May 2012

I had previously done a roast to a 48 hour limit, and found it to be good and tender, but also to suffer from a sawdust-like flavor and texture, a product perhaps of too much drying. I was also interested in Stefan Gourmet’s finding that sous-vide juices are much more usable after being heated and strained (Stefan also has a very usable vegetable stock recipe as well).

The roast used was a 3 pound chuck roast, which I squeezed into a quart Food Savr bag. It would have been better to use a custom bag, as the quart bag was a little small and it took work to seal it. Spicing was pretty simple. Onion and garlic powders, various peppers (cracked black pepper, red and cayenne pepper powder, paprika, crushed red peppers), slivers of garlic inserted into folds in the meat, thyme and rosemary, sage and parsley. Dry spices were used, as to not overpower the meat.

This was cooked at 131F for 22 hours. A buffalo steak was added at the same time, and fished out four hours later. The final product looked like this coming out of the pot.

The juices were saved, and looked a bit like this.

We heated the juices to almost a simmer, the pot turning into a scummy brown. This we then strained, using a collander and a pre-moistened paper towel (pre-moistening reduces liquid loss). We tried skimming, but as the scum retains considerable liquid, we later put everything into the collander and let it drain. This gave us perhaps a cup of clear colored liquid. This we treated as if it were a beef stock. It was sealed in a jar and placed in the refrigerator.

In the fridge, after a day, this liquid will turn cloudy. That’s not because of any bacterial growth, but the product gels a bit in the refrigerator.

Good roast. Some chew left, but tender and flavorful.

The roast we started eating immediately. It was good warm, perhaps better cold. I was lucky to have prepared it when I did, as the capacitor went out in the air conditioning and it was a couple days before we could get the aircon fixed. So, once the house was cool, we went about making a reduction of the liquid. To note, the liquid was gelatinous when fetched. Heat got rid of that in a couple minutes.

We set a pot on a simmer, and towards the end of the liquid loss, added slices of garlic, some dry thyme, some cracked pepper, some red wine, and some butter to the pot. The final product looked good. If I have any warning, taste test what you add to your liquid, and taste test the reduction itself. That would allow you to adjust for any off flavors.

Cold slices of roast with the final reduction.

The local supermarkets, perhaps encouraged by Nam Dae Mun, are now offering a more interesting selection of meats.

Buffalo sirloin.

I was curious about bison. Ted’s serves it, as did the now closed Ruby Tuesday. It tends to be tastier than beef, but in the portions shown, a bit expensive. 8 ounces of buffalo steak cost me about $6.80, close to 14 dollars a pound.

I prepped the steak in a traditional way, dry spicing before sealing in a pint bag. This went into the sous-vide pot for four and a half hours at 131 F. The result?

This was the most tender steak I’ve ever prepped by this method. Utterly delicious.

It’s a hole in the wall at the corner of Five Forks and Sugarloaf Parkway, in the same location as the now closed Totori Fresh Grill. It’s pretty, just recently opened, and already police are stopping there, on cycles no less.

Once inside, you order at a countertop from a whiteboard menu above the counter. To the left of the counter is a pastry display.

Athens Grill has a pretty basic menu: gyros and kofta kabobs and souvlaki steaks, very similar to the online menus I can find for the Loganville Athens Grill. Same owners? Perhaps, but there is no mention of any chain on the take out menus.

Souvlaki steak platter, extra salad and no fries. Like a cheese steak in a pita.

Kofta kababs, with fries.

Super gyro platter, extra salad.

#1 (gyro) with fries.

There are sweets as well. Bird’s nests, little roses, baklava.

Bird’s nest upper left and lower right. Little roses, upper middle. Baklava on the upper right.

My family preferred the little roses. Not too sweet, they said.

Athens Grill
1430 Five Forks Trickum Road, Suite 260
Lawrenceville GA 30044

Athens Grill on Urbanspoon

Yes, we’ve been here, and this restaurant has been reviewed at least twice (see here and here and here). But there have been some changes since. The habanero salsa is gone, the corn cobs are now corn chunks. The menu was subdued, reduced in size because of the holiday. That said, we found a few things to nibble on.

squid quesadilla.


Roasted corn.

Beans and rice.