Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sous Vide Beef Cheeks - this one took me 72 hours.

Yes, you saw right, 72 hours. Three days to make one dish. My Sous Vide culinary adventure continues and I'm starting to wonder if I can somehow find a way to make a living out of this. No, I don't want to start a restaurant.


So here's the venture in photos.

Ben's Food is the place to go for affordable cuts perfect for such experiments.

Vacuum-seal after trimming excess fats.

Pre-heat Sous Vide Supreme to 55 degrees C (130F) for medium-rare or 60C (140F) for medium. Results guaranteed with a sous-vide since over-cooking is impossible with a set temperature.

Plonk them into the SV for 72 hours. You can do it in one day at 80C, two days at 72C, etc... longer time, lower get the drift.

 3 moons later, I was the proud owner of a kilogram of sous vide beef cheek. At this point, I can freeze them for months or put them in the chiller for a day or 2 until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, heat up a pan till it's very hot. Remove meat from pouch. Mine came with a bonus - see these red gelatins I've placed on top of the meat for you to see? Psst...the flavours are all in the gelatin - don't throw them away!

Generously season with salt and pepper (put more than you think) and sear both sides until it's mahogany brown. Mine took about 3 minutes. I saw all that beautiful jus left behind and made an impromptu decision to make a sauce with chicken stock. This step definitely added to the overall palate sensation.

 My fussy eater daughter who is always wary of my food and ever the reluctant food taster actually came back for a second round after the first round of force-feeding. It's moist and succulent - never dry with a sous vide. Medium-rare is guaranteed - how many things in this world can be guaranteed??

Sous Vide is 'da bomb!

And heere's what I made out of the second batch - Beef Cheek Salad on a Lemongrass Skewer. Thai food with French cooking technique. Kids loved it and said, Thanks, mom, for the duck!


  1. wow! now I'm a convert! only thing left is to get myself a sous vide machine and a vacuum sealer!!!

    1. Catch the last few days of the GSS, Alan.

  2. Alas, no sous vide machine to be found in KL. I'm all for chucking meat away for 72 hours while I get other stuff done.

    1. You can't find the SV oven in Malaysia, really?

  3. This is a High Tec Sous Vide culinary adventure machine and it came with the vacuum sealer I think. Saw that from a Taiwan 3 Stars restaurant Chef cooked the dish !! I think everyone who wanted to eat there must order 4 days beforehand !! In simple speech -- it is low heat cooking. Started in France if I'm not wrong, got this information from TV too.

    1. Hi Mrs Lee, yes, I blogged about the machine in an earlier post. It is a French cooking technique called sous vide, which means, "under vacuum". And you're right, it's very low heat for prolonged periods of time.

  4. I have a piece of beef shoulder in the freezer. Would would you change on this recipe to cook this piece of beef shoulder?

    1. Hi there, beef shoulder is full of muscles, fat and gristle, so I would say it's highly suitable for slow cooking. I've not tried it myself though, but would really love to hear back from you on how it goes!

      Oh by the way, do leave me a name that I can call you by. It's not so nice to call you Anonymous, know what I mean??

  5. Hello Luan, thank you that you dropped execs and started cooking. - I got recently a huge old bull cheek from my bio butcher here in Dresden, Germany. After surfing 1/2 hour the web for recipies I found your blog as the most detailed and trustful in terms of time and temp WW.
    Here my recipe:
    In the vac-bag goes:

    0.8 kg beef cheek from 8-year Bull
    2 whole cloves Nelken
    2 bay leaf Lobeer
    3 sprig of rosemary,
    3 Thymianzweige
    2 clove of garlic, peeled
    6 Pfefferkörner
    10g salt
    2 cups frozen oxtail-soup (my own!)
    1 Chilischote
    55° 72 hrs

    The sensational result you did forecast exactly - thanks so much again - chapeau


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