I know I said I don’t really use cookbooks, but that doesn’t stop me from buying more. I just bought this sous vide cookbook from the America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Illustrated juggernaut, thanks to a suggestion from my friend Karan.
Back at the beginning of 2018 I bought an Anova sous vide cooker. I’d been toying with the idea for a while, and finally bit the bullet when it was on sale on Amazon AND I had a gift card from my boss. It’s definitely a cooking toy worth having if you’re into experimenting with cooking methods. I don’t know that it’s as everyday-useful as, say, the Instant Pot (which is the other cooking toy I’ve bought in the last year), but it definitely has some practical uses.
After cooking the obligatory Perfect Steak with my cooker, the next project was cooking short ribs for a dinner party of ten people. And here’s where the sous vide cooker really was worth the investment. I cooked the short ribs for 36 hours at a very low temperature (144 degrees Fahrenheit, if I recall correctly). The cooker kept them at the exact temperature, and by the time they were finished, they were melt-in-your-mouth tender. Plus, leaving them to cook in the water bath unattended gave me the time I needed to prepare the other dishes being served without having to fuss over the meat. It’s obvious why restaurants love sous vide cooking.
I’ve used it a few more times since, but I felt like I wanted a good guide to the basics of using the cooker, and the one thing you can say about ATK is that they are methodical and thorough. I glanced through the cookbook last night and am already looking forward to trying several recipes, notably the porcetta. Of course, I need some people to cook for, as is always the case.