Just to share and help a fellow cook to avoid the same mistake that I just did...Or get the feedback on what I did wrong from some of you with more knowledge on the subject than me.
I'm a newbie on the sous vide department, I've been cooking professionally for 20+ years but I have only one year with the sous vide, I was using it just for chicken breast for my salads but I took the plunge a few weeks ago into the adventurous world of real "cooking" sous vide.
I'm very happy but I had my first "mistake", I cooked some short ribs according to this Polyscience recipe and I started 48 hours ago. It sounded very promissing and I seared the meat on two of the four sides on my charcoal grill and then proceeded to vaccum pack it, I did that to get the grilled taste from half of the piece with the "Maillard effect" taste, and the other two sides clean to give fresh grill marks at serving time.
I cooked it for the first 24 hours and I couldn't resist the temptation of giving them a try even when the suggested time was 48 hours or 72 as stated in the recipe "for fall off the bone tender meat", after all, it was just 1 Lb a piece (And I had 9 more in the sous vide)
The result at 24 hours was AMAZING, I was in shock and awe when I tried, all the juice that was in the bag really tasted and looked like the juice coming out of a freshly out of the grill beef cut, the short ribs looked awesome, I gave them a quick pass on the grill and the result was beyond divine. I tought to myself... Wow!! If this is at just 24 hours how great are they going to be when 48 hours???!!!
Man...I was excited! Today, almost clock in hand for the final count down...I took another piece from the bag to indulge and taste (I'll never give any of my customers a dish that I haven't tasted previously...Yeah, I know, it's hard to be a chef ) It looked the same as 24 hours, soft but still easy to handle with with the grill tongs after those long 48 hours.
While on the grill, I sliced a piece of sous vide sweet potato with some herbs, I placed some grilled asparagus and I strained and saved the juice in a small ramekin.
The meat came out of the grill, I took a few pictures with my mouth watering already and two minutes later I got the fork...Hell yeah...Finally!
It was tender and falling off the bone, and I placed that delightful piece of meat in my mouth and...OMG!!! What an horrible thing!!! The texture was awful it felt like a mush, I got the feeling of having an spoonful of the raft and coagulated proteins that come as dirty foam to the top of a clarified stock on the first stage, like cheap, but fluffier canned "pate de canard ". Bad bad bad!!!!!!
I gave some to everyone in my staff to see if I was being a chef with spoiled brat attitude but all of them disliked it, their expressions went from describing it as baby food, boiled liver, and even "an ugly mouthful of roux". They had huge expectations too because I shared with them the day before and they loved it too.
I wasted 9 Lbs of prime beef, but the most important is that I got my share of experience and now I know that I have to cook them for a max time of 24 hours, and next time that I try something and is so good that it just can't get better, I'll trust my instinct instead of following a recipe blindly.
The fun fact is that despite it all, it looked perfect, you could see the grain of the meat and the color was there...But not the texture.
Too bad! :( but somehow it was a good lesson.
Regards and I hope that it helps someone else to avoid the same mistake. Soon I'll cook them again, but of course...Just for 24 hours ;)
Edited by Luis J - 1/25/13 at 7:31pm