The Hestan guys just invited their brand ambassadors to a cooking/photo competition to show off their skills and their hestan skillets! and as you already know… that would impossible for me to pass. They facilitated the recipe which is great because I don’t cook by following recipes so this was different and really fun. It’s a recipe by chef Brad Spence whose culinary career is outside the scope of this post but let me tell you we’re talking about one of the best chefs in the country. He’s critically acclaimed and has a vast knowledge of Italian cooking. Go check out Amis Trattoria’s or Vetri’s websites when you have a change. Pretty wild huh?
This taco might be a bit different from your usual asada taco but amazing nonetheless and if you love meat and you love tacos and you love sous vide cooking… then, yes, you must try this.
By definition most asada tacos feature carne asada which is grilled or pan-seared flank steak. I didn’t have any and as much as I love flank steak I tend to take sides with the less popular tougher cuts when cooked sous vide. Why? because they can be transformed into something that’s quite possibly superior in flavor and texture via sous vide. And you’re still within rare to medium rare range… which is just amazing.
Yeah, that’s the thing… I love rare or medium rare steak and without sous vide cooking, it’s nearly impossible to achieve the doneness level I’m looking for when cooking these tougher cuts. You can choose to sous vide your steak to whatever level you want but most of my posts on this blog are about applying the least amount of heat to cook ingredients. Just enough to ensure the food is cooked, the texture is what I like and proper pasteurization is achieved.
Enough with this sous vide babbling. Get your gear ready because this is extremely simple once you have all the components ready. This is not a recipe per se. More like a reference guide if you’re interested in this kind of cooking. Let’s do this.
If you’ve ever cooked pork loin this way you know it makes a terrific cold-cut. It also makes me wish I owned one of those fancy meat slicers. Since it’s cooked sous vide it’s extremely juicy. Some of that juiciness comes from gelatine/collagen so in order to get extreme juiciness you probably wanna apply some heat. I’ve prepared pork this way in past occasions (see my previous boneless pork centre loin sous vide post) usually sticking to pasteurization-to-core cooking times which are usually less than 12 hours but out of convenience I decided to let it go overnight. I was a little worried the long cooking time would have a negative impact on the texture but to my surprise it was actually an improvement. Another thing worth mentioning is that one if not the most important reason behind me buying this meat was the beautiful fat layer covering the top of it. I had to. There was nothing I could do.
I’ve been wanting to post about this for a while and finally today found the time and the will power. This time I decided to photograph it instead of eating it before I could grab my camera. Beef stews are quite possibly my all time favorite thing to cook/eat/snort/drink/stare at during cold days and I’m documenting this recipe just in time before the hot weather returns to California and ruins one of the greatest winters this state has ever seen. The whole ritual is extremely relaxing and the outcome well… as you know… who doesn’t love a good beef stew. I thought about a sous vide version… but nah… I wanted that comfort factor pretty high.
If you know or you know of somebody that holds the true original recipe for bolognese sauce please report back in the comment section if you can. I’m really curious. A simple google search returned over 200,000 result and after checking the first 2 pages of results it was obvious everybody has their own idea of what an authentic bolognese ragu should be. There are obviously the usual suspects in the ingredients list which I tried to keep in mind but seriously, cooking by most common denominator ingredients is plain boring, at least to me.
The absolutely required ingredients in bolognese ragu.
hmm…. meat? I think that’s mainly it. Which kind? well… in today’s world beef because it’s easier to find although historically veal is probably more proper. Pancetta can also be found in pretty much all the recipes I looked at. Then we have the aromatics like onion, celery and carrots. Carrots being fairly popular and onions being in pretty much all the recipes. Wine? hit or miss really. Milk? yep… another one that is popular but not standard. Garlic for sure. Nutmeg… yep. I think nutmeg is probably the only spice being added to this sauce in modern times. No bay leaves apparently. Pork? yep, it does appear but not consistently. Stock? yep… here and there although I should say.. if I can avoid it I will refrain from using stock unless absolutely necessary in a recipe.
By now you are probably aware of my steak and eggs obsession. Almost every weekend I make some variation of this american classic. Practice makes perfect? I hope so! Also, if you’ve been keeping up with this blog you are probably also aware of sous vide cooking being a common theme here. I love cooking sous vide, specially meats, tough or tender cuts. Anyways, here we go, let’s cook some breakfast!
This will be another quick post for there is nothing complicated about cooking sous vide. Flank steak has a wonderful texture and flavour. Bison flank steak is probably more tender and more delicate in flavour as well. I rolled up the flank steak and tied it up like a small roast. Then cooked it sous vide for 1 hour and deep fried it for about 1 minute at 375F. I had previously seasoned the meat with just salt before vacuum sealing.
This is a quick one. Two main ingredients. Eggs and Steak. There were other components on the plate but I chose to leave those out and focus on what I thought mattered… my devoted consistent passion for steak and eggs. Specially eggs.
This blog is no stranger to steak and eggs in fact, one of my most popular instagram posts was a photo a took for my article on steak and eggs. This time I come back with a little twist. Sous vide’ed yolks… if you’re into sous vide cooking you’ve probably already spend some time experimenting with cooking eggs. It’s a great exercise to get familiar with the technique. Yolks set at about 70C and whites set at about 80C. This 10 degree difference is what makes cooking eggs a challenge, specially if cooked sous vide. Specially when we introduce long cooking periods….but I digress… It’s a complex subject and right now I don’t have the time or the patience to get into it. Next post!
Not the first time this has been featured on this blog but why not blog about it again. This has to be one of the most underrated preparations of all time. I’m almost inclined to suggest it might be better than leaner tenderer cuts like loin meat. The process is long. It takes about a week to make but so does bacon. And you know how meat lovers feel about bacon… correct! So this 5-7 day curing/cooking adventure will definitely yield something that might far exceed your expectations. I mean… it’s chuck meat. Cheap, tough, you have to boil this thing for hours to make it edible. The magic of sous vide never shined this bright before. Chuck roast. So simple and a powerful statement about getting misunderstood ingredients to steal the show.. I mean this thing even dropped the mike.
Ok, yes, I got extremely lazy this time and chose the easy way out. Pork meat already marinaded… as in.. the marinade sits in the pack with the raw pork… roll your eyes all you want but it looked like heaven to me. I haven’t done this in at least 10 years. I remember back in my microwave-dinner days discovering Trader Joe’s. The dark ages, sure… but they had this carne asada deal that was: a . m . a . z . i . n. g… in my memories it is amazing, like when you explain to a younger person how awesome that original tv show V was…… watch it now. Ok.. moving on.
Overtime I got more a more interested in controlling more aspects of cooking including marinades and if you’ve been keeping up with this blog, that “interest” went well beyond marinades. But I couldn’t resist the convenience of grabbing a pack of pork with an extra ton of infused flavour and sear it and mix it with ramen noodles and a ton of chalula sauce. That right there pretty accurately describes what went down here. I mean, why bother posting a recipe for stuff like this. Seriously all it takes is 3 ingredients, one pot and welcome to the jungle. Going wrong ain’t an option.