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.

 

 

 

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833 Wonderful responses to “Holiday Gift Week:
Sous Vide Supreme Giveaway!”

  • Veronica Klein

    We own a farm and butcher our own beef. There are lots of tough cuts that still don’t come out great in a pressure cooker. I also live to experiment with other cooking techniques.

  • Andy

    ah, short ribs of course….that picture above may be the most appetizing thing I’ve ever seen…Ever.

  • Laurie

    Long cooked soft fruits. Beef in many ways. Eggs. Preserved vegetables. Fabricated meats. Sausages w/no casing. Herbed oils and vinegars. Anything I can!

  • Charlie

    As others, I am enthralled at the thought of succulent beef ribs. I’ve tried many a dutch oven technique but am never quite satisfied.
    You touched another nerve with your eggs. I had, as a child, poached eggs in Italian tomato sauce (gravy) – it was a low budget meal. since then, I often plat with a variety of soft-boiled & poached eggs in stews, etc. Your soft-boiled sous-vide sounds like the perfect solution.
    It’s like another world of sensory tastes has opened up.
    Thank you.

  • Chaz

    I live in a small NYC apt. I have a two-burner stovetop and a microwave/convection oven with enough counter space for a coffee pot – unbearably small for the cooking I do. Crock-pots don’t cut it.
    Logistics to do prep work for braising and such gets complicated.
    Your presentation of SV would allow us to do some really great slow-cooking in another area of the apt with results that seem out of my league – perhaps stadium is a better choice.
    We love all those succulent meats and fish and would welcome the opportunity to explore this new (to me) technology.

  • Kevin

    Chicken. The ability to guarantee moist white meat would be a dream come true.

  • Krishna

    Steak, Eggs… Specifically I want to cook hanger steaks … I always screw those up….:-)

  • Ryan Jones

    I want to be able to make perfect custards and mousses without the stress and hassle of getting the temperature perfectly right.

  • Edwin Mercado

    I’m anxious to try anything using sous vide. I’ve never cooked or eaten anything using this.

  • Zach N.

    I want a sous-vide to use for reinventing classic Jewish dishes, especially cholent.

  • Shawn

    48 hr short ribs and duck breast are my top 2. I also wouldn’t mind a 64 degree egg!

  • Talbot

    Why am I most eager to use one of these things? I cook Christmas dinner for my supremely unadventurous family, and every year I like to add a culinary delight that they show heavy resistance to (foie gras, terrines, game meat). Anything cooked sous vide will certainly freak them out.

  • Courtney

    As someone who’s lactose intolerant, but can eat yogurt indefinitely I’d say that’s my number one reason to have a sous vide. number two is to give my boyfriend the gift he’s been asking for for two years.

  • Kris

    Im eager to try this machine on my freshly shot venison. Seems like the perfect solution to not overdoing the meat, and keeping it perfectly red.

  • Joanne

    I’d be experimenting like hell if I got one. I think the first cut would try would be beef tongue!

  • Brian

    Having used a dutch oven and heavy duty ziplock bags to makeshift sous vide steaks and burgers to great effect, I’d love to give the long term projects a go. Mmm, short ribs.

  • Elizabeth C

    Venison – I had sous vide venison at Aldea, and would love to try my hand at recreating!

  • One Swell Foop

    I want to able to perfectly cook eggs all the time, every time!

    I want to be able to take some duck breasts and get them to the perfect temp after being vac sealed in a bag with some herbs and cubes of frozen duck stock (because, unless they’re giving away a chamber vac sealer it can’t be in liquid form), and then toss them in a pan to crisp the skin.

    There is an almost endless number of things I would cook with a sous vide machine.

    And now I’m hungry again just from thinking about it :(

  • Carla B.

    Mostly for the unctuous goodness of confit. Breast of duck, belly of pig, etc., etc., etc….

  • Barbara G

    I would love to win this contest because although we love to cook together even after 20 years, my husband and I are both retired now and can no longer afford the better cuts of meats. I understand that the Sous Vide will make it seem like we are still enjoying the things we now miss. We love your recipes and use them whenever possible. Thank you.

  • Tristan A

    Short ribs and rib eye steaks are my favorite beef cuts. I would love to use the sous vide method on them. Maybe I’d even get to love chicken breasts if I could sous vide them – that would be healthy and fun.

  • Jason

    I’d love to use this for duck confit, tough cuts of meat, lobster … everything I guess!

  • Alan

    Sous vide allows for fine tune temperature control which I want to use with fish, eggs, and custards!

  • Brian

    My son jury-rigged his own sous-vide cooker several years ago before the home models were released. As a pretty good home cook who is not an engineer by training, I need an all-in-one device so I don’t have to cobble together a rice cooker, racks and weights, an aquarium bubbler and NASA-quality temp controller. And, I won’t have to worry about discovering cold fusion or cooking up some nasty strain of bug while I make short ribs!

  • Thomas

    I’m particularly interested in perfectly cooked eggs and the flavor-enhancing promise for vegetables.

  • Twinkles

    Controlling the temperature of the curd in water bath cheese making. If I don’t win, I’ll keep working on rigging up a water bath controller but it won’t be as pretty.

  • Pamela

    Custards! Chicken! Fish! Probably anything and everything, food is science after all
    Cheers

  • Al W

    A place in Seattle called Tavern Law uses sous vide to cook chicken before they fry it. I want to do this at home!

  • Craig

    Pork Belly, of course… And just about anything else I can fit into a vacuum bag!

  • Josh

    Foie gras, if only to stick it in the nose of the California government who has seen fit to ban it. After that, Kenji’s porchetta recipe! The power and the glory…

  • James

    Booze. Infusing mint into rum? Mojitos! Lime zest into tequila? It could work…

  • Elena Vo

    I’ve watched a couple of videos on SousVide website and so far my favorite is the one for steaks. I could not believe how tender that meat looked. Thank you for the informative post and the tips, I wasn’t aware of low-temperature cooking before.

  • Mike

    Jeez, where to start?! I’ll go with venison loin, but there’s a long list…i

  • Beth

    I want to make amazingly quick exotic infusions for my Friday cocktails… and then there’s those wagyu short ribs…

  • Christine

    Steaks. I would kill for a perfectly done medium-rare filet, porterhouse, New York, you name it! Haven’t had a drop me to my knees steak since leaving Chicago.

  • Jennie M

    Some sort of tough cut of beef for sure…but I’ve done a slow poached egg in a pot with a thermometer, which turned out great but man, was it a totally babysitting job! I’d love to do slow poached eggs in a SousVide Supreme!

  • Ethan Z.

    Yogurt, curds, tough meats, “getting ahead” on meats for the week. I’ve used a pro sous vide system for one my jobs and would love to be able to use it at home.

  • Danny

    Meat, meat meat… 48 hour flavor infused meat. Falling off the bone with a nice quick sear. Yummy!

  • Paul

    Short ribs first!!! Then I’d try the yogurt. I would love to have this in my kitchen!

  • Sebastian

    Gosh, So many come to mind but you got me with that 48 hour short rib on the bone!!

  • Marc B

    This would be so cool. Having scierntisit kids would make this a foodlab experiment running amok!

  • Kathleen

    I was thinking steak, but those short ribs look wonderful! And I never thought of sous vide as a means of making yogurt–so many things to try!

  • Amanda Fisher

    I’ve been making do with a pretty half-assed sous vide system, and would love to have something more comprehensive! I use my kludged system a lot- for cooking eggs, for pasteurizing raw sausages to make them safer to grill, for making yogurt… and for the best tongue EVER. Something not as ad hoc would be a dream come true!

  • J Klarer

    Have done the hot water to exacting temp in an igloo cooler for some great NewYork strips, other than that, I really have no control to where I could do a long-term immersion for something like short ribs or brisket. Don’t have the cash to jump into the Polyscience pool, nor the Sous Vide Supreme bathhouse…perhaps this comment can help? Ha!

  • Scott Mirizzi

    Been wanting to try sous vide cooking… Seems like a great way to feed a party and still enjoy yourself.

  • Peter S.

    Having seen cook & chill operations in large commercial kitchens, I’d use my Sous Vide Supreme to develop a series of recipes/methods to make in advance outrageously delicious entrees for my family that we could heat & serve during the week!

  • Tony I.

    Large batches of yogurt- healthy and cheap for the family! Plus the eggs. And the tough meats. And the experiments. Woah!

  • Andy

    I have an 18 month old at home and another on the way. The idea of cooking meats so they are pasteurized and safe, but still keeping the integrity of the product is something I want for my family. It will also help on weeknights creating meals to just plunk in the water and go.

  • Chris

    I want to experiment with different ways of making char siu, and a sous vide machine can make it even more tender than usual. Also eggs. I like eggs.

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