Sous vide cooking

Almost all the meat on the barge is cooked sous vide, a modern exact temperature cooking technique. As requested by a number of guests interested in this technique here is a little detail & the temperatures I use.

This style of cooking has a lot of benefits including consistency of cooking, no shrinkage of the meats, pasteurisation & as the meat is sealed air tight it can be stored prior to & after cooking.

Sous vide cooking was pioneered in 1960’s & adopted in 1974 by chef George Pralus of restaurant Troisgros in Roanne, France who used it for cooking foie gras & then the technique was developed further by Bruno Goussault who developed the parameters of cooking times & temperatures for different foods. These parameters are what all chefs use as the base line for cooking sous vide today, although we only use them as a guide & adjust them slightly to suit each chefs preferred cooking.

After cooking this way for seven years I have developed how long & at which temperature I feel each protein  should be cooked, below is a list of times & temperatures I cook each cut of meat.

Fillet of beef.            48 c / 118 f.         2 hours

Pork fillet.                 56 c / 133 f.         2 hours

Duck breast.             52 c / 126 f.         2 hours

Lamb fillet.                56 c / 133 f.         45 mins

Lamb rump.              65 c / 149 f.         1 hour

Guinea fowl breast.  60 c / 140 f.         1 hour

Pigeon breast.           58 c / 136 f.        15 mins

Quail breast.              55 c / 131 f.        50 mins

Pork belly.                  82 c / 180 f         12 hours

Pigs cheeks.              80 c / 176 f.         6 hours

Duck legs.                  75 c / 167 f.         14 hours

Chicken legs.             71 c / 160 f.          7 hours

Pigeon legs.               82 c / 180 f.          4 hours

Quail legs.                  62 c / 144 f.          3 hours

foie gras terrine.         55 c / 131 f.          40 mins

Fish is improved a lot by sous vide cooking, however monkfish & scallops in certain dishes work well.

Monkfish.                   45 c / 113 f.          20 mins

Scallops.                    54 c / 129 f.          50 mins

When cooking these proteins sous vide you have to be aware that you are cooking in danger zone temperatures, by this I mean low temperatures where food has not always been completely pasteurized & bacteria grow very quickly.

You must always use these proteins straight away finishing them in a hot pan to create the maillard effect, caramelised crust, or chill them in an ice water bath then put in the fridge until required.


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