I discovered and first used ‘Sous Vide’, 2 months ago, in early July 2020. All of my cooking has been experimentation and learning. Converting some of my favourite recipes into the new cooking method, to see what would happen.
I have been looking at various recipes online. They suggest 8, 12, 18, 24, 36 hours, … These times appear excessive. Can someone explain why so long ?
What are your recommendations, based on 1 kg ( 2.2 lbs ) of Beef ? I like to cut the meat into 6 to 8 cm ( 2.5" to 3" ) square chunks. I find the ‘chunks’ cook quicker. Meat is also easier to shred later, using a couple of forks. The meat is browned before it is placed into a sealed plastic bag, ( with my favourite spice blend ). I am not sure if ‘Browning’ is really needed, with ‘Sous Vide’.
As a rule of Thumb : Tougher meats will take longer to tenderize. I like meat with a bit of fat. ( We all know that ‘Fat = Flavour’ )
I have been experimenting with the one temperature of 80oC = 175oF. I also find that I do NOT add water or stock into the plastic bag, unlike my Slow Cooker / Crock Pot version of this recipe. I am also finding that I should only use 60% to 80% of the spices, compared to the ‘Slow Cooker / Crock Pot’ cooking method.
Chuck or Blade Roast, Flank ( which can be fatty ) – up to 12 hours ?
Gravy, Brisket – up to 8 hours ?
Top Side, Rump – up to 4 hours ?
I like to take a spoon and taste the juices in the Sous Vide bag, after cooking. This has been my best judge of the final product. If the broth / juices taste good, then the meat should also be good.
I recently tried ‘Top Side’, for 13 hours. It was terrible. The meat was dried out and tasteless.
My best result has been Brisket, for 18 hours. I am not sure why. Perhaps it was the fat content.
My worst result involved using just a packet of ‘Mexican Spices Mix’, from the supermarket, and cooked for 8 hours.
P.S. I have done 6 experiments, in 8 days. My wife is worried about the food wastage. My 3 dogs are loving all the taste tests.