Do you slow cook? That isn’t a jab at your speediness in the kitchen. Slow cooking is actually a super convenient, budget-friendly method of cooking that was originally a big hit in the 1970s and is now experiencing a revival (exactly like flared jeans!) The beauty of slow cooking is that it requires minimal preparation but long cooking time so you can get your meal going in the morning before heading off to work and come home later to dinner ready, just waiting to be eaten. Slow cooking is traditionally done in a crock/stock pot or casserole dish but modern technology has seen this humble kitchen receptacle transformed into an electrical appliance with some fantastic extra features.
Sous vide, another method of low-temperature cooking, has its origins in the industrial food preservation movement but has gained true stardom in recent times due to its use in high-end gourmet restaurants around the world. Sous vide cooking involves sealing food in an airtight plastic bag and placing it in a water bath for a longer cooking time than usual (up to 72 hours in some recipes!) and at a temperature lower than normal for cooking. The idea here – like with slow cooking – is to cook the ingredients evenly, ensuring ultimate tenderness and juiciness.
The Sunbeam Duos Sous Vide and Slow Cooker, $199, is – just as it sounds – a sous vide and slow cooker in one, for all your low-temperature cooking needs. It’s the ultimate modern appliance: combining traditional cooking methods with contemporary design. A leader in its field, Sunbeam’s nifty little appliance is actually the second domestic sous vide machine to be launched in the Australian market! With this one you’ll be able to create succulent meals using the sous vide setting or delicious soups and casseroles on slow cooker mode. It has a countdown timer, electronic temperature control (ranging from 40°C to 90°C), and we award bonus points for it being dishwasher safe.
Some sous vide/slow cooking tips:
- All kinds of food can be cooked with the Sunbeam Duos Sous Vide and Slow Cooker: meat, fish, seafood, most vegetables, eggs and even fruit.
- If using meat, brown it first in a pan for added flavour before chucking it into the sous vide/slow cooker.
- Tougher cuts of meat are better in terms of value for money and flavour.
- Keep in mind that because these methods involve low temperatures, certain raw ingredients like garlic, which require high heat to cook through aren’t suitable. Such flavours are better added via powdered seasonings.
- You can even slow cook lasagne: repeat layers of pasta sauce, lasagne sheets, ricotta cheese, pesto, baby spinach, top off with parmesan and mozzarella and cook for 6 hours.
- Slow cooked ginger beer pulled pork is a sure-fire winner: pour 1 can or bottle of ginger beer over 450g of pork tenderloin and cook for 6-7 hours. Drain the pork well and shred it.
- How about some applesauce to go with your pork? Throw in 4 skinned, cored and quartered apples, the juice from 1 lemon, cinnamon to taste, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and ¼ cup water. Cover and cook for 4-6 hours and mash with a fork when done.
- Finally, dazzle them at your next dinner party by jazzing up champagne with some sous vide-infused raspberry syrup:
- Combine 700g fresh raspberries with 4 cups each of sugar and water in a vacuum-sealed pouch
- Cook for 2 hours on the sous vide setting at 60°C
- Remove the pouch, let it cool briefly and then drop it into a bowl of ice water for 30 minutes
- Strain the infusion into a clean bottle/jar
- Pour 30ml of the raspberry syrup into a champagne flute and add 120-130ml of bubbles
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