Sous-vide is a cooking technique that until a couple of years ago was only possible in a professional kitchen. It is simply cooking with vacuum sealed bags in a water bath kept at a constant temperature. One of my main concerns for the home cook though was food safety. This issue was addressed in a blog post that I stumbled upon. It finally convinced me to try the method. I’m quite happy I did.
The post talked about the author’s use of different controllers to turn a crock pot or rice cooker on and off to maintain the constant temperature of the water bath that is required. I ended up ordering the Ranco Electric Temperature Control. A home vacuum sealer, in my case a Foodsaver, is the other necessary piece of equipment, which I’ve had for several years.
So, today I mixed up a marinate and sealed up a nice sized Buffalo Tri-Tip that came with this month’s meat C.S.A.* It went into the crock pot that was plugged into the Ranco ETC. The temperature probe is left in the water bath and I set the controller for 132°F, medium rare. I got this all going about 11:30 am this morning. I had meant to get it going earlier as I like to cook a tri-tip of this size 8 or so hours. The great thing about the method is that the meat will be medium rare no matter how long you cook it. The texture does transform though and too long of a bath will make for too soft of a texture. With a tough cut of meat like this 8 hours is about right.
It turned out perfectly. After removing it from the bag, I cut it in half to save part of it for the freezer and grilled the rest for just a few minutes. It was very tender, but still had great texture. The flavors of the marinate, which was miso, soy sauce, honey, garlic, onion and ginger powders, was distinct and tasty. A little salt at the table really brought out the flavors.
Roasted broccoli and fresh tomatoes from the garden rounded out the plate. My dinner plates are looking so similar in these posts! That will surely change when the tomato season ends.
Read about my fist sous-vide experience in my long dead Hawaii Blog here.
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce, Reduced Sodium if possible
1 Tablespoon Red Miso
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 teaspoon each, garlic powder, ginger powder, onion powder
*C.S.A. – Community Supported Agriculture. I.e. buying directly from the farmer.