Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

What makes Thanksgiving 2015 so special that I need to write another post? I refined some of my Sous-Vide techniques and wanted to share. Here are some LINKS to past techniques and Turkeys I have done. 

Let's begin....Like everyone else I start with a completely thawed and cleaned Turkey. The next step is crucial so pay close attention. If you want a well seasoned moist bird dry brining is essential. I Dry-Brine all my proteins. Here's what you do. Liberally sprinkle kosher salt all over the Turkey. That means the inside too. You need about 24-36 hours for the salt to be absorbed. This is similar to an equilibrium cure so if you went as long as 48 hours it's not a big deal; just don't go less than 24 hours. Read all about Dry-Brining HERE and HEREAfter the Dry-Brining I always rinse the Turkey under cold water. Not a crucial step but rinsing removes the impurities that might have leached to the surface after salting. 

If you don't already know how to break down a Turkey look no further than here for your Tutorial. Chefsteps shows you how to break down a Turkey in this VIDEO.

Melt lots of unsalted butter. Yes we are going to inject our bird with butter. Everything tastes better with butter. 

My favorite injector!!

I posted this picture to give perspective. This is a big injector. Start injecting. 

The Turkey was injected multiple of times. I hit every joint too. This baby is full of butter. If you wanted you could add other things to your injector but I prefer just butter. 
Let's talk seasoning techniques. I learned this one from Thomas keller in his book Under Pressure.  I made sure the herbs did not make any contact with the Turkey by making a plastic bouquet garnet that was pierced all over. This technique will perfume the Turkey with aromas that will surround and enhance the taste of the meat. Take my word on this because I have ran some experiments. What I have concluded is this, herbs put in direct contact with the food will overpower the meat and will not flavor the whole thing. All the flavors of the herbs will be concentrated where they lie. By placing them in the plastic wrap the aromas will seep into the Turkey slowly. I used Sage, Thyme and Parsley. For the breast I placed two packets on either side of the breast.

All vacuumed sealed and ready for the bath. 

Turkey Breast Sous-Vide at 140˚ƒ for 4 hours.

Dark meat Sous-Vide at 150˚ƒ for 6 hours. 

All these temps and times are designed around how I want to finish the Turkey. In this case, I plan on smoking the Turkey for about 90-120 minutes at 180-190˚ƒ. When the smoke dissipates, I will cranked the heat up to about 225-250˚ƒ to give that mahogany glaze we all love so much. 

What preceded the smoke is important too. After the Sous-Vide process I Cold- Shocked the Turkey in an Ice-Bath and refrigerated overnight. If I had taken the turkey out of the SV and proceeded directly to the Smoker, the Turkey would have overcooked. Starting out with temps much lower helps mitigate the possibility of overcooking the Turkey. I also know if I placed a Turkey in my smoker with an internal temp of 34˚ƒ, it would have taken forever for the meat to come up to temp too. So what did I do?  I cranked up the Sous-Vide to about 125˚ƒ and set the Turkey in the bath for about 45 minutes. The Turkey hit the smoker registering 100˚ƒ internally. The Turkey was removed from the smoker when an internal temp of the white meat was at 140˚ƒ and the Dark meat hit 150˚ƒ

So to recap....if you processed your protein at "X" temp and proceeded to finish using "Y" method the temperature of protein would be elevated beyond the processing temperature. Cold-Shocking will prevent the protein from becoming overcooked during the process of searing using "Y" method. 

These are all techniques. If you miss one of these steps the outcome will be different. Let's say I wanted to finish the Turkey in a frying pan instead of an oven or smoker. I would have made sure that the meat was at least at 120˚ƒ before the meat would have hit the pan. Again these are my techniques. This works in the oven too. Just plan ahead.

These are two different Turkeys just out he of second Sous-Vide bath. Dried very well and seasoned.  I seasoned one with additional spices and herbs and one without. Just personal preference. Now on to the smoker.

I used my propane smoker instead of my charcoal smoker. The weather was horrible and propane is so much easier than charcoal in poor weather. I like using Apple and Cherry when I smoke poultry but you can use whatever you want. I also like to add Sage to the smoke box for extra flavor. 
Cherry Smoked
Apple Smoked


Monday, November 16, 2015

Lamb Ribs w/ Asian Rubb

First time eating Lamb Ribs. I decided to Sous-Vide them at 131˚ƒ for 12 hours.

Unsheathed and ready for dry rub. I always apply a rub or salt 24 plus hours in advance. 


  • 1 tbsp Cardamom
  • 1 tbsp Coriander  
  • 1 tbsp Grains of Paradise
  • 1 tbsp Ceylon Cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tbsp dried Lemongrass
  • 1 tbsp Garam Masala 
  • 1/4 cup Demerara Sugar

First lightly salt the ribs then apply rub. 

Just a pretty picture....

Vacuumed sealed and refrigerated for 24 hours. 
After the 24 hour rest in the refrigerator I Sous-Vide the ribs at 131˚ƒ for 12 hours. Cold-Shocked and another stint in the refrigerator for 24 hours. 

Ribs smoked with Apple & Cherry for about 2.5 hours at 200˚ƒ. The Ribs were coated with a homemade Apricot BBQ sauce that put these ribs over the top. 


 Review- The only thing I would change is maybe Sous-Vide them at 133˚ƒ for about 18 hours. They were delicious. I would like to have had more of the fat rendered though. Other than that they were perfect. Absolutely delicious. These were truly inspiring ribs. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

"The Majestic Hanger Steak"

Hanger Steak prepared Sous-Vide makes this a prized carnivore delight that sits on top of the food chain. Real beefy flavor and richness that has almost no equal: of course that's subjective. 

Here's a great article to read on Hanger Steak. 

Here’s Why Your Butcher Wishes You’d Stop Ordering Hanger Steak

Here is a pic of the untrimmed Hanger steak. It actually looks pretty good. I am just gonna take off some residual silver skin and hard fat.
All sealed up and ready for thermal bath. Note: I always presalt my meat 24 hours in advance. If Hanger steak is cooked incorrectly it will be very tough. Lower is always better. Everything I have ever read on this particular cut suggests high heat and to serve Medium-Rare. Failure to follow these suggestions will result in eating shoe leather.  We're not worried about overcooking of course because we have Sou-Vide. See some experiments HERE that prove that salt is very important. 
Anyhow I Warm-Aged the steaks at 104℉ for 90 min followed up with 128 ℉ for 4.5-5 hours. Note: I added boiling water to the container at the 90 min mark to hasten the climb to 128 ℉. Since we only warm aged for 90 min adding boiling water to hasten the climb to an appropriate is just a suggestion. You obviously can't add boiling water if you are SV'ing remotely as I often do with my Joule I.C. 
After the thermal bath I shocked the meat in an ice bath for 2 hours then refrigerated the proteins until I was ready for the next step.  My schedule is hectic so this technique served two purposes. Putting the meat on the grill with the flames of hell hitting it would surely raise them temp way above rare but since the meat went on super cold (35˚ƒ) all this was mitigated.  
Sliced across the grain. Be careful here and pay attention because I noticed all three chunks of meats had crazy grains.

Chimichurri Sauce made with Caramelized onions
Avocado Compound butter made with Cumin, roasted garlic, lime juice and zest etc etc

Monday, November 2, 2015

Kalbi Short Ribs

So this last Friday ( Nov 30. 2015) I was in Seattle shopping at the famous Uwajimaya and I came across these beautiful Kalbi Short-Ribs.   Well I just had to buy them.  
I used a Salted Rub and Dry-Brined them for 24 hours
Double Vacuumed Sealed
Warm-Aged at 113˚ ƒ for 2 hours than finished at 133˚ ƒ for 11 hours. They were shocked and refrigerated for 4 hours.
Unsheathed from their plastic home and dried off. Additional Rub applied 
Grilled off on my Grill at 600˚ƒ plus.
Topped with a Chimichurri sauce

Sous-Vide made them extremely tender and a joy to eat. 

New Batch Below

I used a BBQ Rub and gave a 24 hour dry-brine

Shocked and refrigerate over night

Created a great searing sauce of Mayo and BBQ sauce

Sauced up with some extra stuff on them

Grilled off….