Sous Vide & Seared NY Strip Strips Sandwich and a Newfangled Old Fashioned

When I was hunting the fridge looking to bag something for lunch, this just jumped out in front of me:
Strips of NY Strip
Well, it wasn’t that exactly, it was a 3oz piece of sous vide NY Strip that most glorious spousal unit set aside for me. She’s thoughtful that way.

What to do, what to do?
Seared NY Strip Strips
I’d initially thought about a grilled cheese sandwich. Why not add some NY Strip strips?
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Sous Vide NY Strips and Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

And so it came to pass that most glorious spousal unit actually asked for a sous vide steak. We’re making some progress!
Steak and Cheezy Potatoes!
She’s a meat and potatoes sort, so I asked her how she wanted the taters.

“Mashed. With cheese.” says she.
“Hmmm. Well, that’s different. What kind of cheese?” I asked stupidly.
“Cream cheese and Cheez Whiz®.”

Whatever. If that’s the price I pay to get her to buy into sous vide rather than just indulging my experiments, so be it.
Getting Ready for a Bath!
The steaks are on the left. Italian sausage in two-packs, then an 8 lb pork shoulder. In all, fourteen pounds of flesh.

She just rolls her eyes realizing this monster sous vide rig will now be on the counter (again) for days.
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Celebration in Pork: Sous Vide & Smoked Ribs, Rack, and Shoulder

Most glorious mum-in-law flies in — not on her broom — about once a year. Her favorite food on the planet is pork ribs. In fact, her favorite meat is pork. Ya just gotta love an Iowa farm girl.
Smokin Frenzy
Clockwise, from the top, St Louis cut spare ribs, shoulder (butt), and rack.

The ribs (20 hours @ 134°F), shoulder (48 hours @ 140°F), and rack (10 hours @ 134°F)  were all sous vide well in advance, ice bathed, then stored in the fridge awaiting their smoke-filled finish. This is one of the greatest things about sous vide: once fully pasteurized, and as long as the bag isn’t opened, you can safely keep it in your fridge for several weeks.

Each piece of meat was liberally salted in advance of the water bath. That’s it. Nothing fancy here. I simply wanted to see what salt alone would do.

Always being interested in the science of cooking, I did some research on the smoking bit too. The result of that was a few simple things 1) charcoal for heat, 2) wood for smoke (I used dry oak chunks), 3) wait for blue smoke (the nearly invisible kind), 4) meat goes in cold and wet. Pretty simple stuff. For those interested in a shitload of details, go here.
Smoke Ring!
Science works. Check out that smoke ring! Believe it or not, the ribs were in the smoker for only 40 minutes. I pulled them out of the fridge, out of the bag, left a bunch of gelatinous goo on the surface, and put them in the smoker. No added rubs, spices, or fussery. Continue reading

Labor Day Sous Vide St. Louis Cut Ribs

It seems like the summer of 2015 has zipped by in a flash. Where does the time go? I moved to Maryland just a few weeks ago, didn’t I? In nine days, it will be three years.

I thought I’d celebrate Summer’s end in high style.
St. Louis Cut Ribs
I’ve become a huge fan of St. Louis cut ribs for various reasons, but that’s another post. Actually, it’s a previous post. I don’t recall the link, so just search for it. Continue reading

Sous Vide Pan-Seared Salmon

For many years I happily considered sous vide as just another cooking method fully ignoring that it is also, and perhaps primarily, a food preservation method. Properly pasteurized — and remaining sealed in the bag — food can keep in a 35°F fridge for several weeks. Freezing extends this keep time to months.
Sous Vide Salmon
More recently, I’ve taken advantage of the preservation side of things and experimenting with various proteins has yielded some interesting results, especially with fish. Continue reading

Sous Vide: Yuengling Beer Brats?

On first blush it seemed a bit wacky. Why in the world would anyone need to sous vide a bratwurst? One could say the same thing for hamburgers and yet many sous vide aficionados swear by the technique.
Sous Vide Beer Brat
Strangely enough, I found the Yuengling infused brats at a local box store. I guess it isn’t so strange since I live in the Mid-Atlantic region and Yeungling hails from Pennsylvania and also happens to be the oldest operating brewery in the U.S. Continue reading

Bacon Lattice and Tomato Sandwich

For me, there’s a serious problem with conventional BLT’s; not enough bacon. Sure, you can add more slices — or use thickly cut bacon — but after the first bite, they tend to move around and you wind up wrestling the sandwich into your mouth.

Given that, I am very truly sad that I didn’t think of this: the bacon lattice.
Raw Bacon Lattice
Fry it!
Delicious Bacon Lattice
Eat it!
BLT Time!
It adds a whole new dimension to a BLT.