Sous Vide at home

Dum, dum, dum, dada, dum, dum – Dum, dum, dum, dada, dum, dum- etc..

Sous Vide (Under Pressure) Cooking (like there isn’t enough pressure in the flippin’ kitchen already). Quite a pricey way to make a tasty steak (not to be confused with a tasty cake). In the food industry, especially event catering, this is a great way to hold food, & not have it dry out, or over cook. Pricey equipment, but certainly worth it if you want to impress your diners, & everyone gets hot food!

A great way to impress your date too, on the home front. I am all out for flavor & having tools in order to make food great, I just don’t always have the time (or budget) to do the things that I do at work.

A good Sous Vide setup will set you back about 3 bills on the cheap side. Which, for a very impressive steak, & maybe a few veggies, could be well worth it, to some.

Oh, spent your 300.00 kitchen budget on that killer knife? Oopsie! No problem! No, this isn’t yet another buy a 30.00 beer cooler or use  your lunch pail spiel. Those work, & certainly great if you’re on a remote location with out power. Proly would be great as a picnic extra.  Leave the pail in the trunk, hmm. Anyhow,this is for those of you who have an even smaller budget, kinda. I did try using my insulated lunch bag, but the water leaked out with in four minutes. Not very water friendly I’d say.

Depending on brand & model, use your slow cooker. Yes, I said slow cooker. Your crock pot. It keeps things at a steady temperature all day.

Just set up the water to that wonderful 130 df temp & put the cooker on hold. If your unit doesn’t have a maintain, low may work for you too. Great time to check the temps on your slow cooker.
Now, on my cooker, the lid has a vent hole that I stick my biotherm in; to make sure the temp is right. If yours doesn’t, that’s what the pocket clip piece is for on your biotherm.

No budget for a cool vacuum sealer unit? You can A) Buy a hand held Food Saver or Zip lock bag vacuum (see pics) & a quart bag. B) use a zip style bag (with a great seal). Just start submerging your bag & meat, to the edge of the water. This will help the water escape. Then, zip the bag closed. The temp (130) isn’t too hot, but do be careful it’s not 98 df (degrees Fahrenheit) .

sous-vide-001-post

Set the timer for 60 minutes & come back to a partially/mostly cooked steak. You can go longer like 3-5 hours so it cooks even more. I haven’t tried it all day as yet, but certainly would wager that it will ‘be ready’ when you get home. I, would make sure to use a vacuum sealer, to make sure that the meat is in fact sealed, for food safety. Hot hold is 140/150, not 130. Vacuum sealing will help, & you’re going to bring it up to temp, before eating it (see food temp at your dot gov food safety board*).

I did take a cast iron skillet & heat it to speed up the cooking a little, but mainly used my torch to ‘finish’ off the petite sirloin.
Yummy good, soft & tender, evenly cooked.

I cooked up some onions & mushrooms in the pan first, with butter & olive oil. After they were done, I removed them & put the sirloin in. I got my torch (see article), & got to work. Certainly you don’t need to use a torch. You can pan fry it, or broil it, which ever you like.

I’m pro broiler not pan frying steak, but I brought my own flamage to the game, in the pan it went.

So there you have it, you can Sous Vide some seriously tasty meat on the ultra cheap, with pretty much the stuff you got on hand. You’re welcome.

For those of you with the school type budget restrictions (college). You can get a slow cooker at your second hand store for like cheap, cheap. I prefer St Vincent de Paul or the Salvation Army (personal reasons). But I’ll bet dollars to donuts that there are a couple thrift stores about your area. Even you in college, may have a thrift store you can go to for even lower prices, or an exchange? For those noobs in the military, I know most bases have an item exchange in the exchange (depending on who runs things, of course).
Yard sales are also a neat way to pick up real stuff, on the cheap. Just keep your eyes open.

So here is the recipe.

vacuum sealer system (system & bag) can be a zip seal bag
meat
rub
slow cooker/crock pot

Rub:
salt
black, red, white, greed or pink pepper ground
onion powder (secret ingredient)
garlic powder

Take your favorite piece of meat & bring it to room temp (leave it out) as much as possible (see freezing article). Sprinkle your rub on both sides. My other ‘secret’ to delicious meat, is to massage the rub in to the meat. Now let it rest. I mean it. People tend to rush this part way too much.

Now put your meat (that meat) in the bag & seal it. Vacuum sealed, you can let it really get to room temp ;}). When you’re water is ready, ‘pop’ the meat in & set the timer.
1 hour is ample; you’re going to finish it off anyhow, but, if dinner isn’t for a while, not to worry, it’ll stay at 130 “all day’ as long as your cooker doesn’t conk out.

sous-vide-002-post

You can do the same with (button) mushrooms & sliced onion, finishing them off in the pan with the steak. Season the mushrooms & onions with just salt & pepper is fine, a little sherry makes it taste sooooo much better, of course (psst, add a tsp beef bullion & mix w-water, with the sherry, saute’ with butter, lots o butter).

Add oil & a couple pats of butter (real butter, fake if you can’t eat real). Salt & pepper your M&O (mushrooms & onions) & cook them before the meat, or if using the torch, together.
Stir & be sure to flip your meat. Plate.

Additional notes (see vacuuming): Not everything can be vacuum sealed. Things like shrimp become rocks, & I hear that soft cheese goes all wacky, & I believe I recall someone saying that Brussels Sprouts don’t like it much either.
*seems food safety is a regional thing (shrug), so check your own government’s website out for temps & safety specs.

Official Under Pressure Video I just couldn’t resist & helps get the song out of my head

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