Happy Valley Chow

gour-mand (noun): one who is excessively fond of eating and drinking

Filtering by Category: "Sous Vide"

Sous Vide Short Ribs

I love having those moments when you make something for the first time and you think "Dear Lord, where have you been my whole life?" These short ribs were one of those moments. Ever since I started cooking sous vide I knew I wanted to try the 72 Hour Short ribs, but just never got around to it. Then, when I went grocery shopping the other day, I saw these beautiful shorties starring at me in the meat section. (That was probably the weirdest sentence I have ever wrote...I feel like that should be lyrics in next big rap song). Anyways....If you decide to start experimenting with sous vide cooking, do yourself a favor and make these things. Yes, they take 72 hours, but that is just time they spend in the water bath. The recipe is actually very easy, I just threw them in Monday night and they were ready for Thursday night dinner (Quite convenient actually). Enjoy!

  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp cayenne
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tbsp chili flakes
  • 3 tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 1.5 lbs Short ribs, boneless
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp Shallots, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup Short Rib Jus
  • 2 Tbsp butter, cubed and coated with flour
  • 1 Tbsp thyme, minced
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

The night before you want to start cooking the ribs, mix all the dry ingredients (first 8 ingredients) in a bowl. Rub the short ribs generously with the dry rub, place in a sealed container, and store in the fridge overnight, letting the meat marinate as the rub liquefies. 

Place the short ribs in a vacuum seal bag and vacuum seal. Place the short ribs in a 140° F water bath and sous vide for 72 hours. 

Remove the short ribs from the bag, saving the jus for the pan gravy, and pat the short ribs dry with a paper towl. Heat a cast iron pan over medium high heat, add in the oil. Sear the short ribs on all sides getting a nice crust (Maillard reaction) on all sides of the meat.

After you sear the meat, remove from pan and let rest while you make the pan gravy. Add the shallots and garlic and saute until fragrant, being sure not to burn. Deglaze the pan with the red wine. Reduce the wine until almost all evaporate. While the wine is reducing, strain the short rib jus through a fine mesh sieve lined with cheese cloth. Once the wine has almost evaporated add in the rib jus in. Continue reducing until you have about 1/2 cup liquid. Take off the heat and whisk in the flour coated butter, one cube at a time. You should notice your sauce starting to thicken and turn into a gravy. Check the consistency with a spoon, it should coat the back of the spoon and maintain a clear path when you rub your finger through it. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and the minced thyme. 

Slice the short ribs into 1/2" thick cubes, drizzle the pan gravy over top and serve. 

Kitchen Word of the Recipe

Reduction - is the process of thickening and intensifying the flavor of a liquid mixture such as a soup, sauce, wine or juice by boiling.  Reduction is performed by boiling liquid (whether stock, wine, whiskey, vinegar, or sauce mixture) rapidly and usually without a lid (enabling the vapor to escape more easily) until the volume desired is reached by evaporation. Since each component of the mixture evaporates at slightly different temperatures and the goal of reduction is to drive away those with lowest points of evaporation, it is – in a way – a form of distillation.

Modernist Cuisine at Home

Modernist Cuisine at Home (The Cooking Lab, 2012)
Modernist Cuisine at Home is the subsidiary of, what may be, the greatest cooking tome of all time, Modernist Cuisine. Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, and Maxime Bilet--scientists, inventors, and accomplished cooks in their own right--have created a six-volume, 2,400-page set that reveals science-inspired techniques for preparing food that ranges from the otherworldly to the sublime. The authors and their 20-person team at The Cooking Lab have achieved astounding new flavors and textures by using tools such as water baths, homogenizers, centrifuges, and ingredients such as hydrocolloids, emulsifiers, and enzymes. It is a work destined to reinvent cooking. MC digs deep into the historical, scientific, molecular and pretty much every facet of cooking. 

While Modernist Cuisine is a beautiful and inspiring book, it is not for the faint of heart. Most likely the average home cook wouldn't even know where to start with some of the recipes, not to mention not having the equipment needed to pull off the recipes. That's where Modernist Cuisine at Home comes in. Granted you do still need some speciality equipment like an Immersion Circulator and Pressure cooker to really dive deep into this book, but those items are within grasps of most consumers. 

Modernist Cuisine at Home (The Cooking Lab, 2012)
After spending a few days perusing the book and trying out some of the recipes. I have to admit, this might be one of my most favorite cookbooks to date. It's just as beautiful and inspiring as the original MC, it introduces modern techniques to traditional recipes, it's fun to cook out of, it's challenging to cook out of and honestly I feel like I'm becoming a better cook from simply reading it. Again, this isn't for the faint of heart and I would recommend that you have a decent understanding of cooking techniques. But, if you are looking for something new and exciting to spice up your cooking world, than this is it!

"Modernist Cuisine at Home offers useful techniques and solutions that expand our abilities  and it provides us with a practiced and thorough understanding of why things happen the way they do. Most importantly, it ignites a curiosity within and compels us to ask ourselves not 'What should we make for dinner?' but rather, 'What can we make for dinner?' Modernist Cuisine at HOme will provide another quantum leap in our understanding and in our relationship with the food we like to cook" ~Thomas Keller

"Modernist Cuisine at Home is destined to change the way we cook-and the way we use recipes. For all of us who cook regularly, this book opens up a whole new world of possibilites. It is full of insights that encourage us to try something new, and that teach us something on every single page." ~Martha Stewart

I went ahead and started on the easier side with this book. Instead of jumping in for the hardest recipes, I figured I'd test the water with the Chicken Wings and Macaroni and Cheese. 

The chicken wings were definitely some of the best I have ever had. I never really thought to brine chicken wings just cause there isn't that much meat, but it is definitely worth taking the time to brine them. Then after cooking them sous vide at 149℉, you have one heck of a juicy and tender chicken wing (Cooking chicken sous vide at 140℉ for at least 30 min. pasteurizes the meat making it completely safe and extremely moist, unlike the traditional 165℉). 

The macaroni and cheese was also very good. But, I think next time I will use cheeses other than Cheddar and Swiss because they really don't need the Sodium Citrate to emulsify them together. The cheese sauce is quite thick, velvety and delicious...it has the consistency of store bought mac n' cheese, but just a lot better flavor because of the better quality cheese. 

A big thank you to the Modernist Cuisine at Home crew for allowing me access to their book and share with all of you their Macaroni and Cheese Recipe. Enjoy!

Modernist Cuisine at Home (The Cooking Lab, 2012)
I think the recipe layout is pretty self explanatory, but it is a laid out a little different than your traditional recipe. Each part of the recipe is broken up by the red lines. You have your ingredients, the amount you need of each ingredient and then what to do with each ingredient. Just follow the procedures, add in all the ingredients in each step, then move onto the next line. In my case I substituted 3 cups of shredded sharp cheddar and 1 cup of shredded swiss for the white cheddar. I also folded in a whole roasted red pepper. 

In addition to having the opportunity to use this book, I also have been given the opportunity to use a GoPro camera to start making cooking videos! I figured since I just got the camera, I might as well kill two birds with one stone and use it for this review. I am using the GoPro Hero3 White edition, with the Chest Mount Harness. There will be many more videos in the future!

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