Figured a two-year-frozen bone-in venison leg would be an ideal test of sous vide’s ability to tenderize. Worked great in terms of tenderness and color @131 @46 hours per web recipe suggestions. But I’m scratching my head about its relative lack of flavor. Covered with herbs and salt and pepper before immersing. Where did I go wrong? Should I never sous vide something for two days again?
Long cooks like that are more about the texture than anything else.
I have done beef short ribs for both 48 and 72 hours and they were delicious.
Not sure why the venison lacked flavor. I did not get anything this year so I can’t try it out but mine was good to the best of my recollection.
A lot will depend on how it was stored for the 2 years and what caramelizing you gave it before or after.
Plastics used for freezer bags are not impervious. It is likely flavour components have dissipated with the moisture that has leached from the meat. Freezing does not go cold enough to fully suspend deterioration.
Fyi – Tried again with another too-long-frozen piece – boneless venison leg – but added considerably more flavoring, and it worked better. @142 @30 hours. Before immersing, covered very generously with a rub of dried dark red peppers crushed to large flakes, southwest seasoning mix, smoked paprika, ground coriander, crushed fennel seed, salt and pepper. Again, nice and tender and juicy pink when sliced against the grain. And beautiful dark exterior – made excellent presentation with the juice drizzled over it. (Some tart preserved berries would have been nice with that juice.) I have a hunch that’s about as good a rescue of a too-long-frozen tough cut as I’m likely to get, fwiw.