A non-foodie introduction to cooking under vacuum
Sous vide cooking is catching fire. If you haven’t heard that term, you might not be a foodie—but in my book, being a foodie isn’t necessarily a compliment. Foodies are flavor-seekers and I’m in that tribe too, but you’re probably reading this because the label “locavore” might describe you more accurately. So why should us locavores embrace this trendy technique?
“Sous vide” is French for “under vacuum,” referring to cooking food in vacuum-sealed bags in a temperature-controlled water bath, a method made popular by French chefs starting in the 1970s.
Sous vide cooking is all about control. It is the most precise cooking technique available to the home cook. Much has been written about the textures and flavors that are impossible to achieve via traditional cooking techniques such as braising, roasting, sautéing and so on. But here we want to look at another angle.
How can this New Age cooking technique, now approachable and available to the masses, help us be more supportive of local agriculture? Can a cooking technique help us stretch our food dollars further while helping our ranchers move less desirable cuts?
Whether you’re a foodie or not, a sous vide pro or a diehard follower of Grandma’s recipes, I’m here to tell you it can.
With barbecue season upon us, many of our local Oklahoma ranchers are stocked for backyard warriors to start buying up rib eyes, T-bones, filets and ground beef for burgers. But what does the mad rush to fire up grills leave in these ranchers’ freezers?
Round of eye, chuck roast, pot roast—ever heard of those cuts kissing the live fire? (Side note: The opposite of this can be true in the winter months)
With sous vide in your life, these cuts not only can be obtained to help support a local rancher, they can help your food budget and also support your bid to be enshrined in the backyard barbecue hall of fame.
You can get into the sous vide game with an Immersion Circulator for 69 bucks at your nearest wholesale club or by purchasing online. Let’s start with one lesson on how to take a tough, lean roast cut and turn it into tender steaks.