An experimental sous-vide dinner

A happy New Year to you all! *cue: party poppers, streamers, confetti, etc*

To be honest the Christmas and the New Year period felt like eons ago, especially after having spent it overseas and with mad last minute dashing about just before leaving. Flights were booked well in advance but packing coincided with the usual end of year rush and trying to catch up with various people before they disappeared on respective holidays themselves. An experimental sous-vide-cum-Christmas dinner was organised with the usual suspects Chez Délicieuse et Poisson – something I’ve been wanting to do since slow cooking eggs in our thermos kettle.

The table was set and a wreath of bread (made with this recipe) was on the table for when guests arrived. A generous amount of unsalted butter pre-mixed with truffle salt was on offer to slather over said bread. Shots of cauliflower soup laced with truffle oil and shredded parmesan were served as an appetiser with lavosh crackers alongside.

The first course of ‘Bacon & Egg on Toast’ was constructed with a base of croutons tossed in truffle oil, upholding a slow-cooked 60/60 egg and topped with bacon crumbs. The slightly retro parfait glasses they were served in were a find when clearing out stuff at my mother-in-law’s!

The second course was sous-vide chuck steak, a cut normally reserved for stewing, served with cauliflower purée and green salad. Had the weather been colder, I would’ve attempted cooking some vegetables sous-vide as accompaniments. An earlier trial run (pictured below) saw a corn and avocado salsa served alongside instead, and the steak cooked to medium after an hour’s bath at 60°C. Lower the temperature slightly to 55°C and you’ll get more of a medium rare.

There is plenty of online literature for sous-vide cooking tips, and the biggest take-home message is that care must be taken for protein to reach a minimum temperature in order to kill off harmful bacteria. The resulting meat is more tender and juicy, but what doesn't seem to be mentioned is that it cooks to an unappetising grey colour when you fish it out of the water bath – but all is rectified once the steak has been seared in a hot pan!

And dessert? Well, it was more of the cheesecake ice-cream served with strawberries and crushed digestive biscuits. I had toyed with the idea of cooking the strawberries sous-vide as well, but got lazy in the end. Like all dinners, this one took a bit of planning and prepping however, overall, it felt less stressful as there was hardly any last-minute cooking involved. Cooking sous-vide takes the pressure off strict timing in that respect, and I’m all for less stress in the kitchen.

happy cooking!


  1. I love the bacon, eggs and toast dish and that runny egg yolk shot! Happy new year Rita!

  2. Amazing meal, all the dishes look spectacular, especially the beef. I'm going to copy the idea of truffle salted butter (yum).

  3. Awesome! Was looking forward to hearing about your dinner ever since you told me. Bacon & eggs on toast is ingenious! So... When are you going to invite me over for dinner? :)

  4. wow your wreath bread looks so pretty! and neat too! kudos

  5. Super classy Christmas dinner miss! I love the retro glasses (nevermind the fact that you managed to do a hack-job sous vide meat at home). The wreath and the table look lovely too :)

  6. Happy New Year! I agree with Phuoc, when is the invite for dinner? Looked so awesome and you have perked my interest in using chuck in a sous-vide, would of never thought of using it, but makes sense.

  7. The bread wreath looks amazing! And mmmm cheesecake ice cream. That's definitely on my list!!

  8. This is an amazing spread! Would love to attempt these dishes one day :) really love the bacon and egg on toast in a glass ^^

  9. What a beautiful dinner. I need and want that electric thermo kettle!

  10. What a gorgeous looking table setting, so inviting!

    The whole meal looks amazing, the truffle oil YUM!

    I can't believe that was a chuck steak! WOW

    Cheesecake ice-cream is my favourite :)

  11. Everything looks wonderful. Nest time, we must arrange for some tasters (ME) to attend! Have a great 2012...

  12. I wanna come for dinner at your house! :P Everything looks delicious.

    P.S. What program do you use for those collages?

  13. Good to know about the grey steak, haha, in case I ever am adventurous enough to sous-vide steak at home. Happy new year!

  14. Hey Jacq, I think the bacon, eggs and toast was my favourite too as it was more "intersting" than the steak.

    Hey Bel, the truffle salted butter is so easy too!

    Hey Phuoc, you should read the other stuff out there about cooking steak sous-vide in an esky!

    Hey sugarpuffi, thanks! I actually handled it a bit too much and it developed some surface wrinkles haha =p

    Hey shez, I wanna make a dessert in those glasses now!

    Hey Sara, chuck is very tasty, just have to choose pieces with minimal sinew.

    Hey catty, I still have some of that cheesecake ice-cream in my freezer...

    Hey Vivian, I also love that I basically served breakfast in a glass at dinner =p

    Hey penny, you can get the thermos kettles here in Asian stores but they're much cheaper in Asia.

    Hey Gourmet Getaways, chuck steak also makes for an economical dinner =D

    Hey Kitchen Butterfly, haha, I'd absolutely love to see you if you're in Sydney!

    Hey April, awww...thanks! *blush*

    Hey jenius, it's seriously grey! Like meat which has been boiled in a soup.


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