I’m a pretty simple cook when it comes to cooking up wild game cuisine, but when asked if I have ever tried cooking wild game in a SousVide Supreme machine, my first response was… “What the heck is it?”
After doing a little research on the product, I found that it’s a culinary way to cook your food in controlled and precise water bath or water oven. First you have to prep your meats or poultry with seasoning and/or herbs then place in a bag and vacuum-seal the bag being sure to remove all air. Then set your food into the warm water bath to simmer. Cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of your selected cuts of meat, anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
It’s noted by other users that cooking with this technique produces an outcome that is unlike any other cooking method. Tough cuts of meat become fork tender and can be left for longer cooking times without over cooking.
I selected pheasant to be one of my first tests using the machine. Having no idea what temperature I needed to use, I found a recipe to work with on the Sousvidesupreme.com website. The information gave me an idea on what temperature I needed to set the water too and an approximate length of time to cook ensuring that my pheasant would be cooked through to the correct temperature.
Of course I decided to try my hand at this after a long work day… I filled my water oven up at 5pm and set my temperature for 146F/63.5C. The machine took approximately 25-30 minutes to reach the correct temperature which gave me the time to prep my pheasant.
I breasted my pheasant and simply seasoned it with garlic powder, salt and pepper. I placed the breasts in a vacuum-seal bag, added several sprigs of thyme and 4 tablespoons of melted butter. I then vacuum-sealed by pheasant breasts removing all air.
In a second bag I added the legs of the pheasant with the same garlic powder, salt and pepper blend of spices, a few springs of thyme and another 4 tablespoons of melted butter. Vacuum-sealed and set aside.
Having both bags sealed, the machine beeped letting me know that my water oven was now at the set temperature of 146F/63.5C. I placed the breasts and legs into the water bath making sure that they were completely covered and put the lid on. Using the timer on the machine I decided to cook the pheasant for 1.5 hours. So figured dinner would be around 7:30pm.
Having read other’s reviews on this cooking technique, cooking in a water bath can generate some juicy and amazing flavors but what it does lack is the outer crispness or grill markings that I’m pretty accustomed too. You know that outer crust on a pan seared steak or the perfect criss-cross on a BBQ steak.
Now you should have a towel handy when removing the lid because of the condensation that’s built up you can drip water all over the place. I’m still working on my best technique to avoid this from happening directly on the plug of the machine.
Removing my pheasant from the water bath, I placed in a large bowl, grabbed a pair of scissors and opened the bag removing the pheasant breasts. I was saving the legs for another meal the next night. (Pheasant mushroom orechiette pasta – Recipe coming soon.)
Let me say it smelled incredibly good. I placed the breasts on a cutting board and decided to take a quick taste. Unbelievable… the pheasant was so buttery and fork tender that I was ready to eat it as it sat on the cutting board, but I had one more step that I wanted to take.
Heating up a pan on medium-high, I added a few more tablespoons of butter, sliced up the pheasant breasts and did a quick sauté until the butter added a little more color. Quickly removed, plated and served with mashed potatoes and gravy.
It was all gone after about 5 minutes.
My conclusion is that I ended up buying a machine. Now granted it’s not a cooking method that I would use for a quick turn-a-round dinner but more of a fine cooking technique for weekends, holidays or days off. Definitely worth the wait!
What’s next? Antelope Sirloin Steaks. (coming soon)
Do you have recipes for wild game cooking using the SousVide Supreme? If you do I’d be interested to hear how you’ve been using it for your home cooking. Thank you for sharing – Kristy