Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Beef Brisket Sous Vide

I think this is my new favorite meat dish.  It also doesn't hurt that Trader Joe's packages it in a vacuum sealed bag, which means almost no work for me!

Gotta love the pre-sealed meats:

I'm still experimenting with the time/temperature profile, but here's a few ways I've done it so far:

176 degrees F, ~36 hours.

Sorry, I didn't get any pre-sear pictures.  The meat was so falling-apart-tender that at one point when I was cutting it, it just fell apart rather than be sliced.  Slightly dry for my taste, actually, but still quite delicious.  Most of the fat had melted into the juices that were in the bag.

By the way, saving the juices and putting them in the refrigerator (once cooled) yields superb jellied stock (after you remove the fat layer):

The next time I tried to make brisket, I did ~12 hours at 176 F and another 24 at 146 F.  This was probably a step up from the 36 hours at 176 F, because the meat held together better and did not taste dry at all, but it had still melted most of the fat.  Sorry there aren't any pictures, I ate it too fast!

146 degrees F, 48 hours.  Perhaps the best one yet.

Here's what it looked like straight out of the Sous Vide Supreme:

There was plenty of juice in the bag to make a gravy.  At first I tried to pour it through the holes on the roasting pan I had, but that didn't work so well, so I just poured it directly into the bottom:

Here's the meat out of the bag, pre-sear:

I love this blowtorch.  A nice, strong flame.  Except that when searing the side of the brisket that had a layer of fat, the fat would actually burn and create some smoke, which is a bad thing for me since I live in a studio.  So, the fatty side did not get as much searing as I would have liked.

But I'm not really complaining that much.  Looks good, doesn't it?

A little slice of beefy goodness:

I think I let the stock reduce too much before adding some butter.  I only ended up with this much gravy (thank goodness it ended up being enough!):

Awesomely delicious!


  1. YUM MEAT. and i'm kinda sad that you moved to blogspot (i liked thranos' room of fun), but yeah, xanga is dying...

  2. "thranos' room of fun" sounded cooler than "engineer chef"

  3. @jeffrey - yeah but thranos's room of fun doesn't make for a catchy blog title. more of a tag line.

  4. So what are you gonna do with the jellied stock? May I suggest xiao long bao?

  5. @joy - i was just going to make gravy. you want to come over with some skins to make xiao long bao?

  6. Yay! Now I can read at work. :)

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. I can make skins for xlb at your place if you want. I also have a tub of duck fat/peanut oil if you want....

  9. delighted you're on blogger :) this looks delicious!

  10. Any concerns about the TJ bag being SV safe?

  11. @Anonymous - not particularly, as the temperatures used in sous vide are so low and i would expect that the plastic used to seal the meat is food-safe, just like a foodsaver bag that you would use normally in sous vide.