polyscience csv700 sous vide circulating pump
This is one of our two sous vide circulating pumps. The bags with food go into the bath for cooking.

Mrs. Lion’s post yesterday (“More Home Cooking“) mentioned our weekend culinary plans. We will be trying the first of two fairly radical recipes. I’ve been doing sous vide cooking for a few years now. I’ve limited myself to steak. If you haven’t tried it, a sous vide steak is perfect temperature from top to bottom.

The sous vide process uses a circulating pump to keep a bath of water at a precise temperature (withing 0.1 deg. F). The water is set to the temperture the food needs to be when it is perfectly cooked. For example, a mid-rare steak is at 127 degrees. F. The steak is seasoned and sealed in a plastic bag. The bag goes into the water bath for about an hour. Time isn’t too important It can stay in the bath for two hours without degradation. When nearly time to eat, I take the steak out of the bag and sear it for a minute or so on each side. Voila! it’s ready and perfect.

We watched an old Alton Brown “Good Eats” show where he made a tender roast from a very tough, cheap cut of meat with sous vide. He used a rump roast. That’s a particularly tough cut of meat. He made a wet rub for it, sealed it in a bag, and put it in a sous vide bath for ten hours. That was enough time to break down the tough tissue in the meat. Since the bath was 140 degrees F, the meat came ou a perfect medium level of doneness. That’s what we’re going to cook overnight tonight (Saturday). Yum.

On Sunday, we will make a nice pot of beef mushroom-barley soup. We love it. It’s perfect on a cold, damp day. Our most radical experiment is reserved for Thanksgiving. Every year, we make a turkey breast. This year, instead of roasting it, we’re going to sous vide it. The technique is wild. We take off the skin and remove themeat from the bone. We then use butcher’s twine to put the two halves of the breast together to form a cylindar. That goes into a bag and into the sous vide bath for about five hours. What’s supposed to emerge is a perfectly cooked breast. We crisp the skin separately. Wild, huh?

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2 Comments

  1. I plan to investigate this sous vide process. I have never heard of it.

    1. Author

      You can find a lot of information on the Net. We are constantly amazed by how easy it is to make great food. One warning: Don’t buy a circulating pump that costs less than $100. The cheap ones don’t do the job.

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