While I’ll freely admit that I have become quite addicted to cooking with my sous-vide, it’s not the only way I have for cooking food. The novelty of sous-vide has worn off to a degree, so now it’s a key part of my cooking, but it isn’t the only way I’ll cook!
I like getting meat from a butcher instead of a supermarket. There are a number of reasons for this, but a very good one is that the overall quality of the meat is usually better when you go to a local butcher. You’re also supporting a local small business instead of a faceless multinational supermarket chain!
My local butcher often offers “deals” where it works out to be more economical to buy more meat in one go than you’d normally use. I don’t like buying too much at one go, as it’ll go off before I get to use it and I don’t like freezing meat. One of the reasons I disliked freezing meat was that in order to cook it you had to first defrost it, then prep and cook it. So if you wanted to eat the chicken breast you froze last week you’d need to take it out of the freezer in the morning and hope it’d have thawed enough by the time you got home from the office.
With sous-vide cooking, however, you can make this process a hell of a lot simpler. Take chicken breast for example. You’ll often get several on special at the butcher or maybe your local supermarket is doing an offer on a tray. It’s more than one person or two are going to eat, so you’d normally either skip the offer or freeze half the pack. With the sous-vide you can cut that down to something a lot saner using some vacuum bags and a bit of seasoning.
Simply prep the chicken breast as you would if you were going to put it in the sous-vide ie. add some seasoning and then pack portions into the airtight vacuum bags. They don’t need to be anything particularly fancy – I’ve been using some of the freezer bags that you can get in most shops in packs of 20 or more. Pop the portions into the freezer.
Now when you want to cook some chicken breast just do it as you would normally in the sous-vide and simply add an hour to the cooking time.
Simple and effective!