Sunday, July 23, 2017

Corn-on-the-Cob-Sous-Vide


Not much to this post!!! Pick your Corn (white or yellow) and shuck them. 



Place in Corn vac bags and cook at 186 f for at least 2 hours and 45 minutes. As an option I would suggest adding seasonings and butter to the bag. The corn will not absorb any of these flavors per say but you will be happy you did it when you serve them. I added butter, salt, dehydrated chives and shallots. Add whatever you want!!

Grill them and serve them!!! If you are not going to grill them go the whole 2 1/2 hours. 


If the times or temps change I will keep you updated!!!



Update 8/2/2017: So I have Sous-Vide corn a few times now and I have determined that determining time and temp is predicated on the ripeness of the corn. If the corn is ripe I found that 183 f for 2 hours was adequate. Hmmm... the other day I SV at 186 for 2 hours and 45 minutes and they were only barely adequate. I'll look into it and get back to you. 

OK I found the information- How to tell if the corn is ripe.




Sous-Vide Beef-Back-Ribs Revisited

THE FLINSTONES FIRST AIRED IN SEPT 1960

This is not my first rodeo or my second. I've made these ribs several times and wanted to share with you all that I have learned. Here is a link to one of my earlier POSTS. I wish my ribs were that big. I use to love watching Fred eat these enormous portions of food. 


I cut the slabs into more manageable sections. So far so good. These Backbones are way bigger than the ones I've have used in the past and much meatier too. These larger size ribs shouldn't change the process or cook times though.

I would suggest a store bought rub or make your own. I like adding lots of brown sugar to my rubs. Rubs are so easy to make so give it a shot.


Some people will tell you to Sous-Vide your ribs naked but not me!! I dry brine all my proteins for the following reasons. Dry-Brining provides more flavor, denatures the protein and makes them more tender, and reduces moisture loss during the cooking process. If you want to read more about Dry- Brines click HERE. Or you can just google Dry-Brines and Science. There's a lot of info out there. I have conducted my own experiments and they can be found HERE.

How about that rub? Well to be honest only the salt will penetrate the protein which gives you all the benefits I listed above. The extra components of the rub are mostly a surface treatment. According to what I have read, and yes I can attest to this the additional components of the rub will penetrate but a mere 1/8 of an inch, if at all. Of course the amount of penetration is tied to the overall dry-brining time. I dry-brine most proteins for at least 24 hours and schedule permitting up to 36 hours. If you plan on a short Dry-Brine don't waste your time or rub. For this to work well you need a full 24 hours and of course 36 is better.

Double vacuumed sealed. On long cooks I double them up. After the 36 hour Dry-Bining I cooked them at 149 f degrees for 52 hours. After the cook I dropped all the bags into a large container with Ice-Packs to cool them off rapidly. Note: Previous ribs were cooked for 48 hours. Because of my schedule I did not smoke them for another 8 days. Since the ribs were pasteurized I was able to keep them for an extended time in the refrigerator.
  
Out of the bags and into a large container. The container is huge!! It needed to hold all 20 lb.  Notice the congealed fat? 




Apply some more rub if you want too.




Apply BBQ sauce if you want too. I love BBQ sauce. In traditional smoking I always add the sauce during the last couple of hours.







Set up your smoker. I have a custom Weber Smokey Mountain. I use this method which I find to be the best. Charcoal around the bricks will burn more evenly and will last a long time. In the charcoal I have added some wood. Using a charcoal chimney starter I poured hot coals on one end. I can do 22 hour long smokes on this baby at 225 f. This smoker is so huge I can do 12-14 whole chickens. 








I kept the temp between 200-215 f degrees. They smoked for 2.5 hours until an internal temp of 165 f was reached.





I have special racks to hold the ribs. Very handy.






Review- They came out great!!! Pulled off the bone and no big gobs of fat to chew on. In the past I have done them at 131 f for 48 hours and smoked until an internal temp of 140 f was reached (other temps and times too). The meat was near perfect but the fat did not render down at all. Globs of fat in your mouth was not what I was looking for. Than I tried 149 f at 48 hours and smoked until an internal temp of 150 f was reached. This was an improvement but again fat was not perfect. Now I believe I nailed it.... 148 f for 52 hours and smoked until an internal temp of 165 f was reached. Fat rendered down nicely and meat fell off the bone. If you want more chew SV for about 44 hours. 

My next version of these ribs will include faux aging

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Monday, July 3, 2017

Rack of Lamb Sous-Vide

I have been dreaming about this moment for at least 4 yrs. My wife and I were dining up at the Metropolitan Grill  and I came across what has to be the best lamb I've ever eaten. I made some inquiries because this was no ordinary rack of lamb. Don't get me wrong I have prepared and have eaten a lot of lamb but none like this. Most lamb that I have eaten in the NW has been Australian lamb. No matter where you go from store to store, butcher to butcher it's always from Australia. I have ran across the occasional leg of lamb that comes from American farms but it's rare. Anyhow the waiter was nice enough to find out that the Lamb came from Anderson Farms in Oregon.  

Anderson farms supplies some local stores in Oregon but none in Seattle. They also distribute to all the fancy restaurants in the NW including Las Vegas. I won't go into all the details here but just know that Anderson Farms Lamb is top notch. The Lambs are grass fed, no antibiotics or growth hormones and no bi-products. Simply delicious meat. 


Oh....It's worth mentioning that I sourced this Lamb through Nicky USA. Twice a week they drive up to Seattle and drop off orders and since I don't mind spending lots of $$$$ on meat I placed a huge order. This place has been a dream come true for me!!! And everything they do is BIG!!!! I say go big or go home. 



If you're new to my posts know that I take a lot of photos. I do my best to record every aspect and moment of what I do. This is kind of a food diary. Anyhow here they are nicely packed up in vac bags.
 

More pics!!!!







So what's up with the grams scale? I'm a big fan of dry-brining for X amount of time. The advantages of dry-brining is moisture retention and taste. I covered some of it HERE in earlier posts and experiments. You can also read about Dry-Brining HERE which is a great read by Amazing Ribs Dot Com. Anyhow I multiplied the weight in grams by .60% and came up with 17 grams which was applied to the lamb. I made sure to get it in every nook and cranny. After applying the salt I placed in Vac bags. It will dry brine for at least 24 hours. Because of my schedule I went for a whole 30 hours.

SOUS-VIDE-TEMP-TIMES?


These temps and times were not created in a vacuum. Although I've never Sous-Vide American Rack of Lamb before I have done plenty of Aussie Legs and Racks. I've played around with temps ranging from 126 f up to 133 f and times ranging from 4-24 hours. As we all know time and temps are about personal preferences. How pink do you like your meat? What texture do you like? I have a sweet spot (TEMP) for almost everything I cook now. All times and temps are vastly different too. Anyhow in the end it was about how the lamb felt in my mouth. The texture for me was very important and at the same time I didn't want to lose much moisture. I settled in on 130 f for 4 hours but not before the Warm-Aging was complete. You can read all about Warm Aging HERE. What to do? Heat your immersion circulator and water bath to 107 f and drop in your lamb....set temp now to 104 f for 2 hours. After the elapsed time set temp to 130 f and cook for 4 hours. 


At the completion of the cooking process COLD SHOCK the LAMB. How to cold shock? Dump Vac packs filled with lamb in container large enough to hold them and lots of ice and water. Or you could use the container you used for the cooking too. Anyhow shock for a few hours and refrigerate. You don't have to refrigerate if you don't want to. Just jump to the next step. The goal is to bring down the temp to avoid over cooking when they're seared. Note: I have of a lot of Blue Freeze Packs on hand for this exact situation. 

Out of the vac packs and dried off very well. They won't sear very well if they are not dry. I also gave them a dip in flour which will help with the browning and the crust. No pics for that so you will have to use your imagination. Note: Before I took them out of the vac packs I gave them a dip in 100 f tap water for abut 10 minutes to bring them up to almost room temp. 

In a screaming hot pan they go. I used my muscular well defined arm to press on the rack to ensure good a sear. I moved them all around getting good color everywhere. I wanted to render down some of that fat. Be-careful!!!! I got splattered a few times and it did not feel all that good. 


Pretty Damn good if I do say so myself. Note: since they went into the hot pan at room temp I knew the internal temp did not go above 130 f and as you recall this was temp we used to Sous-Vide.
   

Easy part coming up....Brush on some Dijon mustard or whatever mustard you want. The mustard will act like a glue for the bread crumb mixture we're going to be putting on. 

This next part is optional. I used naan bread as my bread crumbs. You can use whatever bread you want. Place bread in blender or food processor and make some bread crumbs. This next step is interesting. You need to come up with a spice mixture that you will add to the bread crumbs. I make up stuff all the time but if all you want is pepper go for it!!!! Since we dry-brined the Lamb we will not be adding in any salt. Here's the spice mixture I came up with.... I kept tasting it until I got it right. I used roughly 2 Tbl. Whole Coriander, 1 TBL Grains of Paradise (this will replace the black pepper), 1 TSP White Pepper, 2 TBL. Whole Cumin Seed, 1 TSP. Ceylon Cinnamon, 1/2 TSP. All Spice, 1/2 TSP. Cloves, 1 TSP. Lemon Peel, 1/2 TSP. Garlic Powder. Place everything in spice grinder and process until smooth. Taste and adjust. I adjusted the spice mixture several times so the above measurements are estimates. Place just enough breadcrumbs into the bowl with the spices that will allow you to completely cover the Rack of Lamb.


Coat the entire Lamb by pressing on the breadcrumb mixture. Make sure you get it evenly coated. Place on a pan and roast at 500-550 f degrees for a few minutes until top is slightly darkened. Maybe 4-7 minutes. 






Review- One of the best dishes I've ever made. I will not change a thing....ahhhh except this one thing. I should have Frenched the Rack of Lamb. Next time!!!

The Sauce 
Freaking awesome Sauce!!! Although I don't have an exact recipe I needed to talk about the dang thing. The sauce was the bomb, a home run. 

I love Black and Blue steak which is made with Blackberries so I thought it would go well with the Lamb with a few tweaks. You can look at some of the pics below but it won't help much with the preparation. I'm hoping to replicate it very soon so I can write it all down. 

Chop up a few shallots, Lots of green onion, a very sweet pear or two, about two cups of Blackberries, Some good quality Balsamic Vinegar and some Veal-Demi (or veggie stock).... a touch of coriander, salt and pepper to taste. Some butter, brown sugar and a touch of cream to finish.

Use the same skillet that you used to sear the lamb. Add some butter, the shallots a touch of salt and pepper and saute scraping the fond off the bottom of the skillet. Add green onions and pears and saute for a bit. Toss in the Blackberries and saute breaking up the Blackberries. Toss in at least a 1/3 of a cup of Balsamic Vinegar saute and mix everything up. After about 2 minutes add the Demi. You want to cook this down a bit until you can Coat the back of a spoon (Nappe). Toss in some coriander and if needed salt and pepper and keep adjusting until you get it right. Toss in some butter, brown sugar and a touch of cream. If the sauce gets to thick add some water and of course if it's not thick enough cook it down. 










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