Sous Vide is a method of cooking food in a water bath at a low set temperature for an extended amount of time. The long cooking time above 130°F will kill any bacteria in the food. Time + temperature is the key.
Many people are wary of cooking in plastic bags or silicone bags so I experimented with cooking my meat in glass canning jars.
I used a 2.74 lb slab of grassfed cross rib roast.
I used 2 wide mouth glass Ball canning jars with lids ( or you could use the wide mouth jars with gaskets and wire clip lids)
I defrosted the meat to the point where I could cut through it and divide it between the two jars.
I poured the defrosted meat juice into the jars along with the meat. (Alternatively, I could have diced the meat and probably fitted most of it into one of the glass jars. )
I did not fill up the jar with any liquid although I imagine you could fill the jar with a broth if you wanted to. I reasoned that the air in the jar would reach the temperature of the surrounding water bath and would cook the meat over time.
For one jar I placed the lid on the top and gently finger tightened the ring collar. I reasoned that as the air in the jar heated, it would expand and would need to be expelled up and around the lid, so finger tightening would be best.
I place the jar in a plastic bag before submerging it in the water to prevent any cooking water from leaking into the jar.
For the second jar, I used a food preserver vacuum accessory to vacuum air out of the jar and seal the top. Then I gently finger tightened the ring collar around the top.
I placed the jars in enough water to cover the tops and weighted them down with a bowl and some glass weights. I placed some plastic film over the surface to cut down on evaporation loss.
Temperature was set to 130°F or 54°C
Sous vide for 12 hours.
Remove the meat from the jars and slice into slabs for pan searing or dice and eat as is.
The meat was tender and juicy and evenly cooked to medium rare throughout. The fat was translucent and soft and there were some “veins” of collagen throughout the meat that were ‘melt in the mouth’ delicious.
After cooking, I usually pour off the nutrient rich meat juice and drink it right down (cooks privilege) but if not to your taste, at least save it and make a sauce out of it or freeze it and use it when making broth.
Both methods worked out well. I concluded that it’s not necessary to vacuum seal the jars before cooking.
Recipes by: Cathy Loughman