Recently, Jamey and I picked up a handy little steel bucket grill from Cost Plus World Market. We’ve only used it twice so far but for the same purpose: charrin’ some ribs.
Our trips to World Market are akin to our TJ Maxx and Marshall’s ventures: we usually go in for the purpose of one item and end up leaving with bagfuls of miscellaneous nonsense. However, this miscellaneous nonsense often results in spectacular items of discovery – items that bring us bottles of limoncello, and in this case, a handy red, portable grill that we can pop out right on our front porch and anywhere else. (Beach cook-out, anyone?)
Needless to say, I am not one to complain about these purchases when they inspire us to create, cook, and stretch our culinary abilities. (I also don’t complain when Jamey lets me buy a random pair of shoes on said shopping trips, but I digress.)
We started our rib adventure a couple weeks ago. Of course, a certain someone had been researching sous vide style ribs, so on a random grocery trip we picked up a rack and began the process.
Now, for this initial batch we slathered the ribs in sauce and threw them into the sous vide at 137 degrees. 48 hours later, we removed them from their bags to find a somewhat naked look, which for some reason reminds me of Voldemort in his crazy infant skin form:
That look clearly does not send one’s appetite running for the dinner bell, so the grill came very much in handy here:
That charred grill look is just what they needed:
We knew we had a winner with this recipe.
Sometimes, Jamey has a bad habit of looking at the nutritional content of an ingredient well after we’ve already consumed it. In this case, we knew what we were in for with the BBQ-bit – and there are no regrets. Still, we wanted to try to make the ribs in a version not so horrible for us, so back to the sous vide we went, two weeks later:
While Jamey was out of town last week, I actually took on this venture myself. I have to admit that I have never been the one to actually run the sous vide; it has been entirely a Jamey gadget, while I’ve just provided direction, insight, and the role of official taste test master. (I’m also very good at consuming large quantities of food from said gadget.)
Needless to say, I was a little nervous to take on not only the water bath, but a whole slab of ribs.
I figured I wouldn’t waste any of the spice packet, so I massaged it all into the rack after cutting the whole thing in half. It was the only way to get the beast into bags that would fit – and still somewhat float – in the sous vide water.
I neglected to take pictures of the ribs while they cooked for the next three days. However, the resulting photographic evidence might just vouch for the fact that I can, in fact, use and conquer the sous vide.
Jamey got home on Saturday (finally) after getting stuck in Atlanta Friday night, so Saturday was a homecoming celebration.
But really, that little grill has proved to already be an ol’ reliable. Look at how it just pops up right there on the patio!
Not to mention, the ribs couldn’t have turned out anymore perfect:
That rub turned into a nice crusty crunch I so love. When we finally dug in, the meat just slid right off the bone.
All in all, it was an excellent meal once again. I don’t know how much of an effect that last 24 hours had on the ribs’ cooking, since these were arguably just as delicious as the rack from our first go-round. Still, I’m learning more and more that extra hours in the sous vide – when cooked in a lower temperature – further allows the meat to simmer and reach its full, juicy potential.
Of course, it wouldn’t have been a celebration without a champagne toast, some bitters and St. Germain – but Jamey will tell you all about that in his response post.
But there you have it: a superb ending to a superb Saturday.