Sous-vide, Surgery and a bunch of time on my hands … again.

Greetings Carnivores,

I’ve been away from writing for some time now. Call it what you like, “writers block”, “lack of motivation”, “creative void”, “laziness”, I don’t know. but, … here I sit, one week into ANOTHER extensive surgical re-hab and … I’m faced with a WHOLE bunch of time on my hands.

Yep … I somehow managed to almost COMPLETELY tear my left Biceps tendon off the bone at the end of January, believe it or not … lifting a bag of firewood. You can’t make this stuff up.

I finally got to see the wonderful Orthopedic surgery team, headed by Dr. John Haverstock at the brand new Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, and spent a couple of hours last Thursday morning having them reattach it.

Last week was pretty much a wash, dealing with the obvious pain associated with such a fun procedure. Now, … like I said … here I sit.

Ok so, enough of that … todays topic comes from my dinner inspiration, and my very mostest (I know, … not an English word) favouritest (I know … another one … don’t be a hater) kitchen toy, … (“Drum roll please”) … my Anova Sous-vide immersion cooker.

Oh and, no … I’m not being paid to endorse this product … I’m just giving you an honest product review of mine. There are MANY other brands out there to choose from.

Anova Precision Cooker Flowers

I don’t want to sound like I’m jumping on the bandwagon here because, I’m not. A LOT of folks are just now coming around to how AWESOME this method is but … truth is … till just recently, unless you were a professional chef … the rest of us Minions have been in the dark.

I’ve been playing around, using this technique for the past couple of years … as a matter of fact, I originally tried making my own Sous-vide cooker, first using, an insulated cooler then second, a crock-pot but, in both cases … I couldn’t maintain and hold the critical temperature adjustment needed for success.

Now however, I’m currently the proud owner of my second REAL Sous-vide cooker. Not because there was anything wrong with the first one I bought but, more because I was a cheapo and bought the basic one first, then … realized how awesome it was and, shelled out for the second one: the Bluetooth model.

I’ve been meaning to post about this for quite some time now and, … today is the day.

Like I said earlier, Sous-vide has been around for a very long time and is usually exclusively used by high-end restaurants but, thanks to the surging popularity of this method lately, the price has come down significantly so that now … everyone can afford one.

The term “Sous-vide” refers to “cooking under vacuum” but … that’s only a part of this magic. It’s actually a PRECISE method of cooking in a controlled environment … in this case a water bath, where you dial in your desired “doneness” (temperature) and walk away. Whatever you’re cooking can NEVER (well, … actually NEVER is not the right word here because, overcooking in a Sous Vide bath, results in mushiness). The key point here is … the item IN the bath will NEVER exceed the temperature of the vessel it’s being cooked in. There are TONS of cooking tables and time/temp guidelines on the Web … experiment for yourselves.

Here’s the real deal, AWESOME part about cooking Sous vide:

Imagine your next dinner party … Steaks, veggies, potatoes … EVERYTHING done ahead of serving time … sitting there, blissfully hanging out, waiting for you to plate, while YOU, the host, are enjoying pre-dinner cocktails with your guests!

Unless you’ve catered your party … THAT NEVER HAPPENS!

Think of it this way: let’s say you’re aiming for a nice medium rare beef steak (Rib eye for the sake of argument). The “window” you’re aiming for, for med-rare is (128-131 degrees F. for me) That “window” is extremely  hard to hit with conventional cooking methods because of inconsistencies in the cooking vessel, whether it’s a Grill, Oven or Pan, temperature fluctuations, and (click here)  carry-over cooking.

Carry-over cooking is a thing of the past with Sous-vide because the juices NEVER escaped in the first place so, there’s nothing left to do to this steak except hit it with a BLISTERING HOT, cast iron pan just before serving to give it a sweet “char” on the outside.

You don’t even need a high-end vacuum sealer … all you need are zip-lock bags and use the “air displacement” method.

I’ve already gone past my (self-imposed) post word limit for today so, … I’ll leave you with that morsel to digest.

Please check out Sous-vide cooking, Anova, Joule and Sous-vide Supreme on the net and google Sous-vide.

That’s it for today Carnivores 🙂 🙂

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Until next time Carnivores, stay hungry and as usual, please like and share my posts on Facebook

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The Beef steak … reverse engineered.

Greetings Carnivores,

A few weeks ago my wife and I were blessed with the company of our very dear and old friend Dave. It had been awhile since he’d been here so, we invited him over to break bread with us.

I planned a grand feast for him with the centre piece being a big, fat, juicy Strip Loin, slow cooked in a tepid oven and flash seared to finish on a blistering hot cast iron grill pan.

Sounds weird I know but let me explain and, … you ‘might’ want to try this ‘happy accident’ I stumbled onto a few years ago for yourselves.

Here’s what happened (or so I heard):

A butcher showed up at a friend’s place with a HUGE, 2 1/2 inch thick, full cut Sirloin Steak and planned to use his buddy’s gas BBQ to grill up this behemoth. The grill was fired, the drinking commenced and the monster steak was tucked onto the grill.

More drinking ensued, followed by more drinking (you KNOW how these things can go).

After a while, the chef (guest butcher) noticed that he wasn’t getting any more than about 225 degrees surface temp from the borrowed grill. Enough drinking had taken place that the urgency to eat this tepid looking, massive steak had been replaced by the need to carry on with the party.

As the story goes, … at some point, a digital read thermometer was produced and he was VERY surprised to see the internal temp was a very respectable medium rare, even though the outside was unappealing and rubbery looking.

After searing both sides on the stove in a cracking hot, cast iron grill pan and sliced thinly, the party goers were treated to undoubtedly the best steak they’d ever eaten.

I’ve tried this myself a great number of times and have never ceased to be amazed by how well this method works. It’s almost like reverse engineering or, deconstructing a BBQ method since first, you gently bring your meat to the desired internal temperature … then you add the outside ‘char’ using a cast iron grill pan. Not unlike a (click here:) Sous-Vide method only you’re not ‘holding’ the meat at the desired temperature for a long period of time.

Marbling 003

Start with an awesome steak … your choice. Tonight, I’m using a well marbled New York Strip Loin.

Place it on a grill rack and shove it into a 225 degree F. oven and let it go for ten minutes.


In a 225 degree oven, bring it to 127 or 128 degrees F. Check the temp OFTEN.


After the initial ten minutes, use your thermometer to check your progress. You “should” be around 90 to 100 degrees.

From this point forward, check the temperature OFTEN … one or two minutes will mean the difference between medium and medium well.


Finish it on a SMOKING HOT cast iron pan to give it a nice sear.

Remove from the pan and let it rest (VERY IMPORTANT !!!)

Voila … a reverse engineered steak … done to perfection.


Oh man … get ready to taste one AWESOME steak.

The total cook time is around 15 to 20 minutes (results will vary), just remember to check the temp with a GOOD thermometer OFTEN.

The same method can be used on the BBQ as well … just make sure your heat is indirect and monitored OFTEN.

To say that our friend Dave was impressed is an understatement … makes the heart swell up with pride.

I hope you’ll try this and let me know how you made out … I LOVE getting comments and questions so, keep ’em coming. 🙂

Stay tuned and … please click “follow” at the top of the page (Carnivore Confidential). You’ll get an email notice every time I write something new.

Until next time Carnivores, stay hungry and as usual, please follow my posts on Twitter @DougieDee and like and share them on Facebook