La Vide Loca

You know those days when everything clicks? I had one of those a few weeks back. In the space of a few minutes, two e mails dropped into the inbox. The first was from Sous Vide Supreme asking if I'd like to have a play with a sous vide machine? The second was from Blackberry Farm, UK breeders of black footed pigs, telling me they'd recently slaughtered a couple of pigs and could they send me some meat? 

The answers, in both cases, was obviously "YES" and in a massive font size and with a number of exclamation marks normally only seen in teenage girls' diaries. In geeky food-loving terms e mails like those are like getting all six numbers. 

 There will be many posts relating to the sous vide in due course, particularly in advance of Grillstock preparation for 2013. I'm told that short ribs are particularly amazing when given the water bath treatment for many hours. I've only had a couple of dabbles with it so far, the best being a combination with Blackberry Farm's incredible pork. As well as some incredible bacon - and if you've seen better crispy bacon than this recently I want to know where - the parcel also contained a couple of chops, the likes of which I've never seen. A sous vide machine. Those chops. An allotment BBQ to run some 24 hours later. You can probably tell where this is going... 

The chops were vaccuum sealed with some traditional BBQ-friendly herbs and spices (cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, a sprinkle of chilli powder) and a spoonful of something not so traditional (Lakrids liquorice powder which is a new obsession c/o Harvey Nichols) and then dropped into the sous vide, at 60 degrees, for around 24 hours. 

By the time they came out, the fat was soft and melty and, all that remained was to char them on the grill for a few minutes each side. I'm guessing the meat would have cooked brilliantly without the additional flourish - these guys do seriously good meat - but that slow infusion, the smoke and the char made these chops one of the best things I've eaten all year. 


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