- October 29th, 2010
Of all the crazy shit I do in my kitchen, I can safely say that the weapon of choice I return to again and again is my SousVide Supreme. When I’m busy turning pizza into flowers over a four day stretch, or experimenting with making ice cream hot (more to come on that) I still need to EAT. Sous vide is the easiest way to do that with panache but without having to babysit my dinner. I predict that by 10 years from now nearly the same percentage of American households who possess a stand mixer will possess a means to cook en sous vide. There, I said it, it shall be so. It’s like the slow-cooker of the new millennium, only much more versatile and less prone to use by boozing grannies.
I realize the financial barrier to entry on a SousVide Supreme machine is somewhat steep, and guess what? So does SousVide Supreme, which is why they have just released a more pocketbook-friendly model called the Demi. The Demi is priced at $299 and has the countertop footprint of a standard slow-cooker, which means that not only is it easier on the bank account, it’s also more manageable from a spatial perspective. Another huge benefit of the Demi is that it is available in five colors, so if you’re like me and you enjoy matching your appliances to your stilettos, you are in luck. Want one? Go see SousVide Supreme.
Once you are set up with your trusty sous vide unit, you will want to start messing around madly with it because I guarantee you, it will be love at first bite. If you really want to blow yourself away in a short amount of time, drop an egg in it and tell me all about your oral orgasm afterward. Once you’ve got that covered, however, you will continue to search for ways to pleasure yourself and your guests.
Take a cue from your bedroom antics and cover your meat in something sticky and sweet. The bliss will be at first subtle, delicate, then mount into a frenzied crescendo that will steamroll you into submission and have you gnashing your teeth for more. Yes, I am talking about dousing a Frenched rack of pork in unctuous butterscotch sauce- what did you think I meant?
This recipe is steeped in notes of autumn and will likely speak to your inner locavore if you live somewhere that rains apples, weans piggies and ferments wine. If you don’t and you still want to be a locavore ninja, you could try substituting dingo for the pork, Tim Tams for the apple and absinthe for the wine, but I cannot vouch for the results. Most of the time I cannot even vouch for my own mental sanity, but curiously, I can vouch for the otherworldly quality of this hypersplendid dish. And by otherworldly, I mean the Dagobah system- everything tastes better when you have to take an X-wing to get there and you spend your days moving large objects with your mind.
Before I go all verklempt and give up the recipe I just have to posit one final question- why the arse haven’t I slathered pork in butterscotch before? Am I so pedestrian in my culinary skeels that I really never thought to do it? Clearly my genius badge has been revoked. Is some synapse not firing properly in my wine-addled brain? Well at least now I can make up for lost time. Oh, and you should too. Here you go, my Fantastic Sallies- Sally Forth:
Apple-Butterscotch Frenched Rack of Pork Sous Vide
Serves 4, takes 6 hours inactive time, ½ hour active time
- 1 Frenched Rack of Pork- 4 chops total
- 1 apple, your choice, sliced
- 2 tbsp salt
- 125 grams sugar
- 75 grams corn syrup
- 150 grams heavy whipping cream
- ½ c red wine
- 4 Thyme sprigs
- Heat water bath to 185° F. Sprinkle salt all over pork rack. Position apples slices so that they touch all sides of the meat of the rack. Place the rack inside a food safe vacuum sealing bag along with sugar, corn syrup and whipping cream. Seal the bag, getting as much air out as possible (you can freeze the liquids before putting them in the bag if you really want a tight seal, but you don’t need to get that technical if you don’t feel like it). Immerse the rack in the water bath and cook for 6-8 hours.
- Remove the rack from the water bath and pour wine into a large skillet set over high heat. Once the wine is bubbling, add 3 sprigs thyme. Using tongs, place the rack inside the skillet and turn frequently to coat on all sides with wine. Once the wine evaporates from the skillet, lightly brown the rack, then remove to a cutting board. Slice into individual chops.
- While the rack is searing in the wine skillet, reduce the liquid and apples from the vacuum bag in a medium saucepan on high heat until you’ve reached a syrupy consistency. Use this to sauce your chops.
- To serve, place a dollop of parsnip-delicata puree(or whatever complementary side you feel like) in the center of the plate and top with a chop. Spoon sauce over everything and garnish with thyme leaves from the remaining sprig.