Sous vide (pronounced soo veed) is the biggest advance in home cooking methods since the microwave oven. I hope by the time you have read this little monograph you will agree. Sous vide cooking is cooking food in plastic bags (with air removed) in water that is kept at a constant temperature (to better than 0.5C accuracy).
Regular readers have seen posts on sous vide popping up repeatedly on this site. The technique cooks meats precisely and evenly. However, optimal cooking temperatures for meat proteins (around 55-65C) are too low to produce a flavourful crust. This needs to be an added step. Usually, the protein is seared after cooking in a little
A specialty of southwest France, confit is steeped in tradition. It was developed for very practical purposes – preserving meat before the advent of refrigeration. The preserving aspect is no longer relevant, but confits are still prepared for their succulence and flavours. Harold McGee describes how intertwined foods and preparations can be. He suggests that
Precision temperature sous vide can superbly cook delicate proteins like salmon and chicken breast. However, the method can also optimize the cooking of tough cuts making them tender and succulent. Meat can be thought of as muscle fibres made up of protein strands bundled together and encased in collagen sheaths for support. In land-dwelling animals,
Sous vide is steadily becoming more accessible to home cooks. Water ovens are starting to appear in electrical appliance stores. Edge vacuum sealers have been around for a while (for food storage). More guides and explanations are appearing in print and on the net. However, because sous vide is fairly new, there seems to be