April 19, 2007
Cooking:Low, slow and succulent
Turn the heat way, way down, then relax -- for deliciously tender results.
A new oven is being billed as the greatest invention since the discovery of fire itself. This high-tech contraption, seemingly a cross between a furnace and a microwave, allegedly can roast a whole rack of lamb in 6 1/2 minutes flat. Which sounds impressive if all you want is chops on the table in less time than you would need to set it.
Posted by James Zellmer at April 19, 2007 9:13 PM
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If you want an almost transcendental experience, though, the only route is low and slow, no special equipment required.
Cooking meat, or seafood, slowly and at extremely low temperatures does more than get the job done. It changes everything for the better — the texture turns more tender, the flavor becomes more concentrated — which is why chefs around the world, such as Ferran Adrià, David Bouley and, closer to home, Govind Armstrong, are so enamored of sous-vide. They seal food in plastic, then poach it at super-low temperatures. But it's astonishingly easy to get the same effect using only the appliance you have, not the one you dream of: Turn the oven to a setting just above what you would use to keep pancakes warm, or on the stove, bring a pot of water to just below a simmer. Insert ribs or sea scallops or whatever.
And in very little time you will be biting into the most true-to-itself pork or shellfish you have ever experienced.