OK, so we kept hearing from Tushar and other people about how sous vide gives an awesome texture to meats and veggies.
We treated ourselves to this thing. It was way lower in price than other brands on the internet ($69 instead of $200), and you don’t need to use a smartphone to control it. Which I think is a really dumb feature of both the Anova and Joule brands of sous vide machines.
Why should I be required to pull out my phone to control the sous vide machine that is sitting right in front of me? This brand (Sous Smart) makes more sense to me. Plug it in and set it. If I did have to walk away from it for a period of time and wouldn’t be around to turn it off when the food is ‘done,’ who cares? One major reason for the existence of sous vide is that the food waits for you at the correct temperature, for hours, without being overdone.
So, yesterday we tested it out with a couple chicken thighs prepared very simply with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. We vacuum-sealed them into a bag and Scott cooked them sous vide for eight hours at 165 degrees.
After removing the cooked chicken from the bag, I quickly seared them in some coconut oil on very high heat to brown them and crisp up the skin.
I made a quick sherry and butter gravy with the liquid in the cooking bags, and the crusties in the skillet. When we bit into the meat, we both made exclamations of wonder. I have never had chicken with this melting texture before. And the skin was shatteringly crisp, probably because during sous vide it was rendered out very thin. Very nice. Will do again.
So today we did some thick center cut pork loin chops for a couple hours at 140 degrees. Scott seasoned all seven of very simply with just a sprinkle of salt, which I am still angry at him about because I wanted to experiment with some different spices on a couple of them, which I TOLD him I wanted to do yesterday but he ignored me and did his own boring thing while I was still sleeping this morning. Which is fine. Fine.
This is how awful and grey food looks when it comes out of the bag. My understanding from some other videos I have watched, is that the bag impressions in the food can be prevented by adding some oil to the bag before cooking. It fills up the corners of the bag instead of allowing the slowly gelatinizing meat to conform there.
I knew this because I watched those videos, so this morning I would have put a little oil in the bags, but I wasn’t around, so now we have plastic bag-looking chops. Whatever. I think I’ll go talk to this wall now.
Some of them probably would have also looked better if I had been allowed to put some spices on them. But no. Nevermind. It’s a man’s world.
I patted them dry with paper towels and gave them that same scorching skillet sear that the chicken got yesterday, but this time instead of chatting with my husband, I was completely silent, because who cares if I say anything anyway.
Pretty good. Not as dramatic a textural difference from chops cooked the regular way, though. I wonder if to get that extremely succulent texture, they really needed to be in the low heat cooking for much longer. Or maybe I cooked them a bit too long in the skillet, negating the benefits of low heat cooking.
Don’t know. But we will be trying again real soon. It’s a new toy!
Next experiment: Probably veggies or salmon. Although Scott’s smoked salmon is pretty hard to beat.