Sunday, January 4, 2009

Appeal for Sous Vide Advice

Dear blog readers,

Does anyone have any tips on doing Mangalitsa belly sous vide? A customer was asking about this yesterday. She can probably borrow a circulator and wants to try it on some Mangalitsa, but she'd like to have a recipe. She reads this blog, so if you reply in a comment, she'll see it.

Thanks very much!

Here's a place in Hungary that does Mangalitsa sous vide. I suspect The Herbfarm will be doing some Mangalitsa sous vide too, given that they now have a circulator.


swickstrom said...

Hello Heath. I've cooked pork belly "sous vide" at home using this recipe, and it's been perfect. I haven't had a chance to try it on your Mangalistas yet, but this is what I'd do as soon as I get the chance:

Season with salt and pepper (I do _not_ sear it first) and add the following to the bag: a teaspoon of mustard seeds, two small apple slices, and a teaspoon of rendered bacon fat. Cook at 140F for 48 hours. Pull the bag and chill immediately (in the bag still) in several changes of ice water and get it in the fridge within 20 minutes of pulling from the water bath.

When ready to serve, slice the now-cold belly into serving sizes (I do 2in squares or 2x3s) and sear skin side down until crispy and then hit the three other sides if desired. You can also grill them over wood.

The apple slices in the bag assume I'll plate it with some apple component, but they're not necessary. The belly can also be cooked at 150F or 155F for shorter periods of time (there are charts to calc time by weight and/or thickness), but I did a fatty Berkshire belly at 140F for 48 hours and I preferred the texture that way. Also, I'd stay away from any five spice mixture - not that it isn't delicious sometimes, but I assume your pork does not need the competition and your customer wants to taste the meat and the fat!

Good luck to your customer!

Heath said...

Swickstrom -- Thanks very much for your recipe!

Can you make it to Seattle's U-District market? If so, I'd like to negotiate a pork-for-photos-and-sample trade.

I have some very suitable Mangalitsa belly right now. The ones I slaughtered recently were very old and fat - in the Mangalitsa pancetta sense of things.

swickstrom said...

Oh man, I wish I could! I live in San Francisco and don't have plans to be in Seattle any time soon.

I'd be happy to do a photo essay of the process and give you all rights to the photos in exchange for a little piece of one of those delicious bellies, but shipping might be a pain for you and you wouldn't get a chance to taste it. Or, let me know when you're in the Bay Area next - maybe visiting that guy in Livermore? -Scott

Heath said...

Swickstrom -- please send me an email. It will be possible to get you some belly.

Anonymous said...

Thomas Keller calls for 12 hours at 180F. Trying it as we speak!

First brined in salt, sugar, leek, carrot, bay, peppercorns, thyme mixture overnight. Then some chicken stock, thyme/bay/peppercorn little plastic herb "sachet" and into the water.

I plan on finishing by searing on all sides, crosshatch on the fat under the skin. Don't know how I'm saucing yet.