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Dec 10, 2013 09:31 AM

Sous vide -- what should I cook first?!

Just got the Anova one. It clamps onto pots and circulates ($200 with free shipping). Where would you start? A couple of eggs? A piece of meat? I'd appreciate any suggestions. TIA.

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  1. I would start with a steak. Sous vide until desired and then throw on a very hot grill or cast iron pan to crisp up the outside.

    Should be pretty dang good...

    2 Replies
    1. re: JayL

      When Mr. Brown (UPS) showed up with this I was dancing around the kitchen :) Really excited. And I understand that going with a super cheap cut is probably all I want.

      1. re: c oliver

        A tough cut will take a long time to tenderise at low temperature (24 / 36 hours or more), while a tender cut will be ready after an hour or so (depending on thickness). I don't think I could wait for days for my first taste!

    2. I make all my hamburgers sous-vide now. I get freshly ground mix of 50% chuck and 50% short rib, then seal them up when I get home and put in the freezer. I sous vide them when I want them, then finish with a blow torch.

      Onsen eggs are great and very easy to make.

      My next experiment will be to confit turkey legs.

      1 Reply
      1. re: calumin

        We grind our own meat so that sounds great.

        Just saw mention of "Onsen eggs" on Serious Eats.


      2. Most people who started off with the pot and thermometer method did chicken breasts as the first thing. You have a circulator so I'd suggest eggs at various times and temperatures.

        Of course, pork belly can be sublime when properly done.

        1 Reply
        1. re: wattacetti

          I was reading Kenji's egg treatise :)

        2. Farmed salmon.

          If there's magic in them contraptions, then we'll soon find out.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ipsedixit

            Ipse, Bob and I may be the only people on the Left Coast who just don't care much for salmon. Weird I know. Our Seattle kids even fixed us wild salmon and we were very hohum.

          2. The beauty of sous vide cooking for me anyway is to turn inexpensive, tougher cuts of beef into fork tender, still pink delicacies. Short ribs are great but they have gotten quite pricey, Even chuck roasts can cost $5.00 a pound. Last night we had a bottom round of beef roast that was on sale this week for $2.99 a pound. Couldn't be simpler to cook. I first salt & sear the roast then I bag it in a regular 2 gallon Ziploc bag. I put equal amounts of soy and Worcestershire sauce in the bag (maybe a 1/3 cup total) and cook @ 133 degrees for approximately 30 hours. This will yield meat cooked between medium & medium rare.When finished cooking you will have a good amount of purged liquid in the bag. Pour this into a saucepan and thicken with cornstarch or demi glace (I use Knorr if I don't have homemade). Just be careful with the salinity. You can add some unsalted stock before you thicken if it's too salty for your tastes.
            Eats like prime rib!
            Her's another new favorite I posted on another page: Also terrific and inexpensive:
            I recently saw a segment, on PBS I think, about an iconic fast food chicken place with several locations in and around Los Angeles, Dino’s Chicken and Burgers Read the reviews and you’ll see their patrons have a cult like devotion to their chicken. It doesn’t hurt that it’s only about six bucks for a half chicken and French fries. Living on the East Coast I wanted to see if I could duplicate their recipe. They precook the chicken then marinate it in their “secret” sauce then grill it to order. I’m generally am not a big fan of chicken breasts because they are blander easier to overcook than thighs but my local supermarket had bone-in, skin-on breasts on sale for .99 cents a pound, so I went with them for this recipe. The fact that I could pre-cook my chicken sous vide made me think I could get a juicy final product. After some online research for their secret sauce several people speculated it was a variation of Piri- Piri Sauce, which I had never heard of.
            From Wikipedia:
            Piri piri sauce (used as a seasoning or marinade) is Portuguese in origin and "especially prevalent in Angola, Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa".[5] It is made from crushed chilies, citrus peel, onion, garlic, pepper, salt, lemon juice, bay leaves, paprika, pimiento, basil, oregano, and tarragon.[6
            ]I used Emeril’s sauce with a few modifications.
            This recipe is just a starting point and by no means a recipe that you need to follow closely. I’ve used fresh jalapeno, bird’s eye, habanero, really any hot pepper as well as Cubanal and sweet bell peppers. I just balance the sauce with more heat (pepper flakes, cayenne, bottle hot sauce etc.) or more acid (cider or balsamic vinegar, lemons or limes) or I add a little sweetness (sugar, honey or agave or artificial sweetener). I add ground turmeric and sometime annatto and a tablespoon or two of tomato paste to mellow and thicken. Saffron would also be a great addition, I bet. Dino’s chicken looks like Tandoori Chicken so they probably use red food color. I like fresh cilantro so I add it if I have it on hand. I’ve made this sauce two ways, raw and cooked. I prefer heating everything in a saucepan then processing it in a blender but raw is good too.
            I salt and pepper the chicken breasts then add a little of the piri piri sauce to the bag and cook @ 60 degrees C. (140F.) for a minimum of 3 hours. I cool the still bagged chicken in running cold water until they are still slightly warm, then I add more sauce and marinade for @ least 1 hour but longer is better. Obviously, if you are marinating overnight you need to refrigerate. When I’m ready to serve I heat my gas grill and cook the breasts skin side up to start then flip them. I noticed that pre-cooked chicken skin does not stick to the grates as much as raw skin does. Remember, you are grilling only to warm through and get some tasty carmelization/charring of the surface. Do not overcook! That would defeat the benefit of pre-cooking them sous vide. I’ve never cooked them right from the refrigerator but I probably would warm the chicken first in the microwave @ a low setting prior to grilling. To serve: drizzle with more sauce , chopped cilantro or parsley and I like a big dollop of sour

            1 Reply
            1. re: zackly

              I saw that post of yours and maybe even replied. Sounds great. And, yeah, I wanna take those cheap tough cuts and make them tender.