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 and a little bit of fat, both heat dependent.  The higher the heat, the greater the release.  Other than that, albumins, myoglobin, and a little debris.  Without going into scientific detail, the cloudy liquid appears to have gray scrambled eggs scattered through it, and that’s just about right.
What we neglected to consider was there is also quite a bit of gelatin converted from collagen. This means we have the equivalent of a heavily reduced stock. If properly clarified, that SousJus 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, and fat
  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 one of those reusable coffee filters (clean), or a paper towel placed in a strainer and moistened so the liquid doesn’t cling to the paper towel.
  • Discard the solids, and use the clarified liquid, it will be strong in flavor and gelatin. If you chill it, you can remove the fat.  If there was salt, sugar, herbs, etc. in the bag, it will be strong in those flavors too.

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 SV Sous Jus because the liquid was never added in the first place… There is a lot of flavor in this release, and it can be put to good use, just the way it is. It keeps well in the fridge.

Here’s an application that’s become quite popular…