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Tetsuya’s views on sous vide potential

Jon Condon, 25/05/2012

A sample of sous vide prepared oyster blade prepared during a recent MLA food service seminar in JapanYesterday’s Beef Central item on the potential to apply the sous vide cooking process to secondary beef cuts has attracted comment from lofty places – no less that Australia’s most famous and internationally acclaimed restaurant, Tetsuya’s.

Senior Tetsuya’s staffer, Mike Dore, a regular Beef Central reader, posted a comment on yesterday’s article (“Sous vide offers great potential to re-value secondary beef cuts”), saying it was good to see the industry giving the (high-end food service) end-user a nod.

“Sous Vide truly is a great technique,” Mr Dore said. “However a word of warning. It should be treated as two steps, and with respect, for food safety reasons. It is not simply a matter of tossing a piece of vacuum-packed meat in a hot water bath.”

“The first important step is the vacuum and sealing process, where all oxygen must be removed and the bag and effectively heat-sealed to prevent re-pressurisation of the bag or contents. The heat-seal must be moisture-proof for immersion,” he said.

“Secondly, regarding the bath, thermostat and propulsion unit: it is crucial that the thermostat is stable and well-tested to accurately maintain the desired temperature, the water inlet and outlet must be kept clear and any free-floating bagged items are held beneath the surface to ensure constant temperatures.”

“Also these inlets and outlets must be covered to avoid the bag being burned by the heating element or clogging the jet.”

Tetsuya’s is a regular user of sous vide techniques, presently applying them to diverse items including spinach, asparagus and even pressing strawberries in the vacuum bags.

“True sous vide gives for total control of your chosen meat cut and cooking,” Mr Dore said.

“There is one big drawback, however, and that is that the cooked meats can all end up with the same, soft texture – as pleasant as it is.”

“Let’s be honest: sometimes you really want something to sink your teeth into. Hell, I think my favourite cut is a point of grassfed rump with the fat grilled over coals before turning the meat onto the hot grill,” he said.

“But having said that, sous vide definitely has its place in the red meat segment.”

“Keep up the good work, as it is not only the man on the land interested in what is going on in and around our farms,” Mr Dore said.

Tetsuya’s, in Sydney’s central business district, is arguably Australia’s best known restaurant, featuring regularly on top 50 lists of international dining establishments.

The venue has a close and long-standing supply relationship with Tasmanian Wagyu beef producer, Hammond Farms, which runs its cattle on Robbins Island in the state’s northwest.

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