Andrew bought me a sous-vide set for Christmas: a water bath, vacuum set and the food safe bags to cook food in. At Christmas I made spiced apples in there, and last week I experimented twice.
Firstly I tried sous-vide salmon. This was not as successful as I had hoped. I added a little lemon juice, salt and pepper to large salmon fillets and then vacuum packed them (skin and all) and cooked them in the water bath for 50 minutes – unfortunately the salmon was slightly dry – I prefer my salmon slightly undercooked in the middle so I will need to play around with timings / temperature. It is obvious that the flavour of the salmon is improved by the sous-vide technique as there is no water to dilute the flavour of the fish, so I’ll try again and see what happens.
Next I tried sous-vide steak. Now, I fully confess that I am useless at cooking steak. I like it medium but I often end up overcooking it because I don’t like the ridge of raw meat in the centre of a medium-rare steak. This time I bought some sirloin steaks from Waitrose meat counter (just over 1 inch thick) and so cooked them with just a dash of salt and pepper in the waterbath at 60 degrees for 55 minutes.
When you take them out of the water bath they look completely unappetising – grey with a ridge of unappealing fat, but after a very quick flash fry in some olive oil they were transformed into the best steak I have ever eaten. The steak is cooked perfectly from edge to middle and cuts like butter. You don’t have to rest the steak either so you can dive straight in to the juicy goodness.
The only problem I can see is that you would not be able to cook other people’s steak to a different temperature if you had people over for dinner – everyone would have to have their steak cooked the same. Other than that, I can’t see any negatives, and I intend to eat my steak like that every time I cook it in future.