Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jumping to Conclusions

Sous Vide seems so easy, but there's plenty to learn.  Not every dish goes well...

Tonight was 24 hour 56 degree Skippy and salad. I've been working long hours at work so I couldn't be bothered to cook anything fancy.

Kangaroo put in vacuum yesterday night, and just left in the sous vide the whole time at 56. Very slow cooked garlic in extra virgin olive oil, just a dribble. Cooled and stick mixer pureed with some tinned sweet corn and horse radish. Salad out of a supermarket packet drizzled with store bought lime, ginger and coriander dressing (I should have made a dressing). Potatoes done at 85-90 for about 45 minutes or an hour. Threw some left over asparagus in about 5 minutes from the end (just before I threw Skippy on the bars. The whole prep was about 30 minutes (including the work yesterday) and the cook on the barbie was about 3 minutes on super over hot bars. It doesn't look that good, I only wanted to eat two potatoes, but three would have balanced the dish better. I didn't take photos of the cooked roo inside because I was starving and gobbled it down. It wasn't as pink as I expected at 56. There was still some pink, it wasn't grey. I guess you'd call it medium well.

The roo was if anything *too* tender. There was almost no texture. The flavour was great but it just fell apart. In fact it started to break up as I pulled it from the bag and I needed to slide it out with gravity.


I wrote that post but never bothered to post it. I wasn't really happy with the result. It was nice, but not *spectacular* and it just didn't feel worth my time. So I shelved the post.

Then I tried again (you may see the mention of last night's roo in the scary chicken post). This time I only cooked Skippy at 55.3 for 3 hours. What a difference! The meat was tender, but had structure rather than just being super soft. I guess the collagen hadn't all dissolved into gelatin. Much nicer. I had read elsewhere that “good” cuts shouldn't be cooked for ages. Well it was Kangaroo Fillet steak, so I suppose that's a “good” cut.
I still can't get over the roo. It was full of flavour, soft yet structured.

I cooked it again the next night. I had done it on the hot bars the night before to get it browned. I'd oiled the bars but they were so hot that the oil burnt off. They stuck a bit and it mucked up the presentation a bit. You can see it in the photo above.  This time drained the bag, then I threw EVO oil in and swished it about a bit, then onto the super hot bars. Much better result. Good caramelisation and no sticking.  Lots of bloggers say you *must* pat dry the meat with paper towels.  I've never bothered and I can't see why you would.  The temperature of the bars is so high that the moisture doesn't last a second.

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