Sous-vide Steak

I experimented with sous-vide market steaks. I cooked them to 126F (after vacuum sealing) in the thermal bath and then finished them with about 30 seconds on each side in a hot iron skillet. As usual the steaks were very juicy, but the lack of browning flavors was evident. The searing didn’t fix that. NOTE: I’ve made similar steaks many times since and as long as I seared them long enough they were excellent and universally well received.

Alternatives might be to sear the steaks first, change the time and temperature of the searing, or of course to give up and just do steaks the “old-fashioned” way.–David

February 22, 2006. Recipes, Technique. 18 comments.

Spare Ribs “sous-vide”

I’m a big fan of slow-cooking spare ribs in my smoker. So it was natural to try them in my water bath “sous-vide”. I applied one of my favorite rubs (“Bone Sucking Rub”), vacuum sealed them in my FoodSaver and put them in 150F for 24 hours.

Then I finished them by coating with Bone Sucking Sauce and placing them in a 350F oven for 30 minutes.

In general they were quite promising. Most of the ribs were “fall apart tender” without being as well-done as if they were smoked to that point. However, portions of the ribs were fairly dry. I’m not sure if that was because of their structure or because the FoodSaver doesn’t really “shrink-wrap” food so a fair amount of juice can seep out into the bag. In future I may try rotating the bags around in the bath to see if I can ensure that all portions get plenty of liquid.

As with other sous-vide dishes the ribs didn’t have as intensive a “browning” reaction, but the juiciness helps make up for that. I’m not quite sure what to fiddle with in this approach, so I welcome suggestions!–David


February 22, 2006. Technique. 11 comments.

“Osso Bucco” — Sous-vide Style

I really wanted to try an ultra-long cooking time sous-vide recipe, so I bought some veal shanks and after seasoning them (garlic, olive oil and Thyme) I seared them in a pan, vacuum sealed them and put them in 140F for 24 hours.

As with most sous-vide dishes they were incredibly tender and juicy, so the time worked out find. However, the texture was a little “greasy” and some of the fatty areas were still there and a little “gamey”–this seems to be a common side-effect of sous-vide since all the fat and other tastes are locked into the meat in the bag and not allowed to burn off. I’m not sure if a second searing at the end of cooking would have fixed this issue.

 Overall the veal shank did taste good, so I can’t complain too much, but I’ll be looking for ways to improve the finish.


February 5, 2006. Recipes, Technique. 11 comments.