August 21, 2010: Welcoming Party for the Girls

August 21, 2010

Last weekend Teja and Barb held a welcoming party for Nicole and Katie. My part was food organizer from all the wonderful dishes people brought. Dan Winkler’s contribution was meat for grilled skewers. Dan came up with a very unique suggestion: he had just acquired a new cooking device called a Sous-Vide cooker. “sous vide” is French for “with vacuum.” The Sous-Vide relies on slow cooking to cook meat (vegetables, fish, etc.) thoroughly, yet to a desired doneness (from edge to edge) with much, much more control than conventional cooking techniques. You place the food, (in this case, meat) in a plastic bag and remove all air. Place the bag in the SousVide device and set the time and temperature.

What Dan suggested is to buy chuck steak (normally too tough for grilling) and cook slowly, in the meat’s own juices, in the Sous-Vide. He cooked the steaks for 26 hours at a precise 131° setting. What he got was a perfectly tender, rare steak, each in a neat plastic bag. Dan then put  each bag into a cooler with ice to transport to the party. When I cut the steak into cubes for grilling the skewers, I found that each steak was perfectly uniformly rare from edge to edge. I then interspersed the cubes with onion, marinated each skewer and grilled to perfection (tender and rare on the inside, grilled on the out). Thank Dan, for your suggestion, that showed me a wonderful new way to grill!


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