Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More adventures in sous vide

Sous vide -- cooking under vacuum at a controlled temperature -- is fun to experiment with. If you've ready any of my earlier posts about this technique, you already know that an induction burner is your best friend when you are trying to do this and can't (or won't) spend way too much money on all the fancy gear.

For this try I used two six-ounce beef filet steaks, freshly cut from a whole tenderloin. Into the bag with the steaks I put in a bit of fresh rosemary and thyme, and a 1-oz cube of frozen veal demi-glace. It is so much easier to vacuum process the bag when you don't have any liquids in it, so the frozen demi was wonderful to use. I set the control to keep the water temp at 125 degrees and let time and temp do their work. About 40 minutes later, after we had our side dishes done we pulled out the steaks. They were soft and supple, with a faint hint of rosemary in the sauce. And they tasted great, soft and silky on the tongue with flavor that was delicate yet robust. I think the strength in the flavor came from some mushroom caps we sauteed in butter and finished with a bit of oxtail stock. We allowed the stock to reduce and caramelize, and so got Maillard reaction taste with the beef without browning it. Yum.

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