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Food

How to Sous Vide Short Ribs: Chef Keller’s Short Rib Sous Vide Recipe

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Oct 2, 2020 • 3 min read

Sous vide cooking, like all cooking, is about time and temperature. You can adjust either or both to influence your results.

Chef Thomas Keller demonstrates this by walking through two short rib preparations: two short ribs cooked sous vide, one at 62°C for 48 hours and another at 79°C for a cooking time of 24 hours (the recipe remains the same, simply the time and temperatures are adjusted).

As Chef Keller notes, some juice from the meat has collected in the vacuum sealer bag around the 62°C short rib, which has been cooked long enough to break down its muscle and fibers but not at a high enough temperature so as to render out much of the fat that gives the meat its flavor. By contrast, more fat and juices will collect around the 79°C short rib, resulting in a smaller piece of meat that is more similar in texture to the traditionally braised short rib.

The serving options are endless when it comes to sous vide short ribs: Pan-sear them like a steak, slice them and toss them into a salad, or serve them with a traditional sauce, such as one that is red wine veal stock–based.

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What Can You Sous Vide?

Many other proteins can be cooked in the same simplified sous vide method as the short ribs shown here. Chef Keller urges you to try this preparation with any meat that can be compressed in plastic wrap: chicken, duck breast, fish fillets ranging from sea bass to swordfish. But it’s important to keep in mind the shape of the protein when choosing what you’re going to cook. A sirloin might be difficult to roll and compress in plastic because of its shape, whereas a fillet of beef would compress well. Remember Chef Keller’s golden rule: If you can form it into a cylinder, then you can cook it this way

Basic Sous Vide Cooking Safety Rules

Certain basic safety rules apply to each step of sous vide.

  1. Sealing. Chill the food, or sear the food if that is called for and then chill it immediately and thoroughly. Seal the chilled food and either cook it immediately or store it at 3.3°C (38°F) or below.
  2. Cooking. Cook the food, remove it from the bag, and serve it. Cook the food, leave it in the bag, and chill it in an ice bath to 1°C (34°F) then refrigerate or freeze.
  3. Storing. Store the food (chilled first if it has been cooked) in the refrigerator at or below about 3.3°C (38°F) or freeze it. Defrost food in the refrigerator before using.
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How Long Can You Sous Vide Short Ribs?

Cook a short rib at 79ºC for 24 hours to achieve a texture similar to that of a traditionally braised short rib. Also, experiment with adding herbs and spices into the bag to impart your own flavors. Some possibilities include black pepper or a sprig of thyme.

Chef Thomas Keller’s Sous Vide Short Rib Recipe

Serves
2
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
48 hr 10 min
Cook Time
48 hr

Ingredients

  • 1 portion boneless short rib, approximately 210 grams and about 1 inch thick
  • Kosher salt
  • Canola oil
  • 30 grams unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes

Equipment:

  • Plastic container for water bath
  • Immersion circulator
  • Single-use gloves
  • Vacuum sealer bag
  • Chamber vacuum sealer
  • Aluminum foil
  • Kitchen scissors
  • Kitchen towel or paper towels
  • Small sauté pan
  • Plate lined with paper towels
  • Slicing knife or chef’s knife
  • Cutting board
  • Spoon
  1. Prepare a water bath with an immersion circulator set to 62ºC.
  2. Season both sides of the short rib with salt. Vacuum seal the short rib in a vacuum sealer bag and place it into the 62ºC water bath. Cover the water bath container with aluminum foil to retain heat and minimize evaporation.
  3. Cook the short rib for 48 hours.
  4. Remove the short rib from the plastic bag and use a kitchen towel or paper towel to pat it dry.
  5. Set a small sauté pan over high heat. Pour enough oil in the pan to thinly coat the bottom. When the oil starts to smoke, place the short rib in the pan, searing each side for about 30 seconds. Add the butter to the top of the short rib, lower the heat to medium, and baste the short rib with the butter, about 30 seconds.
  6. Transfer the short rib to a plate lined with paper towels to drain briefly. Slice the short rib on a bias and serve as desired.

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