Sous Vide News June
This month Michael Lambie, Executive chef of Taxi dining room at Federation Square
To cook sous requires very few tools and some reading or training. Starting with the best equipment on the market will set you on the right track. Solid, well made equipment will last if well looked after and should be seen as an investment.
Many modern kitchens are using vacuum sealing as a hygienic way of managing food stocks and portion control. Sealed food when portioned can be easy written on tracing its movement through storage to use and is easily counted for stock control. The other advantages are longer shelf life, optimal product storage and hygiene (no contamination, hermetically sealed), no loss of product (prevents drying out, moulds and freeze burn).
Sous Vide Australia recommends Henkleman chamber vacuum machines for sous vide. They provide standard features for sealing liquids are simple to use and have a self-clean cycle.
The correct choice of vacuum pouch is essential to maintaining vacuum in warm cooking water. Only bags greater than a thickness 80um should be considered for cooking. Sealed Air boil-in-bag at 100um by far are the best. Pouches come in many sizes with the rule being that a bag to be sealed should be no more than two thirds full.
Once your item has been hermetically sealed how to cook it requires the next decision.
Convection steam ovens are often promoted for sous vide. These ovens use condensing steam as the heat transfer medium, which is not very effective at temperatures below 100°C this can result in some pouches taking up to 200% longer to heat than other pouches in the same batch. Temperature probing must be used in every item cooked in this method for safety and consistency.
Unstirred water baths are a simple device often very light in build with a controlled element either inside the bath or on some of the more expensive models a heating plate attached to the outside of the bath. Unstirred baths work on the theory that warm water heated in the bottom of the bath will rise and cooler water will fall to the element and temperature sensor. In practice this theory works extremely well at temperatures above 80°C not where most sous vide cookery is done. The chart above shows how the unstirred water bath uses over heating to compensate for the lack of natural water movement.
Stirred water baths and emersion circulators by far the only choice for professionals wishing to cook sous vide. This equipment is the only equipment that we will sell. Sous vide cookery when performed well should leave your diners with profound new experiences. To achieve this only accurate, reliable equipment should be used.
Be wary when buying online from overseas. Make sure that what you are buying is approved for the Australian market and electrically safe. Sous Vide Australia now has Instanta water baths on display at Chefs Hat South Melbourne and Advantage kitchens Brunswick . Our agent for NSW is Sydney Commercial Kitchens.
For the last two months an Instanta water bath has had pride of place amongst Taxi Dining Rooms kitchen equipment. Michael has been generous enough to share some of his dishes from the menu.
Taxi 12-hour sticky pork explores the advantages of cooking traditionally tougher cuts of meat under vacuum at lower temperatures. It is possible by slow cooking pork belly at 70°C over an extended period for proteolytic enzymes to decrease mynofibrillar tensile strength enough to give a mouth wateringly tender piece of pork with minimal moisture loss.
As this method cooks the meat in such a tender way the colour of the finished product retains a bright pink hue.
The production advantages of this recipe for the restaurant kitchen are that if correctly cooled, the portion whilst sealed in its vacuum pouch is pasteurised giving it twice its normal shelf life. Pouches should represent one portion and can be frozen or refrigerated till required
Taxi 12-hour sticky pork with red chilli dressing
· 100g pork belly
Place 100g pork belly in a CV bag with olive oil, 1 garlic clove and star anise, and poach in water bath for 12 hours @ 70 degrees. Once cooked, fry pork till golden and coat with molten palm sugar and 2 tbs fish sauce.
Michael Lambie’s recipes will feature on the blog over time along with recipes from Stones of the Yarra Valley. The website has all of your sous vide needs, Henkleman vacuum machines, Instanta sous vide circulated baths, Sealed Air pouches. For orders or assistance email me directly email@example.com.
The newsletter of Sous Vide Australia is bi-monthly, bringing both information and recipes to make sous vide the new method of cookery for Australia.
I look forward to talking with you in the near future about sous vied.
Sous Vide Australia Pty Ltd