Sous Vide: Scrambled Eggs, Bavette, Pork Chops & Pears

I increasingly can’t get enough of this. And I’ll be at it again tonight — ribeye steaks for dad, I think.

Two evenings ago I decided to try the scrambled eggs. I got the desired custard consistency. Unfortunately I did not get a photo as the four servings were gone immediately. I did them precisely to Dr. Mary Dan Eades’ specifications, except that in addition to the truffle salt I also had a bit of truffle butter and put about 1/4 tsp in each batch. Go take a look at how they look.

Actually, we had a friend arrive just as I was plating so we made five servings of it and unsurprisingly, everyone loved. My wife was very wary of it, as she loathes runny scrambled eggs and always looks waitresses right in the eye and repeates herself: "WELL DONE!" Well, she loved these too, so that’s quite a testament.

Right after that I put the grassfed Bavette (flap steak) in at 125 for an hour with a bit of a dry rub and then browned in the cast iron skillet in ghee brought to super heat.

Bavette Sous Vide
Bavette Sous Vide

Yes, that’s my bone stock reduced with a good amount of butter. Needless to say it was excellent. Last time I did Bavette, we had leftovers. Not this time. Bea & I finished it off. Also, if you look at that last instance, you can tell the difference in the texture of the meat between the grill and sous vide.

This brings me to another issue, and that’s mess. One nice thing about sous vide cooking is that it’s so clean, and I must say that I love the way the SVS’s lid doubles as a drip tray. However, when I finished this bavette in the cast iron skillet in ghee, half the kitchen was splattered with ghee and it was an awful cleanup job for Bea. In addition, I really don’t like getting oils that hot for that extended an amount of time; plus, I prefer the burnt flavor of the milk solids in butter and you just can’t get it hot enough to do a good finishing job without over burning the butter. You could use the broiler, but then you’re introducing a lot of ambient heat that’s going to overcook the inside. What to do?

So, I got myself a kitchen torch from Sur La Table yesterday and employed it on the pork chops you’ll see in just a moment. Wow, what an improvement. Super clean. There was almost nothing to clean up after dinner.

Pork Chops
Pork Chops

As you can see, after coming out of the 141 bath for an hour, they don’t look that appetizing. Oh, by the way, the SVS guide called for 4 hours but looking around I saw recommendations to brine in an 8% solution (5 tbsp salt per quart) for 1-2 hours. I let it sit in the brine for an hour-15 while I got my pears going in the SVS at 183.

Pork Chop Sous Vide
Pork Chop Sous Vide

I just rubbed each side down with a stick of butter and torched. It only takes about 30 seconds per side and you can char the fat a bit, too. Oh, make sure you do this on your stove top with the fan on high. Yep, I set off the smoke alarm.

Here’s a look inside.

Pork Chop Pink
Pork Chop Pink

To say that was the most delicious pork chop I have ever had would be a gross understatement. In fact, for the very first time I ate all the fat — every bit of it — as it was delicious, like some cross between bacon & pork belly. And don’t let the pink fool you. I have had medium rare pork cooked conventionally (tenderloin) and don’t care for it. This is pink but the texture is definitely medium. It’s just a different experience. So moist & tender.

Now I had to improvise here with the pears. After having the pear and a shot of brandy in the SVS for a little over an hour I had to get the chops going, so I moved the pears to a dutch oven filled with water at 183 from the SVS (I needed to get the temp down to 141 anyway) and into the oven set to warm at 180. So, by the time we finished dinner and cleaned up, pears were done wonderfully. I simply sliced them up, dumped the brandy and juices into a saute pan and finished off the pear slices with those juices and butter, reduced to a nice syrup. Then I sprinkled with cinnamon & nutmeg. Delicious.

Pear Sous Vide
Pears Sous Vide

By the way, perhaps you wish to try sous vide before spending $450 on a Sous Vide Supreme. Or, perhaps that’s not in your budget and you need a lower entry point. Well, Mike Eades has a post describing how they first experimented on the cheap, and I mean real cheap. You’ve probably already got everything you need. Alternatively, here’s a guy who got set up for around $280, including the FoodSaver. Many already have that as well as the required crock pot or rice cooker.

Give it a try.

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  1. Toni Sonenszajn on December 3, 2009 at 14:21

    Had a gastric bypass 3 yrs ago and still have 60lbs to lose. Have trouble digesting meats without being ground up, but I agree that low carb is the way to go. Tell us more.

  2. Jim Purdy on December 3, 2009 at 14:34

    “Oh, make sure you do this on your stove top with the fan on high. Yep, I set off the smoke alarm.”

    LOL! That sounds exciting.

    Next time, better prepare enough to feed the fire-fighters.

  3. Guy on December 3, 2009 at 17:12

    Thanks for posting so much detail, Richard. I hope to try pork chops, too.

    I did SVS tuna steaks tonight at 125 degrees (manual says 140) and it was still too done, but better than I have achieved in the pan, so still tasty.

    The big success of the meal was the chocolate pudding described in this post, Tweeted by SVS. I substituted Splenda for the bit of sugar (will probably be up all night due to the chocolate hit, but worth it).

  4. Patrik on December 3, 2009 at 20:31

    @Dr Eades

    On the off chance you are lurking about, since Richard is doing an amazing job edifying us readers about the SVS – any chance you might be offering us a special price on it? I am on the fence about trying it out and a promotional discount might just be what I need to get the wifey on board….


  5. Grok on December 4, 2009 at 01:55

    I’d love to have one of those Sous Vides. Not in the budget at the moment.

  6. Richard Nikoley on December 4, 2009 at 07:54

    Yea, I understand Art’s position but don’t agree with it.

    Also, Cordain, based upon what I referenced above, seems to be backtracking on sat fat as well.

    “The Seven Country Study, a cross-cultural analysis, reported strong positive associations among a population’s average SFA intake, serum total cholesterol concentrations, and 25-year death rates from CHD. However, it is important to note that several groups with very high SFA intakes from coconut fat (up to 40% of energy) and apparently low CHD rates have since been identified. In the Nurses’ Health Study, a large prospective cohort study, a weak but significant positive association between SFA intake and CHD risk was initially seen. With long-term follow-up, this association was no longer significant. Any association between SFAs and CHD appears to be a small fraction of that observed for TFAs [trans-fatty acids]. Other observational studies and dietary trials have been unconvincing or even contradictory. In general, experimental evidence does not support a robust link between SFA intake and CHD risk.”

    • Grok on December 4, 2009 at 19:13

      @v – I usually trim off the fat if I can’t eat good stuff. Not always (because i love fat), but I do keep it in the back of my mind when I eat the grain fed fats. I generally make sure to get a few more Omega-3s those days.

      “eggs, chicken, fish, seafood, turkey”

      ALL these are grain fed too. Even many of the fish. Don’t be fooled by “organic” either! They just feed those animals organic soybeans.

    • Guy on December 5, 2009 at 15:00

      As I understand it, one main reason to eat grass-fed beef is for the correct Omega 3:6 ratio, in addition to higher CLA in grass-fed meat. As I recall, at one time Dr. Eades has suggested you get the leaner cuts if you are buying grain-fed, so as to avoid the higher Omega 6 fat (not because of the sat fat)–perhaps this was in Protein Power LifePlan? Ironically, the fattier cuts are often cheaper in the grass-fed meat, too (at least for me, locally). Commercial farms feed corn and soy to all animals: cow, chicken and hog. Lamb and goat are more likely grass fed.

      One huge lure for the Sous Vide Supreme is that you can make fattier and/or less desirable cuts very tender by long, low cooking times while capturing that precious fat for which you are paying extra for grass-fed meat (fats that would be more likely to cook out in the smoker or crock pot). If I can eat less expensive cuts and/or retain more of the healthy fats I’m paying for, then the machine seems to pay for itself.

    • Icarus on December 20, 2009 at 16:46

      American lamb is usually finished on grain, unless otherwise specified. Lamb imported from Australia or New Zealand is almost always going to be grass-fed, and is available in many supermarkets ’cause the American lamb industry is not very big. Grass-fed lamb is less fatty, but has stronger flavor. I like lamb either way, but I usually get Aussie lamb legs and Kiwi racks out of convenience.

      In any case, beef and lamb have the best fatty acid profiles of the common domesticated meat animals – only 3-5% of their fat is polyunsaturated and 40-50% is saturated. The balance is monounsaturated, with a tiny bit of beneficial conjugated linoleic acid – the only natural trans fat. The omega 6:omega 3 ratio is not great when the meat is grain fed, but it’s not a huge concern because the amount of PUFAs in the first place is pretty tiny. I’d be more worried about pork and chicken, if I were you, because monogastric animals tend to be much more ill-affected by grain feeding. You can think of the rumen of the cow and sheep as protecting the animal (and subsequently its meat and fat), which is not far off from the truth, really. There might be cause for concern with regards to pesticides and herbicides building up in the fat of cattle and sheep, but this can happen whether the meat is grain-fed or grass-fed; the determinant there is organic vs. conventional.

      Also, re: sat fats, the French Paradox is really no paradox at all. Keyes just left cherrypicked the data that supported his argument, which conveniently left out saturated fat-loving France. Alzheimer’s responds positively to injected ketones or orally taken MCT oil; I would speculate, but cannot say for sure, that a saturated fat-based ketogenic diet would be equally effective. Saturated fat increases insulin resistance, which is clearly bad on a high-carb diet, but probably not on a low-carb, high-fat diet, so I don’t see why that would be a concern. It has too many benefits, in any case, to avoid, and a monounsaturate diet is utterly nonpaleo (and also not stereotypically Mediterranean, where they love their cheese and lamb.)

  7. Kelly on December 22, 2009 at 19:08

    I would love a Sous Vide but I just can’t get past the idea of cooking in plastic. I’ve already got hormone imbalances from BPA and xenoeostrogens. Have any tests been done on the sous vide cooking bags? And even if they have, have they tested every chemical in the plastic, not just the BPA?

    • Grok on December 23, 2009 at 02:07

      Bit of a hang-up for me too. I was wondering about it.

      I don’t use the very handy looking crock-pot liners for this same reason. I haven’t seen BPA free on any of the boxes at the store.

  8. Rack of Lamb Sous Vide | Free The Animal on January 28, 2010 at 13:14

    […] making it in the Sous Vide Supreme was just to die for. Easily my favorite thing so far — though pork chops run a close […]

  9. […] the shouldber ribs were not as good as pork chops sous vide, it's probably because they need to be in the SVS longer than I had time for. Pork chops are […]

  10. Wild Elk Steaks Sous Vide | Free The Animal on November 21, 2011 at 17:26

    […] flavor was quite excellent, very much like a good flank steak — flank, hanger and bavette being my favorite cuts for the sous vide method. 130F, an hour or more, and you can't go wrong. […]

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