Man Candy has learned a lot about food since we started, you know, hanging out. His dad, along with us, is a scientist, and picked up a laser chiller for us that was being thrown out.
|well hello there, gorgeous|
Doesn't sound cool? Well it is, and you might know it by its culinary namesake : a sous vide water bath. It's like the Rolls Royce of modern culinary technique, all rolled up into one giant 150 pound package that stays outside so it doesn't take up our whole kitchen counter.
For those of you who haven't heard of a sous vide, the basic idea is that a tub of water (or any other solvent) is held at a constant temperature for long periods of time. If you set that temperature to, say, the final cooking temperature of chicken, and then put a vacuum-sealed chicken breast in the water bath, after a long enough period of time, the breast will be cooked perfectly from edge to edge. The different from cooking in the oven comes in the constant temperature. In the oven, you use a much higher temperature, which cooks from the outside in. This can cause the outside of the meat to be cooked to a much further extent than the meat inside. Not so with a sous vide. The result is perfectly tender meat, cooked to the correct temperature.
When cooking fatty meats in the sous vide, you have to sear them after they are done cooking. This gives them a better texture and renders their fat. Mmm Maillard reaction. Trust me, I'm a scientist.
Sous Vide Pork
You want to get a final internal temperature of roughly 145 degrees F for about an hour. That's a nice medium well. So set your sous vide to 145. Alternatively, you can try this on the stove with the aid of a thermometer. It'll be difficult, but probably worth it. To make a ghetto fabulous vacuum seal, use a ziplock bag, fill with your meat and marinade, and insert a straw. Seal the bag up to the straw, and then suck out the air and in one quick movement, pull out the straw and seal the bag. Almost as good as a real vacuum seal!
After cooking, to sear, heat a pan over high heat until water sizzles wildly when tossed onto it. Place the meat, fat side down, in the pan. This will NOT take long : do not overdo it! You cooked the meat to the perfect temperature and you can overcook it if not careful at this point. A minute will do it.