learn-sous-vide-cooking-with-daniel-galmiche

Michelin-starred chef Daniel Galmiche shows you how easy it is to cook sous-vide at home. It’s simple and fun do to – which is what his new book Revolutionary French Cooking is all about!

 

daniel_galmiche-author-of-French-Brasserie-Cookbook‘I am sure everyone is familiar with using sous-vide – a vacuum – as a way of storing food, as we see vacuum-packed food all over the place, from spices and coffee to cured meats and rice. But, although it has been around for a while now and is used a lot in professional kitchens, you may not be so familiar with cooking sous-vide.

In sous-vide cooking, you lock ingredients in a parcel and then steam or boil it at a consistent temperature. The food cooks in its own juices, delivering an incredible flavour and wonderful texture. That’s why it’s so popular in the world’s best restaurants.

But you don’t need fancy vacuum machines or Michelin stars to replicate this professional technique at home – I’ve worked hard to make sous-vide as simple as possible! All you need is a few sheets of cling-film, and you’ll be able to create some really impressive dishes.

 

Why cook sous-vide?

But first, what are the advantages of cooking sous-vide? Well, to start with, you can prepare dishes one or two days ahead and keep them refrigerated, or portioned up and frozen ready to cook when you need them. Imagine how useful that would be when you have a party coming up and you can spread the preparations so you have less to do on the day.

Then there’s the fact that, when prepared this way, the food develops some beautiful flavours as it cooks in its own juices, with all the flavours locked in. As nothing is lost, there’s an intensity of flavour in the finished dish.

Then we come to temperature, which is critical in sous-vide cooking. When you cook sous-vide, you can cook at a low temperature, around 70°C/158°F. This is important because meat, in particular, can be adversely affected when cooked at very high temperatures as the collagen fibres within the meat can become tough. This is less important with fish but it can still happen. So to keep the meat tender, it is recommended that you cook at less than 70°C/158°F. This makes this style of cooking perfect for the cheaper cuts of meat. You’ll be sure to get perfectly tender results every time.

How to do sous-vide cooking at home

How can you try out sous-vide cooking at home without a professional vacuum-packing machine? It’s actually very simple – all you need is some cling-film!

This is a very versatile technique which features a lot in my book Revolutionary French Cooking, and I’ve made it as simple as possible so you can recreate it at home. Here I will show you how to cook a chicken breast, and you can use the same procedure for other foods. The pictures are taken from my sous-vide quail salad recipe, but it should give you some idea of how easy it is to do at home.

how-to-cook-sous-vide-at-home-step-1

1. Put four layers of cling film on your work surface. Make sure you use cling-film and not ‘food wrap’ which won’t be able to stand the cooking temperatures. Put a boneless chicken breast in the centre of the cling film, then roll it tightly in the cling film, pressing out the air to each side as you roll. Make a knot in one end, then press the air out the other side before you knot that end. This will give you a partial sous-vide.

For most sous-vide dishes, there are two alternative cooking methods, boiling and steaming.

how-to-cook-sous-vide-at-home-step-2

2. To boil, place the parcel in a saucepan large enough to hold it comfortably, then just cover it with water. Put the pan on a medium heat and bring the water up to 70°C/158°F. Keep it at that temperature for the time indicated in the recipe, as that will depend on the size of the portion. A 180g/6¼oz chicken breast will take about 20 minutes; if it is stuffed, it will take a further 5–10 minutes.

3. Alternatively, you can steam the parcel. Put a large saucepan of water on to simmer, with a steamer insert on top. Put the chicken in the steamer, cover and cook for 20–25 minutes.

cooking-sous-vide-at-home-step-3

4. When the food is ready, just cut off one end of the cling film, push the meat through and pat it dry on kitchen paper or a clean tea towel. Then, to regain the crisp skin, just heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and pan-fry the chicken, skin-side down, for a minute or so until crisp and browned. Then serve it with a lovely sauce, or jus.

Of course, you cannot keep the product as though it had been properly vacuum-packed because you have not created a full vacuum. Therefore you need to treat the parcel as you would any non-vacuumed product and store it properly in the fridge or freezer for the recommended time only, and do not cook it in advance. If you follow your common sense, then you’ll be fine.

Since some meats have a stronger texture, I usually wrap them in cling film in the same way but cook them as a confit, in hot fat. This method is suitable for chicken leg meat, or the dark meat from poultry or game birds.

 

sous-vide-cooking-at-home-with-daniel-galmiche

Et voilà , sous-vide quail salad. A dish worthy of your favourite restaurant, and made in your kitchen!

 

Why would you prepare food this way?

What are the advantages of cooking sous-vide? Well, to start with, you can prepare dishes one or two days ahead and keep them refrigerated, or portioned up and frozen ready to cook when you need them. Imagine how useful that would be when you have a party coming up and you can spread the preparations so you have less to do on the day.

Then there’s the fact that, when prepared this way, the food develops some beautiful flavours as it cooks in its own juices, with all the flavours locked in. As nothing is lost, there’s an intensity of flavour in the finished dish.

Then we come to temperature, which is critical in sous-vide cooking. When you cook sous-vide, you can cook at a low temperature, around 70°C/158°F. This is important because meat, in particular, can be adversely affected when cooked at very high temperatures as the collagen fibres within the meat can become tough. This is less important with fish but it can still happen. So to keep the meat tender, it is recommended that you cook at less than 70°C/158°F. This makes this style of cooking perfect for the cheaper cuts of meat. You’ll be sure to get perfectly tender results every time.

Now you understand the technique of sous-vide cooking, I hope you’ll try some of the recipes found in my book, Revolutionary French Cooking, such as Sous-Vide Little Gems with Ewes’ Cheese; Pork Loin with Mushrooms, Figs and Chestnuts; Salmon in Cabbage Leaves with Lemon Butter Sauce; or Pancetta-Wrapped Monkfish with Carrot and Mandarin Purée.’

 

heston-blumenthal-foreword-to-Revolutionary-French-Cooking

Discover how you can master contemporary French cooking at home with three simple words: liberté, égalité, fraternité.

 

 

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