Michael Ruhlman

Michael Ruhlman Cooks Sous Vide

A guest post by Michael Ruhlman

About ten years ago, sous vide cooking, cooking food at low precise temperatures, entered the professional kitchen in America. It’s now solidly in the home kitchen with various devices for sale. For the best price/quality ratio, Sous Vide Supreme has, since its arrival in 2009, been my favorite tool. It’s fabulous for home use. Do you need one to survive? Of course not. Can you do endlessly creative and awesome dishes with it? You bet. What is it that makes you want to own a sous vide machine—slow cooking of tough meat, hitting the perfect temperature every time, egg cooking? Other? {Let us know in the comments!}

I slow cook beef ribs for 48 hours for tender and juicy ribs. I’m going to make this as simple as possible. Salt and pepper the meat, seal it in a bag (get out all air so they don’t float), cook, chill, finish. {Get the complete easy sous vide beef short ribs recipe here.}

Michael Ruhlman Sous Vide Beef Ribs

I made these last January for the sailing crew in Key West. Short ribs cooked sous vide are amazingly juicy and tender and tasty, a quintessential example of the value of sous vide. You’d have to braise these to get them tender, in which case you’d need to rely on the sauce for succulence rather than the meat.

This recipe also defines a great general rule: all tough cuts of meat, braising meats, from brisket to pork belly to short ribs to lamb shank can all be cooked sous vide in the exact same way: 48 hours at 140˚F/60˚C. Then flavor the outside by searing, grilling, saucing or a combination. They can be cooked sous vide and chilled in an ice bath and refrigerated for days or frozen for months before finishing.

Photo by Donna Ruhlman, used with permission

You can transform eggs in ways no other method can. {Get Michael’s sous vide eggs recipe here.} I love putting a soft boiled egg into soups, as in the above ramen dish. I use it monthly to make a big batch of yogurt. {Get the sous vide yogurt recipe here.} It’s a great water bath for cooking custards, meatloaf, and its supercilious brother, pâté en terrine.

It’s an amazing technique, for weekday cooking (cooked ahead) or for cooking for big groups (also cooked ahead). And it results in tenderness and flavor that can’t be achieved any other way.

Editor’s note: If you’re as big a Michael Ruhlman fan as we are, you’ll want to check out his blog, which is absolutely filled with fabulous recipes–both sous vide and traditional–and the most glorious food porn imaginable, courtesy of his talented wife, photographer Donna Ruhlman. You can also follow Michael on twitter and facebook.

Michael Ruhlman’s Homemade Sous Vide Yogurt

Courtesy of Michael Ruhlman (www.ruhlman.com)
Yield: About 3 cups/ 0.75 liter

Homemade Sous Vide Yogurt #sousvide

I always have this on hand and eat some most every day. The bacteria are good for the gut and if you have a stomach bug eat this and it may help (I do). This will be loose yogurt; when you dip into the thick creamy stuff it will be soft , but hold its shape. It will weep whey, which is also tasty and good (I pour it on granola with the yogurt). For stiff-thick yogurt, Greek style, strain it through cloth for an hour, then refrigerate.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 quart/liter whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons Fage Greek yogurt (or any yogurt that notes on label that it contains a living culture, or if you have a wonderful Indian neighbor with a live culture as I do, ask for a little of hers (thanks Tripta!!!)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Fill and preheat the SousVide Supreme to 104F/ 40C.
  2. Pour the milk in a pot and bring it to a simmer on the stovetop (at least 180 degrees); careful, it’s easy to forget and leave yourself with a mess on the stove it if boils over; stick around. (Donna gets really mad at me when I leave the kitchen and she hears it boil over.)
  3. Pour it into a four-cup glass measuring cup or appropriate bowl {Ed: a quart/liter glass snap-lid canning jar works well, too} and allow it to cool to at least 120˚F/48˚C or room temperature.
  4. Stir in the yogurt with the live culture, thoroughly.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and sous vide for 24 hours. (Some people suggest going as high as 120˚F; feel free to test for yourself.)
  6. Allow to cool, then refrigerate.

Michael Ruhlman’s BBQ Sous Vide Beef Short Ribs

Courtesy of Michael Ruhlman (www.ruhlman.com)

Michael Ruhlman’s BBQ Sous Vide Beef Short Ribs INGREDIENTS

  • 8 meaty beef short ribs (or however many you’re serving)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Barbecue sauce of your choice

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Fill and preheat the SousVide Supreme to 140F/60C.
  2. Give the ribs a generous seasoning of salt and pepper
  3. Put them into a cooking pouch and vacuum seal them well .
  4. Submerge in the water oven and cook for 48 hours, give or take.
  5. If you are not going to finish them right away, submerge the pouch in an ice bath until thoroughly chilled, at least 20 minutes or more.
  6. To finish, remove them from the pouch and allow them to come to room temperature (if serving a large crowd, leave in pouch and re-sous vide at 120˚F/48˚C for 30 minutes).
  7. Slather them with barbeque sauce and grill till charred and smokey and beautiful, a couple minutes on each side on a hot grill.
  8. You can also broil them to caramelize the BBQ sauce if you don’t have a grill.
  9. Use one rib per serving.

Michael Ruhlman’s Eggs Soft-Boiled Sous Vide

Courtesy of Michael Ruhlman 

Michael Ruhlman's Eggs Soft-Boiled Sous Vide

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 egg per person (you can make as many as will fit into the machine)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Fill and preheat the SousVide Supreme to 145F/62.5C.
  2. Put the eggs in their shells (not in cooking pouches) directly onto the bottom perforated grill and cook for 45 to 60 minutes.
  3. Crack one egg into a bowl of soup or stew, onto grits or beans.