Cooking sous vide (french for "under pressure") has long been used in the professional kitchens. A few years ago people started mentioning it on food blogs and books were released on the topic.
The idea with sous vide is that you cook whatever food you are cooking in a low temperature water bath for a certain amount of time. Since the temperature is relatively low it's very hard to overcook things. When cooking meat en sous vide we are after a perfectly cooked piece of meat from edge to edge without any of the doneness gradient which we would get if cooking it in a more traditional way. Another pro with sous vide cooking is that the food can be cooked in advance and then reheated or seared to get a nice caramelized surface.
Meat will be cooked at around 58 degrees C for medium rare, fish at lower temperature, say 45 degrees C.
Sous vide can be done at home. All you need is a big pot (it needs to be big to ensure that the water temperature doesn't drop when food is added) and a termometer (preferably digital).
This "recipe" is for loin of lamb cooked sous vide.
What you need:
A bit pot (say 8 - 10 litres or so)
Termometer (preferably digital with a cable sensor)
Bowl of ice water
Loin of lamb
How to make it:
Take the loins out of the fridge so that they reach room temperature.
Start by filling the pot almost to the top with water. Warm the water on the hob with the termometer measuring the temperature. If you have a gas hob then you might need a heat diffuser to ensure that the temperature from the flame is low enough. When the water reaches 58 C then adjust the heat on the ring to keep it there. Let the temperature stabilize for about 20 minutes.
Trim the loins of fat and silverskin. Brush lightly with olive oil then wrap tightly in all purpose plastic wrap. Twist the ends and then tie them tightly.
Put the packaged loin into the pot and let it cook for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove from pot and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process.
Remove plastic wrap and move to air proof container, transfer to fridge until needed.
Take the meat out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before you are ready to sear it so that it reaches room temperature again. Heat a griddle pan over high heat, add some rapeseed oil and then sear the loins briefly on all sides. Remember that the meat is already cooked so you just want to give it a seared exterior.
Let the meat rest for a few minutes covered by tinfoil and then serve.
Labels: cooking, Lamb, sous vide