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random musings of a crazy cat lady

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Recipe Geek Family Reunion: sous vide cooking

As I mentioned in a previous post, my brother is now the proud owner of a sous vide cooker. It's a temperature controlled water bath. You seal up stuff in vacuum-seal bags and cook it very slowly.
He had the cooker in action this weekend. He cooked up 9 lbs of meat for Italian Beef sandwiches, which are sort of like a spicy French Dip sandwiches. It took about two days to cook. It came out very tender and moist, even though it was a cheap, fairly lean cut of meat. He sliced it up and delegated the broth making duties to me. This was perhaps a bad idea, since I have never eaten the real thing and sort of randomly added spices from Herb's spice cabinet (wordplay intended!) and then put some pickled peppers in there. It was a bit hotter than intended but I liked it. The sliced beef and broth were then transported to the tailgate and reheated in a tray over a Sterno. It was very popular and there were no leftovers.
The next day he cooked chicken breasts. Those only took a few hours. Once again, it was very moist and tender.
For things that have a browned crust, the meat is browned after cooking in the sous vide. A lot of high end restaurants use it for steaks.
Anyway, I was pretty impressed. Will I be buying one in the near future? I don't know. It's hard to justify for just me. My brother at least has Herb to help eat all the leftovers.

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