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How to Make a Restaurant Sous Vide Meal at Home Using a Codlo

January 18, 2020

Not all of us are chefs. Personally, I neither had the means nor the time to fully devote myself to a career in the culinary arts. But what I DID have is a keen interest in food and cooking. And thanks to the Food Network and the Internet, I’ve been able to pick up a few tips and techniques along to the way to help me prep, process and cook some decent meals—some approaching (I’d like to think) those you’d get at restaurants.

This won’t happen overnight, though. Through experimentation, constant tinkering and yes, more than enough epic failures, you too, can make a meal that (hopefully) could be worth serving in a restaurant.

So roll up those sleeves, put your apron on and keep an open mind, because today we’re cooking some Sous Vide Ribeye with Red Wine/Shallot Reduction!

WAIT…SOUS WHAT?

We’ve all seen the term hyped on the web and local menus: 24-hour this, 48-hour that—but what is sous vide? Simply put, sous vide is a professional cooking technique that uses four basic things: 1.) consistent cooking temperature 2.) a sealed vacuum environment 3.) a water bath and 4.) time.

When all of these things come together, chefs can remove the unpredictability of cooking meat and proteins when using normal methods like grilling, pan searing and oven roasting. There is a very, very fine line between undercooked and well done. Sous vide lets you hit that sweet spot, every single time.

That, and meats get crazy tender.

The price of such using such a technique was once reserved for restaurant kitchens and pro chefs, with sous vide circulators starting in the high PHP 20,000 price point, excluding industrial food vacuum sealers. Thankfully, recent home innovations have come out now make it possible to bring sous vide into your home. There are now price points for every home chef wanting to get into the sous vide game. Various manufacturers like Nomiku, Sansaire and the Anova have sous vide gadgets that start at US$150.00 and above. I chose a relatively cheaper Codlo, a project that I chanced upon as a Kickstarter project in late 2013. At about US$ 99.00, the Codlo only needed a rice cooker or slow cooker to aid it.

Sous Vide1

This is the Codlo. It’s a small-ish device that plugs into your outlet. The Codlo basically hacks and modulates the temperature of the rice cooker/slow cooker so the temperature of the water bath stays constant for a specified amount of time.

Saucemaryosep!

Don’t get me wrong—when it comes to steak, I’m more of a salt-and-pepper type of guy. But in the interest of being classy, I tried my hand at making a restaurant-quality sauce. In this case, I cribbed a recipe from Gordon Ramsay via the BBC Food website. It’s a classic sauce that doesn’t require too many ingredients. Get The Recipe

*On a side note, it was in the course of preparing this article that I found out shallots were locally known as Sibuyas Tagalog. See? You learn a new thing every day!

Let’s Get Cooking!

The key part of this recipe is preparing the meat for sous vide, which basically means sealing it in a food-safe zip bag and placing it in a water bath.

I set my Codlo to heat up the slow cooker to 58˚C to cook for one hour.

While it heated up, I plunked the meat into a food-safe zip bag.

Now creating a vacuum seal is really important when cooking sous vide. I could never afford a food vacuum sealer, so ghetto technique works here. You can either seal it using the water displacement method or in this case, via a carefully placed plastic straw. Be careful as you might end up with a mouthful of meat juice!

Voila! A semi-perfect vacuum seal.

Once the water bath is up to the desired temperature, carefully place the meat in the water bath. I timed this for one hour.

20 minutes before cooking time is done, start your sauce.

After an hour, carefully take the meat packet out of the water bath.

Sous vide meat looks horrible out of the bag; don’t worry, the meat is perfectly cooked and all the juices are sealed inside! The final task is to sear it in a hot pan.

Season the meat beforehand with salt and pepper, then sear as needed, preferably 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side (depending on the thickness of the steak). Looks much better, yes?

Let the steak rest for a few minutes, then carefully slice against the grain into strips. Try to resist eating the pieces as you’ve got to plate the rest of the dish.

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To finish the dish, lay down a bed of baby spinach on a plate, then carefully position the steak strips on it. Take the sauce and spoon enough to coat the meat.

…aaaand you’re done! Pair with your favorite bottle of wine and hopefully, a person willing to partake in your culinary experiment. And don’t forget to upload it to Instagram.

There are many excellent resources for home chefs and those who want to up their culinary game. Some of my go-to sites are Chef Steps, Tasting Table, The Kitchn, Food52, and of course, Serious Eats.

Interested in the Codlo? It’s available for pre-order now on codlo.com. Share with us the restaurant meals you prepare at home by leaving a comment below!

Jason Drilon Jason Drilon

Jason recently packed his bags and moved to Denmark to work for the world’s most awesome toy brand. And after more than a month, he has only learned to say “Hi,” “Thank you,” and “I want to eat an apple” in Danish.

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One response to “How to Make a Restaurant Sous Vide Meal at Home Using a Codlo”

  1. Dethrone says:

    Nice guide on cooking steak with Sous Vide. My only concern is to where to buy a machine here in the Philippines. I’m from Albay province so I’m doing some online search buying one.

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