Because you really don’t need to be confused about this new age sous vide cooking technique. Just think of it as a modern crock pot.
So…about two years ago my family gifted me with an Anova sous vide machine. They thought it was exactly what I wanted/needed/was missing in my life. Of course, they were right, but it took me about a year to come to realize that. At first, me and my sous vide went through several stages.
First came outrage: “What is this thing????”
Then came denial: “No way I need this.”
Then came mockery: “You, shiny new weird thing here, you really think will teach me something about cooking? I’m doing perfectly fine without you, thankyouverymuch.”
Then came pressure (from the gifters): “So, did you give it a try?” “No, not yet. Didn’t have a chance to figure out how.” (Half a lie. I really did not know how to use it, but that wasn’t the reason that I didn’t.)
Then came guilt: “They spent so much money, I really should use it. Once, at least.”
Then came confusion: “I have no idea how to use this thing. Help.” *turns to good old Google for help. (It turns out Google confused me even more so I ended up asking real people, like, for example, a photographer named Moshe Wulliger who I just happen to be working with and also happens to be a sous vide guru. For real. Score.)
Then came success: “Wow, this meat is really good!!!! I like this thing.”
Finally, my sous vide had reached its pedestal in my kitchen.
Today, I turn to my sous vide on days that I want to have a delicious meal ready waiting for me while I’m out, or, to cook a difficult piece of meat to perfection. Or, for both reasons.
Sous vide removes all of the guesswork (is it cooked? Is it done? Is it ready?) and cooks your meats (or fish) to perfection. Each time.
I have to admit that I am still learning how to use my sous vide to its fullest potential, and I would love to hear from you readers too. Meanwhile, here are the go-to sous vide recipes I use now:
Shoulder London Broil
Usually a very tough piece of meat to cook due to its thickness and lean nature. Perfect for sous vide.
I like to serve this on Shabbos day (just bring to room temperature) or for a weekday dinner.
Place your London broil inside a large Ziploc bag with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a bit of olive oil (about a tablespoon).
Place in a pot filled with water and set your sous vide on 134ºF (56.5 celsius) for at least 6 hours, depending how big the cut of meat is. I usually let it go for 8 hours.
This method works well for Oyster Steaks too, just cook them for 4-5 hours.
Once the time is up, you can give the meat a quick sear for about 30 seconds on each side in a very hot skillet with very little oil. This is by no means necessary, it just gives the meat a ‘finished’ look. I usually skip this step when prepping the meat for Shabbos, but do sear when it’s for dinner. If you sear, be sure to first pat it dry with a paper towel really well before searing.
My most favorite sous vide meat yet. So flavorful and delicious, and so little effort.
Place your brick roast inside a large Ziploc bag with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a bit of olive oil (about a tablespoon).
Place in a pot filled with water and set your sous vide on 140ºF (60 celsius) for about 15 hours. Typically, I would set it up at night, before I go to sleep, and let it run all day until dinner time.
Once it’s dinner time: Remove the meat from the bag and pat dry it with a paper towel really well. Give the meat a quick sear for about 30 seconds on each side in a very hot skillet with very little oil. Make sure not to leave the meat in the skillet for too long; the purpose is solely to create a nice crust.
Cowboy Steak (aka really thick rib steak)
In the summer, I have no problem cooking these to perfection on the BBQ. But during the winter months, I definitely favor the sous vide method.
All you need to do is place your rib steak/cowboy steak inside a large ziploc bag with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a bit of olive oil (about a tablespoon). For a 1 ½ to 2 inch thick steak, set the sous vide to 132 ºF (55.5 celsius) for 6 to 8 hours. If the steak is thicker you leave it in longer.
Generally, leaving it in longer is never an issue. You cannot overdo a meat with sous vide, that’s the beauty here.
Remove the meat from the bag and pat it dry with a paper towel really well before searing.
Heat a grill pan/skillet until it is screaming hot, drizzle a drop of oil, and sear both sides.
An amazing dinner that you can set up in the morning and once you come back home, it is ready in literally minutes. And every time, it’s perfection.
Know how you eat a rare piece of tuna and while you are enjoying it you wonder why is it normal to basically eat a raw piece of fish because who are we kidding, this thing is as raw as it gets??? Know what I mean? Or am I alone in this?
Well, sous vide fixed that for me. I cook the fish in a controlled manner, sear, and there you go. Perfectly pink tuna. It still feels rare and there’s no fear of food poisoning.
Place your tuna steak inside a large Ziploc bag with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a bit of olive oil (about a tablespoon). You can put a few together in a bag.
Set the temperature of your sous vide to 105ºF (40.5 celsius) for 45 minutes. You can leave it longer if you like, but it will be ready to sear after 45 minutes.
Remove the tuna steaks from the bag and top with freshly crushed pepper, and salt. Heat a skillet with a drop of olive oil and sear, 30 seconds to a minute per side.
Are you sold? Well, then get started! Immersion sous vide cookers like the one shown above are easy to use and take up little space. Plus, you can use whatever size pot with it. And though I received the Anova, and many love it, the Chef Steps Sous Vide Cooker is also popular. Good luck!