Random Food Questions Thread

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by kwilkinson, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. b1os

    b1os Senior member

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    Is there actually that huge difference between say 12 hours and 36 hours? I mean, if the core temperature is reached, there doesn't happen too much besides it staying at that temperature for given time, does it? Will the meat become more tender that way as the meat has more time to accustom to the temperature or what's the purpose other than sounding good?
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  2. mgm9128

    mgm9128 Senior member

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    Well, I imagine the advantage of cooking it sous vide is that I can keep the meat at a medium-rare level, while breaking down enough collagen to tenderize. This is something I can't produce with a conventional braise. I have a chart here that says 62º celsius for 36 hours. Do you think that is too high?
     
  3. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Having a Ball

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    If you can braise really well, I find that it's better to actually braise. If you want convenience, or are doing a dinner party where having it be so easily accessible and done exactly on time, then I'd say SV it. Actually, I'd say SV it no matter what and then you can learn the difference yourself. I think it gives a nice texture.... not better or worse than trad braising, just different. And personally, I find it harder to build flavors that all sing together via SV than traditional braising, but for all I know I could just be terrible at sous vide.
     
  4. mgm9128

    mgm9128 Senior member

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    I believe the longer, the more collagen is denatured, thus a more tender result. Though, I could be wrong on this. I've heard of things being cooked for up to 100 hours.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  5. b1os

    b1os Senior member

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    Yeah, I think you're right with this. But the question still stands whether it really is tasteable or just "measurable". Or just a way to make sous-vide sound more exciting.
     
  6. mgm9128

    mgm9128 Senior member

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    That is the one thing I think you sacrifice with cooking sous-vide: no pan juices, and no braising liquids to use as sauces. Also, since you are searing the meat after you've finished cooking it, it isn't being braised with all those flavors produced by the Maillard reaction of browning. I was thinking of using the marrow in a sauce with some veal jus I already have on hand.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  7. ehkay

    ehkay Senior member

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    yea ok. i wasn't sure if you were just going to try and get a result similar to a braise using sv (something like 72/5-8 hours). your time/temp looks fine (i just checked, ducasse has a recipe where they are done 62/24 with veal stock and aromatics, chilled, reheated to 60, then glazed with the strained liquid in a hot oven.)
     
  8. mgm9128

    mgm9128 Senior member

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    You've made me want to try a side-by-side comparison to find out. I think I'm going to start a few shanks for sous vide tomorrow morning. Then, sometime next week, I'll try a few out in a traditional braise, and see which I liked more.
     
  9. mgm9128

    mgm9128 Senior member

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    How much veal stock is he adding to the bag? For how many shanks?
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  10. ehkay

    ehkay Senior member

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    the recipe i looked at is actually for veal knuckles, which are similar, but not exactly the same, so the quantities don't line up perfectly (the translation of the book seems to, in more than one instance use knuckles for both knuckles and shanks). they use 1.5 cups stock/knuckle, but seriously you should be able to eye ball it and come out ok. they should be well covered with liquid, but not drowning, if that makes sense.
     
  11. mgm9128

    mgm9128 Senior member

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    Gotchya. I was thinking of adding a bit of veal jus to the bags just to add that depth of flavor lost from not searing beforehand. We'll see how it turns out.
     
  12. ehkay

    ehkay Senior member

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    you can sear before hand also; i'd probably even recommend it, both for flavor and safety. just make sure to chill them down before you seal the bag.
     
  13. mgm9128

    mgm9128 Senior member

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    Oh, that's even better. So: sear, chill, cook, chill, rewarm, glaze. Sounds good.
     
  14. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    this is a really good question and one i'm really curious about. i've asked tk about it but he always gets his back up, probably because i'd argued with him about SV early on.

    here's the deal: there's more that goes on with meat and heat than simply the physical melting of collagen/fat, etc. there are enzymes that are activated (and deactivated) at different points in the temperature curve. as far as i know, this is something that very few people have paid attention to. i learned about it years ago when i was investigating this really weird recipe i'd found where you braise beef or lamb at high temperature (leg of lamb like 5 hours at 400 degrees). it shouldn't work, but the texture is amazing. when i talked to meat scientists about it, their theory was that because of the high heat in a closed container, the meat was heating very rapidly and going through some of those enzyme-release/deactivation points much more quickly than they would in a traditional braise. this kept them from affecting the protein structure the way they normally would.

    i haven't played with SV because i don't have the set up, but i think this would be really interesting to investigate.
     
  15. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    Collagen transforms into gelatin rather slowly at low temps, so there is definitely an issue with time. For example, I have made the Ducasse braised shank in question, and at 24 hours it is rather tough, while at 36 it is lovely. There are, I think, some enzymatic processes going on as well, but I think those vary from meat to meat. For example, venison for some reason has a high degree of enzymatic activity at low temps according to the doofuses at Modernist Cuisine.
     

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