The Chronicles of the Sous Vide Supreme Part I

22 Jan

So far, having the sous vide supreme has not just been having a new toy: it’s been like choosing the blue pill–going down into the rabbit hole.  Even though I knew a lot about sous vide cooking before having the at-home version of the machine, I never thought about the possibility of being able to cook sous vide at home.

The first thing I did when I realized using ziploc bags just wouldn’t cut it was go to Chef Central and find a sealing system that would create my vacuum sealed food, ready to be cooked to perfection.  I could have gotten a cheap model they were trying to sell and had discontinued at the store, but I feared for the quality of my food and the possibility that I would have to replace it soon anyway, so I went with a sturdy FoodSaver machine that looks nice and professional.  It custom-cuts bags as well, and after using the FoodSaver a few times, I have found it quite functional!

Investing in the FoodSaver was like saying, “yes, I will be able to seal and sous vide anything at any time!”  So, when I got home from Chef Central, I began to toil.  First, I sous-vide some brisket to a medium doneness just to see.  It was perfectly medium all the way through, but I decided I need to try many different temps on many different cuts to find out what is ideal.  I also sous vide eggs.  PEOPLE: this is IMPORTANT.  I cooked the eggs sous vide for a couple hours at 143 degrees F.  They the most ethereal, strange eggs I have ever seen.

The white was a pale white, neither translucent nor perfectly opaque.  The yolk, meanwhile, was cooked to a slightly-set but so very creamy consistency.  The strange part was how the egg came out.  I broke the shell almost half off the egg, but instead of peeling the whole thing (it was delicate), I dumped the egg out of the shell, and it came out whole!  In one, jiggly piece, the egg jumped right onto my plate!  Insanity.

143 degree egg

I also cooked pork belly, a duck breast roulade, and a halved apple to 160 degrees.  The pork belly could have been cooked slightly lower, but the duck, which I had seasoned with salt and smoked paprika and some sugar and trussed, was beautiful.  It was wild-caught mallard duck, and the breast was dark red and gorgeous.  The apple turned into a perfect “baked” apple.  Maybe a higher temp next time, but this was so sweet and delicious, especially when I buttered it and sprinkled it with cinnamon sugar.  Yum!

All I know is that this machine is going to change a lot.  I don’t want it to change my intimacy with cooking: I still know what braising, sauteeing, and other techniques can mean, and I won’t sacrifice those techniques.  Still, for many things, this is a beautiful beginning.

sous vide apples

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