Author: Norm King

Sous Vide: Beef Stroganoff

 Authenticists need not apply Food is like politics: It is easy to get people to argue about it. Regardless of the position taken, most people have no idea what they are talking about. In most cases, the outcome doesn’t even matter. Everything from what goes into a “real” club sandwich to what does NOT go into an “authentic” Marinara sauce has been, is, and will forever be debated with great enthusiasm and no resolution. Who can define “real”? And so it is with Beef Stroganoff. Is it a stew? Is it a sauté? What color is it supposed to...

Read More

Sous Vide: The Retherm–Stove Top Beef Stew

The price of success No matter how good your sous vide processed BEEF comes out, it is almost inevitable that you will find yourself with surplus on occasion. The alternative would mean you ran out before you finished feeding your family or guests. Even chefs must submit to some inaccuracies in production volume. Cold sandwiches and soups are popular candidates for recycling what I steadfastly refuse to call “left overs,” but there are other options too. Let me stew on this for a minute Here’s an obvious one that has been sadly relegated to either the frozen food section of...

Read More

Sous Vide: Shrimp/Prawn Salad with Avocado and Grilled Celery Heart

Bridging the gulf shrimp Those familiar with my work have probably noticed that I almost never use sous vide to process seafood. This is not because I do not like “fruits de mere.” This is because sous vide really does not offer much benefit to most of the oceans’ citizens. With the exception of octopus, maritime proteins don’t usually require tenderization–quite the opposite, actually. Steps are taken in the cooking processes to PREVENT tenderization. Beyond that, pasteurizing seafood doesn’t really extend the shelf life very much, so scratch that. That leaves us with uniform appearance of doneness all the...

Read More

Sous Vide: Sous-B-Q Meatloaf

What mind? Meat loaf isn’t usually the first thing that comes to people’s minds when they embark on their journey of sous vide discovery. Does meat loaf really NEED sous vide? Actually, nothing really NEEDS sous vide–we did quite well before sous vide came along. When I talk about using sous vide to make meat loaf, people ask me “how do the results compare to the traditional method?” The question exposes a common misconception about sous vide–that using it requires some sacrifice and compromise; that we may have to abandon our expectations of how meat loaf should “be.” Sous...

Read More

Sous Vide: the Salt Study, Part 1

Salt in the bag? The debate as to whether proteins “should” be salted as part of the sous vide process raged long before even I joined the fray. I still encounter people who seem to believe that they are the ones who came up with the idea to put salt (and a host of other things) in the sous vide bag. I guess it’s just the pioneer spirit. We already knew that sodium ions were small enough to penetrate the surface of meats–we’ve been demonstrating that for thousands of years. Without the so called “curing” process, there would be...

Read More

Sous Vide: Beef Top Round served as a steak

End of Round One Top round is a weight bearing, hard working muscle from the hind leg of a steer/heifer. That makes it a perfect candidate for sous vide’s unique ability to tenderize by converting collagen to gelatin. After explaining how to break down an entire beef top round HERE, we are working our way through various applications suitable to this particular sub-primal. So far, we have explained how to use the technology to make the infamously misnamed “London Broil,” and also how to create a Smoked, Pulled/Shredded product that should interest sous vide enthusiasts and back yard BBQ aficionados alike. We...

Read More