The latest gastro craze promising the perfect cooking results is upon us... and it comes in the form of the SousVide Supreme!
As far-fetched as this may sound, the Sous Vide (pronounced soo veed) really is the latest and greatest piece of kitchen tech, loved and used by some of the world’s best chefs – Simon Rogan, Alvin Leung – to name a few. The basis of the Sous Vide is quite simple: it is a culinary technique in which vacuum-sealed food is immersed in a water bath and cooked at a very precise, consistent temperature. Originally from France, Sous Vide literally translates as the French for “under vacuum,” and was developed in the mid-1970s by chef Georges Pralus for the Restaurant Troisgros in Roanne, France.
Little prep-work. Food cooked in the SousVide requires little seasoning with salt, pepper, and desired herbs and spices. The vacuum sealer then seals the food in a food-grade pouch, certified as suitable for cooking. You then immerse the pouches in the water bath that has been brought to the desired temperature and leave the food to cook. The food can’t overcook even if you forget about it! It really does eliminate all of the things that could go wrong when cooking, that usually do…
Surplus cooking options. All kinds of food can be cooked with the SousVide, including beef, lamb, game, and pork. It works equally well for poultry and delicate fish and seafood, ensuring it is not overcooked. Any type of vegetable can also be cooked sous vide with delicious results. British chef Simon Rogan prepares a beautiful beetroot-based dish using the SousVide at 85C for an hour. You can also cook eggs and fruits, make alcohol infusions, ice cream bases, béarnaise sauce, crème anglaise, cakes – the list goes on!
It’s healthy. With the SousVide, beneficial nutrients are locked in the airtight pouch; delicate fats prone to damaging oxidation at high temperatures are better preserved and nutrients,often lost in cooking liquids, are retained.
Creates perfectly cooked food. Food is cooked evenly from edge to edge so you can achieve the perfect results.
It eliminates the smells, sounds and sights that makes the process of cooking so enjoyable. Yet with every con to the Sous Vide, it seems there is a plus side. You still benefit from the smells when you come to add finishing touches. For example, cook a filet steak in the Sous Vide so the filet is equally cooked and retains its moisture, then finish with a flash fry in a pan for added taste and outer texture.
It’s fussy to set up. More of a common misconception than a 'con' per-se, the Sous Vide really is simple to set up. The first time you use it, preparing food might take a while as you get used to the components and the vacuum seal. But, once you’ve used it for a multitude of different dishes, including fish, meat, vegetables, fruit etc, there really is little difference in ease and usability between the Sous Vide and, lets say, a simple microwave – other than guaranteed professional results, every time.
To see if the Sous Vide is all that it is cracked up to be, we put it to the test in the FOUR – The World’s Best Food Magazine office. We tested filet of steak, salmon filet and runner beans. And here are our results…
Perfectly, evenly cooked filet steak. We like it rare, but, by simply changing the time/temp setting on the front dial, you can have your steak medium-rare, medium, well-done. One of FOUR Magazine’s Editor’s, Eva-Luise Schwarz, says: “After exactly 2 hours, the filet steak was perfectly medium rare – as soft and juicy as you could wish for. Handling of the Sous Vide Supreme is easy and straightforward and you can take your mind off it completely while it does the cooking for you. It's a fantastic appliance and will revolutionise amateur cooking.”
Juicy fish that really does taste like fish. We say this because, all too often, flavours of ingredients can be lost in the process of grilling, frying etc. But withSous Vide, all of the flavours are retained in the vacuum bag. So when you buy good, fresh produce, you can rely on the Sous Vide to turn them into great,tasteful dishes. Simone Miche, FOUR Magazine’s Online Editorial Assistant says: “I thoroughly enjoyed the salmon cooked in the Sous Vide. It was so soft and was packed with flavour – exactly what you expect salmon to taste like. I’m often disappointed with the results you get from pan frying, grilling or baking, and found this the best way to achieve great tasting fish, yet. It’s also a really healthy method – which is great for those who love gourmet food, but also want to watch their waistlines!”
Vegetables which keep their colour and still have a bit of ‘snap’. Love your grandmother, but hate her soggy veg sides? So do we. Which is why we loved cooking runner beans in the Sous Vide. They came out as green as they were when they went in and kept a lovely crunch, without being undercooked.
Currently retailing at Selfridges, John Lewis, Lakeland and Harrods, Sous Vide is notjust for the Michelin-chef, even if the results say otherwise. We can’t wait to try it making risotto, scallops, buttered baby beets, poached pears and even, a time-saving Christmas dinner. The list is endless!
For more information visit the SousVide website here.