Earlier in the year I was given a sous vide from Sous Vide Supreme and some Donald Russell meat and challenged to come up with some gourmet recipes. I slightly steered off course and produced rhubarb compote and over night oatmeal in my machine, proving that a sous vide works very well for everyday food and does not have to be for meat.
I’ve slightly struggled with the gourmet aspect – the large cuts of meat I had to work with (ox cheeks, lamb shanks, pork osso bucco) certainly lend themselves to long slow cooking, but my oatmeal, compote, eggs and steak from the local butcher’s all tasted better than the lamb shank disaster that I had.
(Donald Russell meat is delivered frozen, packed with dry ice, inside an expanded polystyrene sarcophagus – there is lots of fun to be had with dropping the dry ice into bowls of hot water, but I wish that they could swap the polystyrene for a more eco friendly alternative such as woolcool.)
Sous vide is a completely different method of cooking and getting to grips with it for best results is a long process (the long cooking time makes recipe development a far longer process and meticulous notes are needed).
My signature style, leans towards Asian fusion versions of classic Western dishes, I’ve made a heavenly Asian Beef Wellington, which remains one of the creations I am the most proud of. Using my much loved Japanese ingredients to flavour ox cheeks in the sous vide seemed the only way to go. The general rule of thumb is to be conservative on flavours. The long slow cooking intensifies flavours, and it is very easy to over do it.
After 60 hours at 60C the ox cheeks were amazing, soft and tender, but still medium rare in the centre. There was a large volume of liquid in the vaccuum bag, open it carefully and pour into a bowl.
If you master then, they try my Sous Vide Chicken Thighs!
- 2 Large ox cheeks about 800g in total
- 1/2 tbs brown miso
- 1 tbs tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tbs toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbs mirin
- 2 Star anise
- Pinch chilli flake
Place the ox cheeks into a vacuum bag. Whisk the miso, tamari, sesame oil and mirin together, pour into the bag and add the star anise and chilli flake.
Give the bag a shake to coat the ox cheeks and then seal.
Put into the sous vide and cook at 60C for 60 hours.
When cooked removed the ox cheeks from the bag reserving the juices. Sear the ox cheeks in a hot pan. remove the ox cheeks from the pan, add the cooking juices and reduce them over a high heal until halved in volume and looking glossy.
Slice the ox cheeks and serve on a bed of noodles and leafy greens with a drizzle of the sauce.
I’ll be sharing some more thoughts about sous vide cooking, the Sous Vide Supreme and exploring other ways you can mimic cooking sous vide next week.
Fuss Free Flavours has been provided with a Sous Vide Supreme machine, vacuum sealer & cooking bags and meat from Donald Russell to write about the machine and to develop some recipes. This is a competition where our readers can also win a prize.