I don’t cook at lot of fish sous vide. There’s really no good excuse other than maybe with proper technique similar results can be achieved and less gear is involved. But if you really want to experience the true potential of fish, cooking it sous vide renders an absolutely perfect and delicate finish. I’ve probably mentioned it already but for years I hated salmon. Every single time I had it, no matter where, the story was simply the same. Dry stuff.
Some fish can withstand heat better than others but most fish will easily overcook and if you aren’t obsessed with temperature control over the stove then chances are you’re over going to overcook the poor thing. Poaching and steaming are safer bets in most cases. Of course searing one side to get those beautiful and delicious golden notes or getting that crispy skin will require applying a ton of heat butI won’t go into details about this today because it isn’t trivial and depending on the fish the approach might differ a bit. But if you’re itching to know perhaps follow the same approach you would as searing a steak in general. I’d also suggest working with a non stick pan here. Fish meat is too delicate to risk cooking on a regular pan but it works if you’re careful and polymerize the bottom properly.
I have posted on this same subject Oven Roasted Pork Shoulder in the past at least once (check out this pork shoulder roast post). It was one of my first posts so be kind. At the time, I was cooking frantically then. I was reading a ton of stuff and trying to learn as quickly as possibly how to cook. It’s been a little over 4 years now. Constantly blogging about food has made the experience more rewarding. Without it it would have been well… just ok, not as fun. Oh, plus I got into the whole food photography thing which has been extremely fun and met a ton of really cool people. Anyways, how about that roasted pork shoulder? Tonight, I watched 2 movies while this thing cooked away in the oven. Yeah, it’s that hard. The movies were The Martian… watched it twice.
Had I had the time to brine this thing I would have. But I didn’t. Well, more like I didn’t want to. I wanted it all over with by midnight. Only one way to get there this fast (I’m sure there are tons of ways but it wouldn’t sound as cool). Inject a lot of salt and garlic into the muscle with a needle. Nothing new here, but I’ve never done it. It was fun and kinda worked but will definitely need some fine tuning. Brining, marinading or dry curing is the way to go but it could take a few days with a large piece of meet like this one and let’s not get into equilibrium brining. Injecting the brine into the meat will cut down the time dramatically but it won’t be as good. Salt and time do wonderful things to meat. Reduce time, reduce awesomeness. I could do without all the awesomeness tonight seriously though. I’ve been waiting to use this bad boy (the needle that is) for a long time and tonight is the night. Here’s what went down:
4-6 boneless pork shoulder.
1 cup of water
2-3 tsp salt
2 tsp minced garlic
4 tsp honey
The injectable brine. Place al the ingredients in a blender and yep…. you guessed it. Blend it. On high speed for a minute or so. Get that needle ready.
Needle please. Get that pork ready. Rinse in water if necessary. Place in a pot and inject the brine into it in as many places as possible to make sure the brine reaches into the meat as much as possible. This process will take a few minutes and parental discretion is advised as well as being careful not to puncture yourself with that thing. Remember, you’re dealing with raw pork, so always a good idea to be extra careful. If time allows it, let the pork rest overnight in the fridge. In my case, I didn’t want to wait so…. Once you’re done injecting the whole brine into the pork you will realize that a lot of it is resting at the bottom of the pot. Well… speed brining isn’t perfect, toss that excess brine away. Hopefully what remains inside the meat will be enough to flavour it. I should have made my brine a little sweeter and saltier. The beauty of messing up.
Roasting. Stick the meat in the oven. I placed it in a cast iron dutch oven, but you could use a roasting pan or something similar. One thing about roasting this kind of meat is that the high content of fat makes it pretty safe to roast under a number of different conditions. It is almost guaranteed to turn out juicy and delicious. This time I roasted it on 375F for like 2 hours and then 3 more hours at 190F. The result was rosy and MEGA juicy. I don’t even wanna write about it anymore. Too delicious. And I’ve had plenty of it and don’t need any more of it today. Tomorrow is a brand new day.
Is this your favorite way of roasting pork shoulder? let us know! We wanna keep testing different approaches all the time. cheers guys!
I couldn’t resist the urge to pair a fat juicy pork chop with that beautiful salad from: The Things We Cook. Last week I wrote an article about this cookbook. If you missed it, check it out here!
I love pork. I hated pork chops for the longest time. Dry meat, tough texture, like where the f!@# is the gravy… yeah, I was doing it all wrong for as long as I can remember.
I’m trying to improve the way I cook things these days. Pork chops might have a mighty appearance but they are very delicate and lean meat, similar to a chicken breast to put it someway. Sous vide gives us the control we need to nail the proper doneness and a good quick sear finishes off the job nicely. I don’t mess much with the seasoning. Salt. Let the salad and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction do the rest.
As many pork chops as you need.
Balsamic Vinegar Reduction.
The Things We Cook’s Salad Recipe!
For the pork chop(s). Salt generously with kosher salt and allow to rest in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. I like overnighting pretty much any protein with salt. Cures it, dries the outside for better searing, brines the whole cut, etc. And just like chicken, pork needs to be handled with just as much caution. Make sure the meat sits at the bottom of your fridge so no cross contamination can occur. Cook sous vide @ 134F for 2 hours. That’s medium rare. Sear in a really hot skillet with vegetable oil or avocado oil. Use ghee if you have access to it. If the pork chop has the fat strip attached to it, grab the chop with tongs and sear this fat strip to oblivion or until mega crispy.
For the non sous vide demons out there. Hot skillet and some vegetable oil. A probe (instant ready) thermometer is your best friend. Core temperature should be around 130F before you remove the chop form the skillet. Carryover heat will finish the job and get that chop to the proper temperature. If you don’t have a thermometer, Cook on a hot skillet for about 3 mins on each side IF the pork chop is at room temperature. Otherwise, don’t risk it, just let it sit until it gets to room temperature. Do not eat pork raw under any circumstances.
And that’s that. Have a great weekend. Hope you tell your grill master pork chops are super delicate and need love and lots of attention, that’s just in case you happen to be at some BBQ party and you aren’t driving, because otherwise, fat juice chops it’s what’s for lunch yo. Happy Saturday! Thanks Molly!
The Things We Cook. This is the title of the book I’m writing about today on my blog. The things We Cook is a beautiful book about food, about life in the kitchen, family and friends, it’s about cooking with the freshest ingredients, it’s all about farm to table, sustainability and it’s also about the experience of being a farmer. Green Hope Farm. A family owned farm in the state of New Hampshire. In its kitchen, Molly Sheehan, the cook, the author and the farm owner, has concocted countless recipes and this book is a compilation of all that hard work and a recount of the wonderful memories .
I met Sarah Porter on Instagram. She is a member of the TheThingsWeCook team and the one that suggested if I’d be interested in writing about the book on my blog and take a few photos to go with the post. A few emails later and after having read a portion of the book I was hooked and wanted to put together a small photo essay and feature it here. We both got pretty excited, and here we are. It’s funny how it works sometimes.
But back to the main story now. New Hampshire offers some of the best farming grounds in the country (I googled it, I’ll admit it) I don’t know much about farming, actually I know nothing about farming but I’m pretty sure that without the hard work and dedication of the people, a farm just couldn’t be successful. This love a dedication to farming and cooking shows transparently on the pages of this beautiful book. The book is entirely handwritten and beautifully hand illustrated by Alli Howe. It’s definitely one of a kind.
The recipe I chose it’s simple and beautiful in its simplicity. A sweet and refreshing summer salad featuring cucumber and pineapple. Simple. Good ingredients require little preparation, little manipulation and that’s the case for many other recipes in the book. I love it. Finding good ingredients where I currently live is actually relatively easy. Although I don’t live on a farm … I daydream about this everyday… I’m really lucky to be able to find fresh organically grown produce where in many markets around the city, and the local butchers and fishmongers in the area are simply great. I’m referring to Vancouver by the way.
Pineapple and Cucumber Salad. It would have never crossed my mind to put the 2 together. It works great and I will be trying a few thing in the future using this pairing… pork comes to mind!, so thanks Molly! Below I have added the original page form the book with the recipe to give you an idea of the style and presentation.
Thanks Sarah, Molly and Alli for sharing your book and your ideas with me and with that other cooking blog as well. Sleep tight people! Good night and have a wonderful weekend!