Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Spicy Sous Vide BBQ Pork Chop and Collards with Bacon

Spicy BBQ Pork Chop and Collards with Bacon
This was a fairly simple meal that was one of my more successful cooking efforts in recent memory. Largely because of serendipity with complimentary flavors between the two dishes, wherein the apple cider vinegar in the collards and bbq sauce really unified the plate. In addition, I think the ancho chili powder I used in the dry rub for the pork accented the smokiness of the bacon in the collards. Complete and total luck for my part, as this was certainly not something I was thinking when I picked the dishes to go together... but it was definitely something I noticed as I tried to figure out why this meal was especially good. The pork chop was from Kenji at Serious Eats and the collards from Simply Recipes, with both recipes followed as written (though my chops were boneless). The collards were especially awesome, and I can't praise Elise's recipe enough... though my vegetarian wife was none too pleased with my "ruining" of a perfectly good pot of collards with bacon (I may in fact try a vegetarian version with liquid smoke).

I don't intend for this to become a "modernist" food blog... I have no plans to start messing with meat glue or spherification... but sous vide really is becoming my default for cooking meat. My favorite cooking is probably always going to be slow braises and hearty stews and the like, but if you ever see a pork chop, steak, or chicken breast on this blog it will most likely cooked sous vide. I don't really feel bad about that fact since I pretty much never cooked those things conventionally before anyway, and I think the picture below makes the case for sous vide quite strongly:
Sous Vide Spicy BBQ Pork Chop
That's the juiciest most perfectly cooked pork chop I could ever hope to make, and the fact is that sous vide makes it incredibly easy. The argument has always been one of price, but beyond the $100 DorkFood device I use, there are new all-in-one devices that are hitting at around a $200 price point. So I don't think sous vide is going to remain just a fad for cooking geeks... I'm not going to go as far as to say they'll be as ubiquitous as microwaves, but I think it's a cooking technique that is coming to the mainstream someday soon, so if you are not a fan you had best get used to it.