Cooking in a bag is and will be for some time an adventure for the ordinary among us. Now don’t get offended, I am talking about myself, the average guy in the street and I definitely regard myself to be one.
Cooking in a concealed environment: Cooking in a bag is not all too new. For centuries, people have explored the possibilities of transporting and cooking liquid rich food in casings like parts of the animals they slaughtered.
Intestines and stomachs were popular for these purposes. The obvious reason would have been, that there were no plastic bags. Cooking in a concealed pouch concept remains the same.
Today we still make sausages using intestines, stomachs are still used in Scotland. Other parts of the world use old age traditional dishes, black pudding is a good example. In case you wonder, black pudding is a sausage made from animal blood. Then there is Haggis, minced offal of sheep, pork or cows, seasoned with onions, suet, and oatmeal. Cooked in the stomach of the slaughtered animal. Call it poor man’s food if you like, but Haggis is enjoyed by many.
Today Haggis is also made in artificial casings or vacuum bags for that matter. The real thing must have a stomach as the casing. People line up for the delicacy at festivals and other special occasions. To prepare Haggis is a daunting task, you need to clean the stomach, mince the offal then transform it into a stuffing and cook the whole thing for hours at a low temperature, not everyone’s cup of tea.
We are lovers of convenience. For many when we read of an elaborated gourmet style recipe, the labor intensiveness is something that puts us off before we even get started.
Do we cook conventionally because mom used to cook like that? Personally I believe we do. Remarks like, home cooking, grandmothers style and tastes like my mom’s cooking are frequent reappearing in recipe and menus. So that’s what we do, we cook on a stove with pots and frying pans.
The consensus that Sous Vide cooking provides for astonishing textures to meat, and vegetables have been acknowledged by many professionals and a small army of amateurs that give it a go. People trying Sous Vide are growing by the day. But to say that vacuum sealed cooking is a regular occurrence in the average household would be an exaggeration as well.
Cooking in a vacuum bag has been adopted by European chefs since the nineteen seventies with American chefs being cautious due to food safety concerns as the reluctance was reported. Stepping away from tradition takes some courage plus the love for fire-bitten textures from flame grilling, pan searing and the crisp textures from the ever popular deep fryer were an undeniable part of the hesitating attitude. The love for crisp textures does not have to be denied, sous vide cooked meat can easily be grilled or pan fried after the cooking process. Lovely tender textures, combined with a crisp finish make for the perfect culinary marriage.
If you like to read more about food safety when cooking vacuum sealed food click here: Portland food safety
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