Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pork Loin Roast - Sous Vide

A couple of days ago when I was at whole foods, they were having a sale on boneless pork loin roast so I went ahead and picked one up.

It was really cold and dreary this weekend, so Jessica and I were in the mood for something seasonally appropriate and wintery. Pork loin roast was just the ticket.

Starting on Saturday morning, I brined the roast in a mixture of water, salt, maple syrup, and crushed black pepper. I don't remember the exact mix that I used but it was a fairly standard pork brine ratio wise. I let it brine in the fridge for about 8 hours. I then took it out and rinsed it well under cold water. I then patted dry with paper towels and vacuum bagged it using my Food Saver vacuum sealer, tossing some rosemary, dijon mustard, and maple syrup in the bag for flavor.

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This afternoon, I busted out my trusty
Sous Vide Magic system and set the PID controller to 140F and threw the bagged roast in to slow cook for six hours.

Note, to anyone considering trying this at home... Vacuum sealing is absolutley essential to food safety when cooking at temperatures this low. Also, to get the correct result, it is critical that you have a system that allows consistent control of temperature to within 1 degree. Before diving into this sous vide cooking, please do some homework on it and understand the science and the risks. Done correctly, it produces amazing results.


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While it was cooking, I threw together some baby carrots I picked up at the farmer's market, some mixed (shitake and oyster) mushrooms I had in my fridge, and some thyme. I roasted these in the oven and also prepared some rustic rosemary and thyme mashed potatoes.

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After 6 hours was up, I pulled the meat out of the cooker and sure enough it was cooked to a perfect internal temperature of 140F:

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I then put a quick sear on the outside in a pan. I sauced with a quickly thrown together red wine maple dijon sauce and plated with the mashed potatoes and roast carrots and mushrooms.

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Here was the final result:

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As is almost always the case with sous vide cooking, the meat was perfect. Incredibly succulent and moist, and the flavor was awesome. I think the brining coupled with the sous vide cooking was amazingly effective with this cut. The roasted carrots and mushrooms were fantastic as well, and the mashed potatoes were simple but nicely seasoned... I especially liked the visual look of the local heirloom baby carrots.

3 comments:

  1. Looks lovely and comforting. I love those baby carrots, especially the red ones.

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  2. Generally, I don't brine for sous vide and actually don't want the extra liquid for fear of making the meat mushy. But, having not yet done a pork loin, I was wondering if you had tried with and without brine and come to the conclusion that brining was beneficial in this case. Maybe this cut in particular benefits from the brine. I don't brine my pork shoulders for sous vide but do other techniques.
    Thanks, Matt

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