I seasoned the meat with a sprinkle of pepper and generous salt, then vacuum packed it together with a herb sachet containing rosemary, sage, thyme and a clove of garlic sliced into two. I then put the bags into the water bath for a continuous 72 hours. I recommend that no matter what, but especially if you are in Singapore, when you cook sous-vide over such long periods using an immersion circulator, you observe the following:
- Cover the container either with its own lid or some cling film
- Make sure that the packs are well into the water. They will eventually develop some air and tend to emerge, and you might have to put some weight over them to keep them into place
- Place a fan behind the circulator to ensure that it won't overheat. The last thing you want is your circulator to stop while unattended in the middle of the process, as you will have to throw away all the meat and start again.
- Ensure that the bags are double sealed, since the bones can be sharp and may potentially damage the envelope. If necessary, you might consider double vacuuming within a second envelope.
Now, time to make the outside crispy, seal the flavours and create a tasty Maillard reaction all around this gourmet cut of meat. I blow-torched the short ribs from every side, making sure that the outer layer of fat crisped up, sweating out some of its oil.
While slicing, the meat fell off the bone and really didn't take much effort to cut through! The slices revealed the fairly thick inner marbling which was already well visible before the cooking (see first photo on top). The meat, despite being perfectly pink as a "medium" would look like if you cooked a steak, actually tasted like a "medium-rare" throughout.
This is without a doubt a result that you would never achieve without sous-vide: the meat was tender, incredibly juicy, and felt almost like raw meat. Marbled with melting fat, crispy outside, but most importantly packed with flavour throughout! In actual fact, it didn't need any sauce since the natural beef flavour was enhanced by the balanced aromas released by the herbs.
This is the kind of result which makes you happy to be cooking sous-vide, and I will be making it more regularly.