Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Speak To Me Of Sous Vide

I keep hearing about this. Have you heard about this? "Sous vide" is French for "under vacuum", and it's a popular form of cookery these days.

Sous vide has been around since 1799, when the brilliant Count Rumford (the guy who figured out how to construct a fireplace and chimney that put heat into a house instead of sucking heat out), described it (so says Wikipedia). Then, in the 1960's, industry used it to preserve foods. In the 1970's, chefs who thought industrial stuff was cool took vacuum-packing, translated it into sous vide, and made it haute cuisine.

Time passed (imagine calendar pages ripping off and whirling away), and now fast food chains are using sous vide equipment, according to the HuffPo. Apparently, even I could make perfect whatever, if only I could afford half a grand for the machine.

On the other hand, some day when my medicine is working really well, I could hit Radio Shack and get me some components and rig up my own sous vide gear the PopSci way.

Or I could go redneck, and make my own out of a plastic bag and a beer cooler. Dear Lord, is there enough beer in the world to make me think it's safe to eat meat kept warm for hours in a hot water bath? No, no, I don't think there is. It sounds like a reality tv episode just waiting to happen.

For that is what sous vide is: vacuum pack your food and your seasonings and/or marinade, heat water to the temperature you want the food to cook to, put the bagged food into the water, and leave it there until the food reaches that temperature throughout.  The finished food can be held at the desired temperature without drying out or overcooking, because it's vacuum-sealed and at the temperature you want, period paragraph.

So that's sous vide. Personally, I'm going to wait until the home version comes down in price, then I'll buy one for $10.00 at Goodwill when one of the first adopters decides it's too much trouble. I can wait. I'm patient. And cheap.

But not beer-cooler cheap.

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

1 comment:

Joyce Lavene said...

Sounds - different. Let me know how that works out!