Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Pork Rib II

So, after 48 hours @ 67.5C (and the safe return of my man) we opened the pork ribs. They were moist but a little salty - perhaps a fault of the pork or perhaps it was too paprika'y. Whilst it was a tasty dinner it did not blow our minds. We have decided that we are going to experiment more with cuts of meat/fish that we really like rather than trying out cheaper or more unusual cuts for a while (having said that, I have a beef skirt on order for our Sunday roast!).

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Pork Rib

Sous Vide Pork Rib is one of those things that has cropped up again and again with my research. My fella has been away for a while and is back tomorrow so I am hoping to treat him to something really special.

I brined them yesterday for 12 hours in 1 litre of water, 100g salt and 30g sugar. I am following (but changing slightly) a recipe from A Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking, which goes as follows:

Drain, rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Generously season the top of each rib with a barbecue spice rub (say 2T paprika, 1.5T celery salt, 1.5T garlic powder, 1T black pepper, 1T chili powder, 1T ground cumin, 1T brown sugar, 1T table salt, 1t white sugar, 1t dried oregano, and 1t cayenne pepper). Place each piece of pork in a vacuum pouch and seal.

I don't have any celery salt, so missed that out. I am cooking the ribs for 48 hours at 67.5C. I will let you know how it goes.


Right, I read that sous vide was excellent for cheaper cuts of meat so I decided to try something I had never tried before. I popped into the butcher and bought some oxtails, which at £5.13 for one person didn't seem all that cheap but hey ho.

I decided to have a go at brining too, so I put them in a solution of 1 litre of water, 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of sugar and some bay leaves for 6 hours.

I put them into the sous vide at 70.0C for 48 hours. I was very excited last night when I cut open the packets and tipped them out. I thought I would flake a little meat off the bone and try it and OMG how gross! Luckily I had some smoked salmon left over from lunch so I ate that and gave the oxtails to the dogs who seemed to really enjoy it!

Duck Legs

I've read other blogs where people mention how delicious duck legs are when cooked sous vide, so just had to try that as my second experiment.

I removed the fat from the legs and sprinkled on a little salt and pepper before sealing them. I cooked them for 19 hours at 60.0 degrees C then I got afraid that this was not going to be hot enough so I increased the temp to 80.0C for the last five hours.

The result was lovely. The meat came away from the bone in large, juicy chunks and tasted very nice. There was an amazing amount of juice left in the bag which I added to a red wine/orange juice/honey/cranberry/mushroom reduction and it was absolutely fantastic.

For my taste the meat, although delicious, was not pink enough so I am going to try 70.0C for 24 hours next time.

My Machine

My machine came from eBay. It cost under £300 including the PID Sous Vide water bath, Seal-a-Meal machine, selection of bags, a tenderiser and delivery. So far I am really impressed with the quality. The shelf on the bottom furred up after my first experiment and I couldn't scrub the scale off but that could be because I live in a super hard water area. I am now using Tesco value water in the machine which is soft water instead.

To top it all off, the guy who sold me the equipment has been really helpful and has been giving me lots of really helpful advice, so I think I got a great deal! :-)

Sous vide salmon steaks

Keen to get going, I decided on cooking something quick on day one. Fortunately the lovely eBayer I bought my kit from gave me lots of free advice so my inital idea of 4 hour duck legs was quickly panned and replaced with salmon.

I defrosted a Tesco salmon steak and then bagged it up without any flavourings at all and cooked it for 35 minutes at 55.6 degrees C.

Rather than put a sauce on the fish, I made a simple salad of new potato, baby broad beans and asparagus and dressed that instead, so I could get the full flavour of the salmon. The fish tasted much more 'salmony' than normal and was very moist and delicious. I prefer my fish a little pinker though (this was cooked through) so will try a slightly lower temperature next time.


I have recently purchased a sous vide machine and will use this space to let you know all about my successes and failures