Wednesday, February 8, 2012

48 Hours Short Ribs

Sous Vide is more than just cooking in a plastic bag...
Sous Vide short ribs has always been considered kind of the holy grail in sous vide cooking at home, as this seems to bring out the best balance of flavors and texture for a meat cut that may be otherwise tricky to handle. And I have been planning to do this ever since I got my Sous Vide Supreme machine just before Christmas. 

Here I am using a much simplified recipe - given the time constraint I had and I strictly used what I have left over from the refrigerator as well. But with a choice cut from a trusted butcher, you really don't need to over-do things to make this a decent dish. That I guess is one beauty of sous vide cooking - it's really hard to go wrong.

48-hour Short Ribs with Braised Daikon

  • Boneless Short Ribs - if you use the frozen one, please defrost before use
  • Daikon (Japanese Radish) - cut into thick slices
  • Dashi Stock - use the ready-made one if you must, or make one from scratch by boiling kombu and kezurikatsuo in hot water
  • Soy Sauce or better yet, Japanese noodle dipping sauce
  • Sugar
  • Salt
Before the short ribs were put into vacuum bag and sealed, I used a dash of mirin, sugar and salt to season. It's then put under the water bath in SVS at 57 degrees. 

As for time required, there seems to be no universal answer - some said a few hours ought to be enough, but some recipes called for 72 hours. To be honest I don't think it made a huge difference to the taste and texture after 24 hours. For mine, the meat spent 48 hours in the water bath.

Short Ribs, 48 hours later
This is what it looks like after 48 hours. It may look all ordinary from outside, but once you cut it up, you will immediately notice the difference: the meat's so tender that there's no effort whatsoever as you slide the knive in, and the meat's uniformly pink - a sign of just the right doneness and something you can never achieve with any other cooking method. I finished cooking the short ribs with a blowtorch to give it a "seared" flavor.

Sous Vide + Blowtorch = Perfect Combination
For the sauce and sides, I poured the beef jus from the vacuum bag, mixed in with dashi stock and soy sauce, bring it to a boil and reduced to about half the volume while braising the daikon with the sauce. To plate, I put the daikon alongside the short ribs, and the sauce was poured over them and around.

48-hour Short Ribs with Braised Daikon

Now that my office's within walking distance from home and I have been making lunches for myself almost every day, I see this as a perfect dish for quick lunch - most of the preparation can be done beforehand, and just a quick reheat before it's served (to myself) and it easily beat any of the junk I could find in the shopping mall cafeteria and without the waiting line etc. That plus I still had time for a quick siesta in my own couch after all the cooking and eating...

Oh, here's another fun dish that I made last month with the SVS machine: 63-degree egg with mushrooms and lentils.

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