What to do with those  juices…

It wasn’t so long ago that chefs just discarded the juices left in the bag after sous vide processing. This “Sous Jus™” is mostly water flavored by the protein.  The higher the heat, the greater the release. It also contains albumins and myoglobin.  Without going into scientific detail, the cloudy liquid appears to have gray scrambled eggs scattered through it, and that’s just about right.
There is also quite a bit of gelatin converted from collagen by the sous vide process. This means we have the equivalent of a heavily reduced stock. If properly clarified, that sous jus can bring a lot of depth and body to sauces.

At lower temps, Sous Jus may be quite pink; at higher temps, cloudy and gray.  Next time you finish a project, take a couple of extra minutes and try this:

  • Pour the juice into a clear, microwaveable container–tall enough so that it won’t boil over.
  • Place the container in the microwave and process until it just boils. You can use a pan, too, I just hate washing pans.

Well, would you look at that!

Examine the liquid, and you should see three things, basically.  There will be:

  1. Dark residue on the bottom of the glass.
  2. A small amount of very clear liquid.
  3. A substance that looks kind of like gray scrambled eggs, hovering mostly near the top (albumin, myoglobin, and debris)
  • Strain the liquid, using either a moistened coffee filter or a paper towel placed in a strainer. Moistening the filter prevents the liquid from clinging to the filter/paper towel.
  • Discard the solids and use the clarified liquid. It will be strong in flavor and gelatin. If there was salt in the bag, it may be salty.

A lot of devotees now speak of reducing the SouJus to utilize it in a sauce, just like you would a stock. Keep in mind that “reductions” are first made by ADDING water to extract flavor from bones, vegetables, etc. before that liquid is then reduced to concentrate the flavors.  This is not necessary with sous jus because the liquid was never added in the first place. The sous jus can be put to good use just the way it is. It keeps well in the fridge.

Click here to learn how to make a buttery emulsion sauce from the sous jus.