I went ahead and did the sous-vide short rib thing. I got five short ribs from Whole Foods, dried them for a day in the fridge, threw some salt and pepper on them, and then threw them into a pair of vacuum pouches. Compared to using the FoodSaver bags when meat juices would inevitably attack what could otherwise be a good seal, having a chamber vacuum makes this easy now. I highly recommend the investment. The “squeeze the air out of a ziploc with water” approach usually works well, but I’m less comfortable with it when we start looking at the length of time these things end up in the water bath.
So, yeah, that’s probably the worst part about this recipe. You vacuum pack the ribs, put them in a water bath at 55C for … 60 hours. I used the 7603C with a ball blanket and a lid in a big Cambro, and only lost about an inch of water to evap during this period. After 60 hours, you raise the temperature to 62.5C for the terminal 12 hours. I’m not sure why, but after 60 hours I was getting paranoid, despite all understandings otherwise that things were perfectly safe. This leads to the second-worse part of this recipe: Short ribs look gross in a vacuum bag after they’ve been in a water bath for 3 days:
Luckily, they’re beautiful once you torch them. The ribs I got from Whole Foods were poorly trimmed and didn’t have much meat on them, but they sure did turn out delicious:
The notion of eating medium-rare rib meat is still a little disconcerting, but oh-so-delicious.