 degrees C for 30 min. 

sous vide octopus

Our memories of eating octopus in Croatia, on holiday, inspired us to try cooking it sous vide with our new sous vide device. The challenge with octopus is always to not get the tough, chewy texture. It is rare to go out and get the perfectly cooked octopus served to you. A little bit of research online suggests we should be able to achieve the perfectly cooked octopus, if we cook it ‘sous vide’ in a water bath. Inspired by our Croatian octopus experience, we decided to recreate the traditional ‘octopus pekka’, by serving it with potato slices, red onion and black olives, roasted in plenty of olive oil.

So here is our experience:

  • We vacuum packed the octopus together with a sprig each of rosemary and lemon thyme.
  • Then we cooked the octopus in the water bath at 82 degrees C for 5 hours.
  • Meanwhile we sliced the potatoes thickly and roasted them with a generous amount of olive oil to achieve a golden colour (about 15 minutes). Then we added red onion wedges, home grown cherry tomato halves and black olives and continued roasting for 30 minutes, to allow the flavours combine.
  • Additionally we prepared a vinaigrette to drizzle over the octopus after serving: 35ml lemon juice, 25ml olive oil, teaspoon green jalapeno tabasco, chopped fresh parsley, pepper to season
  • Once the octopus had finished cooking sous vide, we basted it with some olive oil and seared it briefly on a very hot pan with some vegetable oil.
  • Additionally we cooked some samphire on a pan in some butter for a few minutes.
  • To finish, we spliced the octopus and served it with the samphire and roasted potatoes.

With this method we achived a tender but still a little firm octopus texture. Our aim is to next time experiment a little more with the time and temperature of sous vide cooking. Interestingly, when you look online, there are many different opinions on how long and at what temperature to cook octopus at, sous vide. It is surprising to us there is not a general consensus yet. So this will be our aim. Yesterday we bought three octopus tentacles and just cooked one tentacle. Therefore we still have two tentacles to experiment with 🙂 watch this space to see our progress to experimentally determine the best cooking parameters (we are scientists afterall 😉 )