Re: [] Poor man's sous-vide cookery

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From: Tom Sulston
Subject: Re: [] Poor man's sous-vide cookery
Date: 12:30 on 04 Feb 2007
On Jan 29, 2007, at 15:42, Billy Abbott wrote:

> Basically, a bit of easy to do home vacuum bag cooking, without the  
> vacuum bag.
> Anyways, I bunged an off the boil kettle's worth of water into a  
> big casserole dish and heated my oven to about 60degC (thanks to my  
> 5pound oven thermometer that I bought the day beforehand because it  
> looked nice). I chucked cold water into the casserole until it was  
> about 60degC (by my other thermometer. I like thermometers). I then  
> stuck my room temperature steak into a zip lock back, squeezed out  
> as much air as I could and sealed it up. I bunged it in the water,  
> put a lid on the casserole and shoved it in the oven for 30  
> minutes, checking the temp from time to time.

Recently, I bought a cheap vacuum-sealer (from the wonderful Nisbets,  
FWIW. ) Mostly with the intention of putting portion-sized packages  
into the freezer so that they don't get freezer-burn. But I did have  
a crack at some sous-vide, too.

I did lamb fillet, without anything else in the bag but a little salt  
and pepper. I used a slow-cooker on low, with a probe thermometer to  
keep an eye on it. I had to occasionally top up with cold water to  
keep it from going above 70[1] (Which is about when you start  
overcooking and the seal on the bag starts to go[2].)

After 4 hours, I whipped them out and served with some pommes  
boulangère and sugar snaps. They were great, although I think that  
they could have done with being blowtorched on the outside to  
caramelise the edges a bit - the flavour was rich and consistent, but  
rather one-note.  I might also consider larding them in future.

Experiments to follow are: salmon sous-vide with earl grey. (It's  
great if you hot-smoke it, so I reckon that a slow infusion should  
work too). And I reckon that there's some things that can be done  
with injecting eggs with liquidised aromatics and then soft-boiling  
them when sealed.


[1] Insert 'Speed' joke here.
[2] Which I discovered the hard way when cooking pork chops on the  
hob. Poached pork is not nice, kids. 

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