Sous Vide Essentials: Chunky Mashed Potatoes
Andy Anderson !
And better yet they do not require any milk or cream. Most times, I do not need an excuse to make these. They are a perfect comfort food.
So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.
2 largerusset potatoes, about 2 pounds (900g)
2 clovegarlic minced
1 Tbspolive oil, extra virgin variety
1/4 tspsalt, kosher variety, or to taste
1/4 tspblack pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
4 Tbspsweet butter, unsalted
·freshly grated parmesan cheese, for topping
·chopped crispy bacon, yummy
·a sprinkling of freshly chopped herbs
How to Make Sous Vide Essentials: Chunky Mashed Potatoes
- What is Sous Vide?
Simply put, Sous Vide is a machine that circulates water at a very precise temperature (within a single degree). The food item is then placed in a vacuum-sealed bag, or Ziploc bag with all the air squeezed out, and placed in the water bath for a predetermined amount of time.
Since the food is sealed, there is no moisture loss, and since you are precisely controlling the temperature, things come out perfect every time.
For example, how would you like to make perfect hard- or soft-boiled eggs every time? Since it is all about temperature and time, Sous Vide has you covered.
Here is another example… the perfect medium rare steak is to take it off the grill at 140f (60c), and allow carryover cooking to raise it to 145f (63c)… Perfection.
So, you set the Sous Vide machine to 140f (60c). Toss in the steak for one, two, up to 3 hours. Since the water bath is set to a precise temperature, it cannot go higher than medium rare. You take it out of the bath, give it a quick sear on both sides… Perfection.
Another advantage is that since the food is sealed, you are not cooking or washing away all those good vitamins and minerals.
- Can you Sous Vide without the Machine?
Yes and No. Some people have put the water bath in the oven. But there are two problems with that. First, most ovens do not go low enough, and second, the Sous Vide machine circulates the water thru the use of a pump. In the oven, the water is not moving, so the temperature of the bath would be inconsistent. And, I will add a third reason: No machine can hold a temperature like Sous Vide.
Another method would be heating the water on the stovetop. However, you still have the problem of the water not circulating; plus, attempting to hold a pot of water to a precise temperature would be a bit dodgy.
So, if you want to experience the benefits of Sous Vide cooking, you need the machine.
- Back to this Recipe: Chunky Mash Potatoes
I wanted a side dish that would produce moist yummy potatoes that were a bit on the chunky side; plus, I did not want to use any milk or cream. I needed to know what the best temperature was to cook them, so I took one potato, cut it into 1/2-inch slices, and individually sealed them into vacuum bags. I cooked each one for 90 minutes at different temperatures starting at 180f (82c) and went up in 5-degree increments.
At 180f (82c), 185f (85c), and 190f (88c), the potatoes were a bit too firm for my tastes; however, at 195f (91c) I found my sweet spot. Moist, yet firm.
Just to be on the safe side, I did one more at 200f (93c) and although they made great mash potatoes, they were too soft to be chunky. I had found the best temperature in a window of a few degrees.
The only way you are going to pull that off is with a Sous Vide machine. Full Stop
- Water Displacement Method
If you are not using a vacuum-sealing machine (Food Saver, etc.), then you, most likely, are employing standard plastic food bags (Ziploc, etc.).
To get as much of the air out of the bag, as possible, fill it with food and slowly sink the open bag into a pan of water, while keeping the open end just above the waterline. The pressure of the water will push against the bag and force out most of the air. Then, seal the bag and you are ready to sous vide.
If I am using Ziploc-type bags, I always clip the bag to the side of the container with the zip-seal portion above the water line.
One more thing, do not use the “regular” Ziploc bags; use the ones designed to go into the freezer. They are much stronger and less prone to leaks.