There is an old saying “To a man with only a hammer every problem looks like a nail” and therein lies some of the outrageous claims associated with sous vide. I am working with higher temperature sous vide because it allows every cook who owns a crock-pot or a coffeepot a chance to try it. The only other item needed is a $20 Renolds Handi-Vac device to vacuum pack the meal prior to cooking. Just like I don’t expect that every meal will be appropriately fried, I don’t believe there is one cooking device that is perfect for everything but you can never tell until you try.
As previously reported, I liked the sous vide impact on Picnic Ham, BBQ Ribs, and Turkey. However, this is the report on two disappointments. Since both of these meals will not be repeated, I am skipping the details. The detailed pictures of brining and coffeepot sous vide are in the discussion of BBQ Ribs.
So So Chicken Sous Vide
The chicken, used the same brine as the Turkey Confit but the time was much shorter about 3 hours. After removal from the brine, the meat was patted dry and peppered. This was placed in the bag with olive oil and vacuumed. After removing it from the bag, I tasted it only to find it band. Instead of serving with rice, I heated the Rasta Pasta sauce and smothered the chicken in it to give the meat some flavor.
It seems when you cook the chicken with the sauce as in Chicken Cacciaore or Pot Roasted chicken, the end result is a moister and more flavorful bird. Part of this may be to the higher temperatures and times that I am using for sous vide but I doubt it. I did chicken at 1 hour at 160 and for 12 hours at 175 Fahrenheit. Neither is worth repeating. I will still test a recipe at the low temperatures when I get well, return home and start another round of sous vide experiments.
American Sous Vide
I have never seen a recipe call for eye of the round steak in any culture and yet the cut of meet is prominently displayed and marketed in American Grocery Stores. Cooked in any normal recipe, it is dry, tough and grainy. But what the heck, I still had some left over from my low temperature failure so I figured I’d give it a go by brining, adding olive oil and cooking it in the bag for 14 hours at 175 Farenheit. I new I was in trouble when no moisture formed from the breakdown of the meat so I fried up some mushrooms and onions in butter and smothered the meat when served.
Since I had been drinking rather heavily that afternoon with a tourist I met from Orlando, my sense of humor kicked in as I ate the overcooked dry beef with mushroom sauce. I decided to smother it in ketchup. I mean what could be more American than smothering a piece of overcooked dried beef with a mushroom onion sauce with ketchup.
Well it was less dry and I had the post drinking munchies so I ate the whole thing but would neither order it from a restaurant or cook it again.