Sous Vide, 1

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If any of you remember from my post, Christmas Wishes, I had wished for a sous vide for Christmas of 2011, but I didn’t get it. And I pretty much never thought I would. But this past Christmas Santa surprised me with a gift certificate for one, as well as the slow cooker I wanted. Thank you Santa!

I had pretty much talked myself out of wanting a sous vide, mostly because I wasn’t sure how often I would really use it. I only cook for my husband these days, unless my kids are around or I have friends over. But I really like the healthy aspect of this kind of cooking – especially for vegetables. The veggies cook inside a sealed bag, so there’s no loss of nutrients to water or steam!

Plus, I’ve been lucky enough to eat at a restaurant that serve beef filets cooked sous vide, and that’s another reason I was obsessed with one. The filets were tender, and cooked to perfection. Every time I looked into sous vide I got excited, but then I’d talk myself out of one.

Well, I was really excited after this Christmas, gift certificate in hand, when I discovered that there is a sous vide demi, which is smaller and designed more for home cooks. And, it has a lower price tag which I knew Santa would love. So that’s what I bought. Instead of the hefty $600. price tag, mine came to $329. I bought it at sous vide supreme, in case you’re interested.

I’ve just opened my new sous vide up and I’m planning on trying it out first on a pork tenderloin.

sous

I read all of the literature and little cookbooks that were included with the sous vide, and it will take a little getting used to. For example, to cook a pork tenderloin, it can take 1 hour or up to four hours. I find that a little strange, but I will experiment with my new gadget until hopefully one day it will become second nature to me.

A great reference is a blog written by a young man named Stefan, who has a whole section about cooking sous vide. Check it out if you’re interested! Stefan’s Gourmet Blog

Pork Tenderloin Sous Vide

2 pork tenderloins, about one pound each
tablespoon of bacon grease
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon white pepper

Place everything in a bag, I used a Foodsaver bag, and then vacuum sealed it closed. I then placed it in my preheated sous vide at 135 degrees, closed the lid, and let it do its thing for exactly two hours.

When I brought the bag out, it looked like this:
sous1

I remove the two pork tenderloins from the bag and discarded the liquid, because according to Stefan, that’s a whole other ballgame.
They looked like this:
sous2

I wiped the liquid off of them to dry them up. Then I added some olive oil to a skillet over high heat. I seared both of them for a few minutes on each side, until they got some color on them and didn’t look so fleshy pink.
sous3

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After a rest of about ten minutes, I sliced it up and served it.

sous6

Verdict: The pork was definitely pink, which is fine – I’m not scared of pink. It registered 130 degrees, which is very different from the 155 degrees it is supposed to be when you remove it from the oven after roasting. But it was the most tender pork I’ve ever eaten. I need to keep playing with the sous vide to really figure things out more confidently, but I’m definitely pleased that I own it. You just really have to change to way you think about cooking meat when you use this thing, as all the cooking is done at relatively low temperatures.

10 thoughts on “Sous Vide, 1

  1. Please be very careful using Sous Vide. The biggest danger is botulism, a deadly bacteria that grows in oxygen deprived environments. If you plan on using this technique often, brush up on your food safety so you know what you are dealing with. As fascinating and ‘popular’ as this technique is, it is a very dangerous procedure if you don’t know how to handle things.

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  2. I think sous vide is a little over the top for most home cooks, but if you want it–go for it! I think you picked the perfect meat to sous-vide–pork loin, which I often find too dry unless you stumble upon a batch of heirloom pork, but you do have to willing to eat it pink. My experience with fish sous-vide is a little less positive, mainly because seafood is often already so delicate it tends to turn to mush–and I prefer the effect of slow-poaching in olive oil. Good luck and have fun. Ken

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  3. Hi Mimi, congrats on your first sous-vide dish!
    The reason why it can take quite some time is that it takes a while for the core of the meat to reach the target temperature if the water surrounding the meat is only at the target temperature (if the water were much hotter, the target temperature would be reached sooner, but the outside of the meat would overcook!).
    Pork tenderloin is indeed a great cut to cook sous-vide because pork tenderloin often becomes dry when cooked in a conventional way.
    The real power of sous-vide is unleashed when you do something like a brisket, but that will take two days to get it tender.
    I’m looking forward to more sous-vide posts!

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  4. I don’t know how I missed this post but I did. Sous vide cooking is very interesting. It does what it does extremely well. I’ve had mine for roughly 10 months. It cooks meat perfectly every time. It is interesting because the longer the amount of time a meat is cooked sous vide the texture of the meat can and will change. if you have a lamb shank and cook it for 48 hours, you will have a medium rare lamb shank that is exceptionally tender. If, however, you take a tender piece of meat, like a pork loin, and cook it for 48 hours, the meat is perfectly cooked but the texture is a little “mushy.” The other thing I have found in my limited use is that it doesn’t matter how highly you season the meat, chicken will always taste like chicken, beef will always taste like beef, pork like pork, etc. As such, you need to use the juices from the bag to make an accompanying sauce unless all you want to taste is the meat. The thing I have probably enjoyed the most done sous vide is poaching seafood. The lobster is tender and the other seafoods have been perfectly cooked. Glad you got your sous vide machine and wish you many hours of happy experimenting and use. :)

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  5. Thank you for all of this information. I find a lot of the directions very random and vague, like “cook for 4 – 12 hours.” I haven’t found a good cookbook yet on sous vide, so I’d welcome a recommendation from you. I haven’t done the sauce thing yet because Stefan made it sound so complicated that I thought I’d just try to figure out the meat part first. And, then seafood next.

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