It's been a busy winter. Lots of cooking. Not a lot of blogging. Sorry.
For the sous-vide-machine-maiden-voyage I'm going to work with something I love.
I SV'd it in a marinade of soy, mirin and sugar (equal parts) with garlic, scallion and ginger at 170 degrees for 10 hours.
OMfreakingG. It was fabulous. I made a little over 3/4 cups of marinade. Quarter cup each of mirin (or something sweet -- I used home made rice wine*), soy sauce and sugar with a Tbsp of chopped ginger, 1/2 Tbsp chopped garlic and three chopped scallions.
I cut about a pound of belly into strips and marinated the strips.
SV is basically slow food. Proteins are cooked at a low temp for hours. It cooks the item thoroughly, evenly, throughout.
The French phrase, sous-vide means "under vacuum," referring to the vacuum packed portions that reside in the circulator for up to 72 hours.
I've used circulators in restaurant kitchens before. It's a box attached to a heating element and a small jet that circulates the water.
The machine that I got is self contained and regulates the water temp and the time but doesn't move the water. I suppose the jet in the restaurant-style SV machine acts like a convection oven, moving water instead of air to cook product.
I also made amazing short ribs by rubbing the ribs with garlic and salt and popping them into bags.
The ribs cooked for 36 hours at 160...and tasted exactly like prime rib. The meat was stunningly tender. It was odd, tho, because it looked medium rare.
Searing is a huge component of finishing a sous-vide meat dish. The cooked meat needs a little caramelization -- color -- to look (and taste) normal. I seared the belly before serving.
Rather than searing the ribs (with the bone still attached) I picked the meat off the bones and made a hash with the shorties, onion, potatoes, and spinach.
I'm going to get a seal-a-meal soon so I can stop using baggies. Also, the plastic in the cryovac bags is intended for high temps. Baggies...not so much.
Next up... eggs.
Love big and eat well.
* I've written about four posts about home made rice wine and each one is more riddled with mistakes than the last. So, rather than make anyone read those painful posts here is how to make rice wine at home. Get yeast balls from an Asian market. Cook two cups of rice. Jasmine rice works well, as does sticky rice. Grind up two yeast balls, mix the powder with the rice, put in a large jar,seal and allow to ferment in a warm place. In about three days the rice will turn into rice wine and it's delicious.