Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, affectionately called The Arch, and his wife Leah celebrated their sixtieth anniversary today. I’ve long admired his jovial, opinionated intervention in South African politics — both before apartheid ended and beyond.
Being active in the diversity and inclusion movement within the newspaper I work for, we’re out doing the essential research for hosting a Ukrainian Easter event. The Cultural Festivals team and our cafeteria’s Executive Chef head on down to the East Village of New York to visit a butchery, a restaurant, a museum and a Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral.
Perfect steaks and juicy ribs are my favourite outcomes dabbling in sous vide. Shrimp, fish, chicken, turkey and eggs are not much improved by my palette when cooked this way. So what to try next? Yoghurt!
I’m lactose intolerant so a well cultured yoghurt will digest most of the lactose and leave me with something I can dollop onto my All Bran Flakes or a fruit salad for breakfast in the morning.
Who knew that a Summer Shrimp & Corn Salad, sans any red meat, could impress us “boneheaded meat lovers”?
Well, I should have!
This started out as a 48 hour experiment but I wasn’t hungry last night, even though this is a pretty small rack of ribs. So I left them in the hot water bath for another 18 hours until lunch today! This speaks to a benefit of sous vide: With most foods, when you’re cooking up near the safety of 60˚C, you have a wide window in which to finish off and serve up a meal — still cooked to perfection.
Cooking en sous vide requires a hot water bath with precisely controlled temperatures and a method of vacuum sealing food in bags. Accurate timing isn’t required but a digital thermometer is a good idea to ensure food safety and doneness.
My own bath is a piece of old lab equipment which I refurbished using an STC-1000 temperature controller. It’s not typically where you would start out experimenting but the volume of water it holds and the circulating pump is ideal for cooking larger family meals.
The key piece of hardware I used is an STC-1000 temperature controller which is typically used in tropical aquariums, beer brewing and now also sous vide.
Assembled and under test: What lay flat and precariously wired up on my workbench has been neatly bundled up. A piece of lab equipment brought back to life, it’s original temperature controller replaced with an inexpensive STC-1000 controller typically used as a thermostat in tropical aquariums, beer brewing — and, most recently, in sous vide.
Flank steak is a tough cut, sold locally by the name London Broil. It’s tenderised, marinated and broiled and then cut into thin slices across the grain — all in an effort to deal with a sinewy slab of meat.
Nearly ideal: Aiming for a medium rare steak, evenly pink between the surface crusts. This steak was cooked in a hot water bath ala sous vide: The intention is to cook the item evenly, not to overcook the outside, keeping the inside at an even doneness … resulting in a steak that is tender and juicy.
I’m trying to cook the perfect steak, evenly pink throughout with a thin brown crust — and almost no grey in between. I think the way to get there is via sous vide: To poach a steak medium rare and then to sear on a tasty crust using a propane torch.
My experiments in sous vide starts with a prototype hot water bath in the workshop. I replaced a non-working thermostat in this piece of old lab equipment with the temperature controller for a tropical aquarium. More on the build in a later post, when I’ve worked out all the kinks and housed all the pieces safely.