You are probably reading this hoping it’s a software glitch in the Anova or a hacking of the Joule that has led to this culinary failure. It is technically true that an app was responsible for the issues. But in reality, it’s my own dumbass behaviour that was the problem. The app in question is WhatsApp and the issue had nothing to do with the sous vide end of the cooking. I started over two days out, planning a 48 hour cook of my short ribs. At this stage, everything went according to plan.
I got myself some top notch short ribs from a quality butcher. I find that many butchers pawn off all sorts of rib bits as short ribs. I simple guide is that the meat needs to exceed both the fat and bone content. Otherwise, you are going to be getting pretty poor value, despite the low headline price. The best way to ensure this is for the butcher to take the rib from the short end (bottom) of the the rib. You can argue that one out with your supplier.
I trimmed some of the extraneous bits that don’t make for nice eating. Then I seasoned the meat well with black pepper and a good sprinkling of chilli flakes. I then vacuum sealed them and popped them into the sous vide for 48 hours at 55ºC.
All went well and I retrieved them from the bath. I painted them with a mixture of soy sauce and oyster sauce. This was designed to give them a luscious glaze and a nice sticky taste. I put the tray of ribs into a 200ºC fan oven. It was my intention to leave them there for ten minutes tops.
Then my phone rang. It was a family member (using WhatsApp) who needed to talk (Boy did he/she talk!) I didn’t get off the call for twenty minutes. Too late! The forty eight hours of sous vide was compromised by ten minutes too long in the oven. The ribs were still very tasty. The sauce mixture worked really well. But the ribs were too dry, a bit tough and just a bit too chewy.
Next time, I’ll leave the phone in another room. This is well worth doing again. I will do it and report back. But, if I don’t answer your call for help in the early evening, blame the ribs.