Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's raining meat

I haven't posted anything in a while I know, I have been drinking some new (to me) beers that I swear I will post reviews on soon. But I have been tinkering in my kitchen building new gadgets and playing with them mainly in my spare time alot.
I have been into molecular gastronomy for a while, but have not had the cash to really delve into it too much till just recently with the advent of my wife's new job and the extra income that came along with it. So I decided to finally bite the bullet and build an immersion circulator. For those that don't know this is the main component needed for suis vide cooking. This is a style of cooking that is not very dissimilar to the Midwestern staple of smoking meat for long periods of time in a smoker. Except in this manor you vacuum seal the food you are making and cook it in a precisely temperature controlled water bath. Some may say this is sacrelige, I say its beautiful.
Basically the theory is that in controlling the temp within a half of a degree you can keep your meat at precisely the temp needed to break down the fat and connective tissues while still pasteurizing all the things that can make you sick, all while not loosing a single ounce of the meats natural juices and producing a perfect succulent product.
I have already tried chicken with fantastic results, steak with "meh" but good results, and reheated a slightly dry pork tenderloin with as good of results as I could with an already slightly over done cut of meat. My latest experiment is brisket.
The one thing that I found is that seasoning goes a long way with this method. So I went sparingly on the highly aromatic stuff like pepper, since I can always season it when I pull it out after its 3 day cook time and sear it to get some browning on it to accomplish "the malliard effect".
The biggest test is my own patience, I'm not a baker, I'm a cook, do I really have the patience to watch a brisket gently float there in the water for 3 days and not yank it out and finish the cooking in my oven? Only time will tell, however, for my own sake of not being killed in my sleap, I probably should make sure my wife is here when when I finish it off since she loves brisket...

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