This is one of those instances. It started with an offer from Butcher Block Box, a company that ships meat to people who subscribe to the service. I said, sure, send me meat. I will review it. I mentioned them recently in a gift guide, because a meat subscription would be a nice gift for a lot of people.
Not the vegans or vegetarians on your list. They wouldn't be thrilled with you at all. But just about anyone else would probably like a box of frozen meat.
My shipment was delayed by a day because of a train derailment. Sheesh. Of course the perishables would get delayed. Even though the package arrived a day later than it was supposed to, the meat was frozen solid. So they get bonus points for good packaging.
This is just part of what arrived:
I chose the beef and pork option, because I had just bought chicken and I've noticed a much greater variation in quality with beef and pork than with chicken. I mean, yeah, some chicken is better than others, but it's never chewy, like a bad steak can be.
I got a nice variety of meats - some steaks, ground beef, thin-cut steak, a pork loin roast, and bacon. Everything was packed in reasonable amounts. Nothing too big to deal with. The pork loin roast was the biggest item.
I tried one of the steaks first, followed by the thin-cut steak. I had no idea what to expect with that, but the slices were really really really thin. Like for sandwiches. Which is what happened after I have that a quick saute on the stove.
I stared at the pork roast for a while. I thought about roasting it, but then decided to cook it sous vide. Yup, me and my sous vide. Again.
I considered cooking it in the same bag it came in, considering it was nicely vacuum-sealed, but decided I wanted to season it first. After it was fully thawed, I tossed it into a sous vide bag, then sprinkled on some Penzeys seasoned salt, then some Penzeys Mural of Flavor. It's an unsalted seasoning mix that's one of my favorites. Good flavor, but kind of universal and non-threatening.
In retrospect, I should have sprinkled the spices onto the meat before putting it in the bag for more even distribution, but it wasn't a big deal. As soon as the meat had released some juices and the bag was looser, I massaged the spices around to get the meat more evenly coated. It was just fine.
The finished meat was decidedly pink rather than white. If that bothers you with pork, you'll need to raise the temperature. But despite what your grandmother told you, pink pork is perfectly pleasant.
Sous Vide Pork Roast
- 1 smallish boneless pork loin roast - I'm guessing it was about 2-3 pounds - I didn't check the label before I tossed the packaging.
- Seasoned salt - I'm guessing I used about 1/2 teaspoon, or perhaps a little more.
- Penzeys Mural of Flavor (or other seasoning you like) a generous teaspoon or more.
- Olive oil - about 2 tablespoons, or enough to coat the bottom of the pan.
Sprinkle the seasonings on the meat and place the meat in a vacuum-sealer bag. Vacuum seal the bag. Obvious, right?
Set up your sous vide. I have an Anova sous vide with wireless and I use a large stockpot for cooking. Set the heat for 140 degrees and the time for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
When the time is up, remove the meat from the water bath. Open the bag and remove the meat.
Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the meat, fat-side down. Let the meat brown on that side, then turn it so that all sides get browned.
Remove the meat from the pan. Slice and serve.
This is also really good cold, for roast pork sandwiches. Yum.
I received meat from Butcher Block Box at no cost to me. I received the Anova sous vide at no cost to me quite a while ago. I have no obligation to continue posting about it, but I use it a lot. I have no relationship with Penzeys except that I like a lot of their products.