Author: Norm King

Sous Vide Hollandaise

I wonder if Hollandaise wasn’t created by some sadistic Chef looking for yet another way to torment apprentices, home cooks, and anyone else who dared to desire it. Even though it is essentially mayonnaise, there are about a million things that can go wrong with it.  Meanwhile, there is only one acceptable way for it to come out. It must be thick, it must be creamy, it must be yellow, it must be SAFE.  It must be a certain temp, not too hot, not too cold, you can almost make it break just by looking at it wrong. On the other hand, Sous Vide Hollandaise is delicious.  Please don’t make me… Modern chefs have devised a number of passive aggressive rationalizations for not using it. It’s too rich, all those yolks, all that butter; too many places use it, so, nobody makes it any more. Anything to avoid admitting that they want it, but they are just so over jumping through hoops trying to get it to come out. Many “quick and easy” methods have been developed to avoid the endless stirring and worrying and watching. Most of these shortcuts either don’t work, or, are just as much trouble as the old way. Lots of dirty dishes, extra bowls, boiling water, whips, not to mention tear soaked Kleenex. You can buy it in a can, or even as a powder, both...

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Quarantine Streamline Espagnole/Demi-Glace/Brown Sauce–2020

It all starts with Espagnole–the sauce, not the language. This is a very important sub-group of sauces commonly incorporated into many recipes. Typically made from beef (and veal, long ago now), Espagnole/demi-glace/brown sauces add flavor and color to poultry, lamb, pork, and even seafood dishes.  There are convenient versions that can be purchased if the raw ingredients are not on hand.  Poultry and pork bones can be used as well with good results. Lamb bones have a dominant flavor/aroma that can overwhelm the flavor of other proteins so they are not usually suitable for stocks and sauces. Utilization Bone, marrow,...

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Sous Vide Lamb Shanks

Lamb Shanks pose a number of challenges for restaurants, not to mention home cooks.  Among the toughest cuts of lamb, they always seem to come out just not quite tender enough, or so tender as to no longer be recognizable.  Sous Vide may be best way to manage this.  The control over temperature and time is so precise, and it is so easy to confirm the desired tenderness during the processing cycle–one need merely pinch the meat through the bag. If it feels tender, it is! This post is a root article for Sous Vide Resources. All root articles feature a...

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Lamb Shank Persillé

Rack of Lamb Persillé is a classic dish that features a parsley crust. We’re going to enhance our version by substituting the shank, and by adding a mint pesto. Ingredients: 1 Lamb Shank, 16-24 oz. 1 egg, separated Salt and Pepper, as desired Mint Pesto, enough to coat–approx 2 Tablespoons (see recipe below) Dijon mustard, 2 Tablespoons, enough to coat Fresh Parsley, 1/2 oz. Plain Bread crumbs, 1 cup Mint Pesto Fresh mint leaves, 1 oz fresh garlic, 2 cloves grated parmesan, 1 Tablespoon walnuts, 1 oz salt, pinch EVOO , 1/2 cup Process all ingredients in blender, preferably, or food processor. Blender will make it...

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Sous Vide Indoor BBQ Beef Back Ribs

We’re going to get right down to cooking some BBQ Beef Back Ribs here, but I strongly urge readers to take a look at the article about “syzygizing” Sous Vide and BBQ at some point. Those of you who are skeptical about getting good results from indoor BBQ may at least find it somewhat reassuring, if not completely convincing. Beef Back Ribs.  These things are no bargain.  The butchers know that we desire them, but there is really only a tiny bit of meat on them, unlike pork spare ribs.  That being said, we found some that weren’t too precious,...

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Beef top/inside round, whole: some disassembly required

The round part of the top inside Beef top/inside round is always present in the butcher’s case, but not usually under that name. Working literally from the ground up, as much as a third is commonly used to make hamburger. Unfortunately, the term “ground round” refers to the balance of fat to lean meat and not necessarily the cut being used. This is yet another example of the industry’s efforts to make bovine anatomy as confusing as possible. Top round is used to make stew meat, among many other things. Stew meat is usually labeled specific to size rather...

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