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.

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