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!”

  • Erik

    It seems that most foods commonly cooked sous vide interest me, but I am most excited to use all of those tough and less desirable cuts. I really like trying to use as much of the animal as possible and this seems like a good way to achieve that goal.

  • ben

    I would use it mostly for slow cooking tough meats like the short ribs you described but the ability to perfectly cook a piece of meat (or an egg) and have it waiting for you whenever you want sounds pretty great too.

  • Susan

    I want to learn to sous vide some of the less expensive cuts of meat to help save money and make delicious meals for my family. I’m tired of using my slow cooker. Your recipe for making my own yogurt just make me want a sous vide appliance even more!

  • Matthew Gebo

    The reason I want to win this sous vide supreme and vacuum sealer is because I was just recently promoted sous chef at a restaurant that currently has two sous vide
    machines that we use for a variety of dishes. With the possibility of winning the sous vide supreme I would be able to experiment and produce restaurant quality dishes at home that people would enjoy at the restaurant. Not to mention there is a new addition to my family and I would love to show my wife and child ( when he’s old enough) the endless possibilities of cooking sous vide. Please consider me for this contest. It would help me out tremendously with my career development and being able to teach this technique that is rapidly growing in every kitchen in america. Thank you

  • Mori Gryphon

    I would love to win one of these. I enjoy experimenting with new techniques in the kitchen, and have been eying them for years, but just can’t afford it. I don’t know everything I’d do, but I know that I’ve talked with my mom about integrating sous vide techniques into Thanksgiving dinner some year.

  • Horace Lai

    I am not a good cook, but I like to host dinner party at home. The reason I want to win this sous vide supreme and vacuum sealer is because my friend who is a chef at a restaurant told me that sous vide
    machines is a must have item in a restaurant. With the sous vide supreme I would be able to show my friends even I can be a good cook. Thank you

  • Jason Burchaski

    I’ve been drooling over one of these for a while now. I would love to experiment with pretty much all kind of game, which I at times completely butcher. However based on the recipes I would love to mess around with the eggs. I never really thought much about them, but hot damn you make them look amazing.

  • Balazs Rau

    Short ribs ! Or anything that my current ghetto Styrofoam setup is not good enough for.

  • David Bilbey

    I’ve hacked one together with an aquarium thermostat and a slow cooker. I love it, but would love the real thing even more. I want to try the yogurt AND the short ribs!

  • Paula

    Wow! A sous vide to play with would erase my crushing disappointment at never finding an Easy Bake oven under the Christmas tree. We buy our beef by the half, and I can think of a dozen cuts that would benefit by a controlled slow temp. Tacos de lengua would be my first test.

  • Joel

    We’ve just started getting grassfed beef, which can use a little help sometimes in staying moist. But we also ordered a half hog, and I would definitely make a go at pork belly.

  • Reuel

    I would love to try this on some fish. Never can seem to get it just right.

  • Nick Macri

    Get the perfect temp for playing around with emulsified sausages at home

  • Jeff

    Would love to try shrimp bisque, champagne sabayon, succulent butter poached lobster, even jasmine rice with jasmine flowers and of course, the famed 63 degree circulated egg!

  • Jeff

    I think that soft boiled egg/ramen looks amazing, but those short ribs would be the first thing I would try.

  • Han

    I’m a law school student so it’s hard to regularly cook stuff… but if I had this, I could just leave stuff in and come back for a nice dinner. I would mostly do solid chunks of meats, brisket, tongue, ribs in all kind of sauces. Whole chickens. I mean, the sky is the limit.

    My favorite would be blocks of pork belly with skin on. It won’t need much; just some whole peppercorns, garlic cloves, maybe spring onions, star anise, or chilis if I want it to have a kick. I’d have it Korean style with vinegar soy, fermented shrimp, or miso. Or I could go Chinese and pan fry them afterwards. Or get some sriracha or barbecue sauce if I’m lazy…

  • Steve

    My wife is due with our second child any day now, and I would love to try sous vide for tender, protein rich meals instead of using the old crock pot. My first son is a yogurt eating machine.

  • Edward Brumby

    Would love to use it on some cuts of meat like ox tail. Also, the idea of preparing a cornish game hen by this method intrigue me.

  • Michael Nemcik

    I would love to use one to come up with new ingredients for cocktails, as well as make some tasty meals. I’ve particularly wanted to experiment with coffee and coffee infusions. Thanks!

  • Bobbi

    I would love to try different cuts of meat and fish in the sous vide. All of the recipes and meals look delicious.

  • Paul

    Short ribs definitely would be first! This would be a great addition to my kitchen!

  • John Speno

    I would like to have another tool for slow cooking meats. I’d probably start with cooking steaks.

  • Andria

    We would love to try this for pork chops. My husband and brother-in-law have used a picnic cooler to sous vide meat before, but the real appliance would have a much steadier temperature. Thanks!

  • Jeff

    My sous vide technique now is sandwich bags in a pot on the stovetop….interested to see if this thing is really that much different.

  • Trevor

    Just got Tim Ferris’ new book and I’d be stoked to try the short ribs.

  • Michael McCullen

    I would love to do short ribs and brisket, and David Changs eggs.

  • Christy

    Game meat! Venison, wild boar, and migratory ducks are all so lean it’s too easy to over cook them via traditional means. Also I have small kids, so 5 minutes of prep for perfect meat 24 hours later is amazing.

  • Reno

    I have been salivating for over two years thinking about my first steak. That is no joke!

  • Brenda R

    I’ve eyed this amazing machine for sometime, the possibilities seem endless. I thought I wanted to go with beef cut and rub bit after seeing you photo of the ribs – your recipe would be the first thing I’d make

  • Ethan Altom

    I would cook beef short ribs to a perfect medium rare and finish them on a grill or give them a quick sear in a pan or with a torch.

  • Dusty

    Perfect medium rare cooking of those oh so normally tough steaks. Pork Ribeyes…

    I had no idea you could use it for eggs, but now I am intrigued.

  • Jeff F

    What wouldn’t I use it for?!? Love making soft boiled eggs, soubise sauce, short ribs, par cooking duck breasts to render the fat out of the skin for extra crispy finishing on a griddle – sous vide is a workhorse in the professional kitchen, I just need one for home use!

  • Debby

    I would love to win this because I’ve heard so many positive things about the way it cooks food. I would slow cook grass fed beef etc etc etc!

  • Christian rumpler

    My family started raising Berkshire hogs. I would love to help their business by showing people new ways to use the whole pig

  • Elisabeth

    I’d love to try your Sous Vide Candied Sweet Potatoes recipe with it!

  • cheryl lew

    I am a home cook, bakery owner, baker and baking instructor. I’ve recently had the pleasure of eating sous vide prepared food- it’s amazing– flavorful, healthy, timely and economical. I would like to treat myself, friends and family to this way of cooking. I’ve tried using my crock pot to mimic the method but it really isn’t the same. Science is great!

  • James Nelson

    As a culinary student I have heard of this but we do not have the equipment currently available. Having a Sous Vide machine would give me the opportunity to gain skills on this cooking technique. Plus, I can then cook some interesting food at home for the family.

  • Lei

    You had me at homemade yogurt—and I have a yogurt maker—and soft-boiled eggs. I love eggs all ways, but will go on for days about a perfectly set yolk: just firm at the edge of the white and yielding a slow-running golden sauce when cut. But I’d really like a sous vide machine to make and put aside meals for my parents. My mom and I did that for her parents as they got older. When my grandpa passed away last year (one day short of his 100th birthday), I realized that my parents have also been declining. Providing tasty, tender meats and meals would give my mom a break and might help to put some weight back on my dad.

  • jen in sf

    In my opinion, the eggs are reason enough to desperately wish for a sous vide machine… just had a perfect egg tonight at Plum in Oakland and my Sweetie and I were eying their sous vide machine. “if only…”

  • Don

    I’ve been playing with Corned Beef in various preparations (braised, boiled, steamed) for the last 5-6 years, and while I’ve gotten it down good, I’ve yet to find a way that absolutely blows me away… and I KNOW there’s one out there. I suspect Sous Vide would be the answer to keeping the maximum flavor, while reaching the perfect level of tenderness…

  • Beth Bromfield

    I would like one because it is much more energy efficient that leaving the stove on for hours to morph a tough cut of beef into a tasty finger licking, lip smacking morsel.

  • H. Lecter

    I can think of so many cuts that would benefit from sous vide. And they’d all go well with a nice Chianti

  • Jeanette Burchaski

    As a dessert lover and being caught up in the holiday spirit, I first noticed the recipe for Egg Nog Cheesecake on the Sous Vide Supreme website. I would love to try that. And then countless others! :D

  • David Warren

    I have been reading on sous vide for awhile now and would to try it

  • Fran Morales

    Duck confit-a lower fat version. Infusing liqueur or flavor concentrates into fruit for desserts. Preparing whole meals at once, putting different courses into separate bags and then finishing off the proteins while plating the rest of the dishes. Prepping eggs for guest brunches. Getting herbs and spices into pasta and noodles w/out the flavor washing out in the regular boiling method. Custard desserts. I will be very busy!

  • Sue

    I’m not a great cook……I have high hopes that this appliance will make me a grat cook!!!

  • Melissa

    Duck Confit, Soft Boiled Eggs, Snout to Tail Baby! I’s have the Sous Vide Supreme working darn near 24/7.

  • Daniel

    If I had one of these I’d be cooking the bargain, sinewy parts of animals like nobody’s business. But I’d really be interested in trying some alternate processes for making desserts.

  • Emily

    I would use it for all kinds of meats, the short ribs look awesome. I love to experiment and try new things, this would be fun to play around with.

  • Jesse

    I’ve managed to have my head stuck in the sand about sous vide for a while. The more I think about it, though, the more having an option to exactly control certain textures especially interests me.

  • Jill Moberg

    I’m almost embarrassed to admit I’ve never eaten a beef short rib. I’m told by many that they are delicious but have to be cooked properly. If I win this Sous Vide machine, I think the first thing I’ll make will be beef short ribs!

  • Edwin

    Low and slow, my favorite kind of cooking, turning the ordinary into something special, a win win.

  • John Houser

    Eggs in every way possible. Also pork belly…. And pig ears, ears would be good. Pig tails, short ribs, steaks. It would be exciting to get or of these.

  • Cory Estlund

    Soo many yummy option! Yummy pork shoulder cooked in a tasty brine… Those short ribs looked awesome.. Maybe some brisket or beef clod… Can’t wait!

  • Ryan Winkels

    Nice brisket slowly cooked to perfection then place in the smoker for a kiss of smoke. I can taste it now!

  • James Wilson

    Eggs and yogurt – two things I would have never thought to cook sous vide. Now I want to try!

  • Jesse W.

    I love to slow cook Pork shoulder for sandwiches, ragout, ramen and basically anything else I can put it into. I am also a huge fan of eggs and love to experiment with them. I have been dreaming of a Sous Vide machine for a very long time!

  • Jon

    I am trying to master short ribs to go with my creamy marscapone polenta (wedding meal).

  • Dave

    Well I was excited to play around with the perfectly cooked egg. Until I saw the picture of that short rib. Holy cow, that is the first thing I’d make with some Miller’s beef short ribs.

  • YC

    I have to cook a lot due to dietary restrictions in the family. I am always looking for new methods to put great food on the table! I’ve always wanted to try one of these things but they are so darned expensive. I do have a spot in my kitchen for it though! Thanks for the blog post.

  • Patrice Costa

    I am the proud owner of a sous vide supreme thanks to my hubby for Christmas last year. I’m still experimenting but love the idea of yogurt and duck confit! So many applications to make dishes even more delicious. What would I do with a second sous vide? Why, I’d pass it along to one of my foodie friends! Thanks for (re)posting sous vide recipes and links — they will come in very handy.

  • Genevieve Keller

    I love to get new toys in the kitchen! I’d probably sous vide everything, just to see how it comes out! The softboiled egg is something I’ve wanted to do since I saw it on either Top Chef or another cooking show. The beef ribs sound amazing too. I recently got a vacuum sealer just to be able to do marinades with it. (It’s also helpful for sealing foods, I admit.) :)

    If I win the machine, I’ll post pictures of every dish I make with it!

  • Paul

    I would cook everything I could. But real excited about trying to make organic yogurt for my vegetarian 18 month old.

  • KimS2

    I originally thought mainly cooking meats, but if one can culture yogurt, perhaps culturing cheese would work too!

  • david squires

    I just started making yogurt at home with help from the directions posted here, so I’d use if for that. I’d also like to try brisket with the sous vide. I always smoke it and wonder what a cleaner method would taste like.

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