Sous vide slow-cooked egg with Noodlecat ramen noodles, veg dashi broth.
Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

Yep, the good folks at Sous Vide Supreme are doing a promotional giveaway of one of their superb sous vide appliances—and a vacuum sealer! (Details below.)

About ten years ago, sous vide cooking (cooking food at low precise temperatures) entered the professional kitchen in America. It’s now solidly in the home kitchen with various devices for sale. For the best price/quality ratio, Sous Vide Supreme has, since its arrival in 2009, been my favorite tool. It’s fabulous for home use. I slow-cook beef ribs for 48 hours for tender and juicy ribs. You can transform eggs in ways no other method can. I love putting a soft-boiled egg into soups, as in the above ramen dish. I use it monthly to make a big batch of yogurt. It’s a great water bath for cooking custards, meatloaf, and its supercilious brother, pâté en terrine. See below for three of the key techniques and recipes.

Do you need one to survive? Of course not. Can you do endlessly creative and awesome dishes with it? You bet. Want to win one?  Enter a comment below, telling me the way you’re most eager to use it. (Winner will be chosen randomly, one entry please on pain of disqualification, and the company can ship only to U.S. or Canadian addresses—sorry, UK and Aussie readers!) I really am eager to hear why people want to own a sous vide machine—slow cooking of tough meat, hitting the perfect temperature every time, egg cooking? Other?

Hell, I’ll throw in a signed copy of my book Ruhlman’s Twenty: 20 Techniques, 100 Recipes, A Cook’s Manifesto to sweeten the pot!

Looking for sous vide recipes? Check out the Sous Vide Supreme Holiday Cooking Guide, Modernist Cuisine, Modernist Cuisine at Home, and Under Pressure.

(HINT: the best way to seal the food for cooking is some kind of vacuum sealer; but you can also use Ziploc vacuum seal bags from the grocery store.)

Follow Sous Vide Supreme on Twitter @sousvidesupreme or on Facebook.

You can also sign up for the Sous Vide Supreme newsletter.

WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED NEXT WEDS; COMMENTS WILL CLOSE MONDAY AT 9AM.

The giveaway includes a both a Sous Vide Supreme and a vacuum sealer.

 

BBQ Sous Vide Beef Short Ribs

 

Beef short rib, cooked sous vide for 48 hours at 140°F/60°C, finished on the grill.
Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

I made these last January for the sailing crew in Key West. Short ribs cooked sous vide are amazingly juicy and tender and tasty, a quintessential example of the value of sous vide. You’d have to braise these to get them tender, in which case you’d need to rely on the sauce for succulence rather than the meat.

This recipe also defines a great general rule: all tough cuts of meat, braising meats, from brisket to pork belly to short ribs to lamb shank, can be cooked sous vide in the exact same way: 48 hours at 140˚F/60˚C. Then flavor the outside by searing, grilling, saucing, or a combination. They can be cooked sous vide and chilled in an ice bath and refrigerated for days or frozen for months before finishing.

It’s an amazing technique for cooking ahead, whether for weekday cooking or for cooking for big groups. And it results in tenderness and flavor that can’t be achieved any other way.

I’m going to make this as simple as possible. Salt and pepper the meat, seal it in a bag (get out all air so they don’t float), cook, chill, finish.

  • 8 meaty beef short ribs (or however many you’re serving)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Barbecue sauce of your choice
  1. Give the ribs a generous seasoning of salt and pepper
  2. Seal them well in plastic, using a food saver or Ziploc vacuum seal bags (you can also put them in a regular ziptop bag and submerge it in water to get the air out and seal; use common sense).
  3. Sous vide the ribs at 140˚F/60˚C for 48 hours, give or take.
  4. If you are not going to finish them right away, submerge them in an ice bath until thoroughly chilled, at least 20 minutes or more.
  5. To finish, remove them from the bag and allow them to come to room temperature (if serving a large crowd, leave in bag and re-sous vide at 120˚F/48˚C for 30 minutes). Slather them with barbecue sauce and grill till charred and smoky and beautiful, a couple minutes on each side. You can also broil them to caramelize the BBQ sauce if you don’t have a grill.
  6. Use one rib per serving.

 

Homemade Yogurt

I always have this on hand and eat some most every day. The bacteria are good for the gut and if you have a stomach bug, eat this and it may help (it always does for me). This will be loose yogurt; when you dip into the thick, creamy stuff it will be soft but hold its shape. It will weep whey, which is also tasty and good (I pour it on granola with the yogurt). For stiff-thick yogurt, Greek style, strain it through cloth for an hour, then refrigerate.

  • 1 quart/liter whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons Fage Greek yogurt or any yogurt that notes on the label that it contains a living culture (or if you have a wonderful Indian neighbor with a live culture as I do, ask for a little of hers—thanks, Tripta!)
  1. Pour the milk in a pot and bring it to a simmer (at least 180°F); careful, it’s easy to forget and leave yourself with a mess on the stove it if boils over; stick around. (Donna gets really mad at me when I leave the kitchen and she hears it boil over.)
  2. Pour it into a 4-cup glass measuring cup or appropriate bowl. Allow it to cool to at least 120˚F/48˚C or room temperature.
  3. Stir in the yogurt with the live culture, thoroughly.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and sous vide at 104˚F/40˚C for 24 hours. (Some people suggest going as high as 120˚F; feel free to test for yourself.)
  5. Allow to cool then refrigerate.
Yield: About 3 cups/¾ liter

Soft-Boiled Sous Vide Eggs

  • 1 egg per person
  1. Sous vide at 144.5˚F/62.5˚C for 45 to 60 minutes.
  2. Crack each into soup or stew, or on grits or beans.

For professional kitchens, who need to sous vide a lot of food in a big Lexan tubs, the BMW of immersion circulators is made by PolyScience.

The shopping links for the week:

© 2012 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2012 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.