Recipe: Sous vide Vietnamese-inspired short ribs
Our family has been obsessed with sous vide ever since we got a PolyScience immersion circulator. The great thins about sous vide cooking are: (1) the prep is minimal (just set it and forget it); and (2) the results are perfect (granted your ingredient and ratios were perfect going in). The hubster once got overly excited about brining and let his spareribs sit in a salt bath for two days, and after an additional 72 hours in the water bath, the ribs were the best texture but way too salty.
Sous vide is a great technique for tough cuts of meat because the slow cook at low temperatures help turn the fibrous collagen into gelatinous goodness, while preserving the protein’s cell walls so that they don’t break down and leak vital juices.
The French term, sous vide, translates to “under vacuum” (which, by deductive reasoning, sous chef denotes the one immediately under the chef). Foods cooked sous vide are vacuum sealed prior to entering the water bath; this keeps applied seasonings and the meat’s natural juices within a small controlled environment so that the result is a piece of tender meat far from being bland.
But I’m no scientist. Just a Blind Cook. So let’s get right to the recipe.
I recently bought some boneless beef short ribs to test how they’d turn out with the immersion circulator. A dish I cherish during wintertime is bò kho, a Vietnamese beef stew with carrots. It is a hearty dish perfect for cold weather; with hints of Chinese spices; and served with egg noodles, rice noodles, or a baguette. But because I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand to make the full-out stew, I decided to extract the essential flavors of bò kho and use those to marinate the short ribs. So here it is, my recipe for deconstructed Vietnamese beef short ribs. If the Blind can Cook it, you can too.