For this week’s Sous Vide Saturday, I bagged and sealed a gorgeously marbled piece of pork shoulder with a North Carolina style vinegar barbecue sauce made with white vinegar, molasses, dark brown sugar, salt, pimentón (smoked paprika), mustard powder, garlic, ketchup, and black pepper.
After going into the Sous Vide Supreme for a day and a half at 75 degrees C, the collagen had broken down into unctuous gelatin and yet the meat still retained most of its moisture. While it obviously didn’t have smoke rings, the smoked paprika imparted enough smoke flavor that it tasted like it could have come straight from a smoker.
Where it differed was the that meat was so moist and tender, the pork practically pulled itself. Also, there was no “crust” of flavor, instead, the sauce had absorbed all the way into the meat, making each bite as flavorful as the next. Tossed with some of the remaining sauce and piled between two pieces of white bread, it made for a messy lunch-time feast.
Sous vide won’t ever replace the smoker as a method of cooking, but for someone who doesn’t doesn’t have a yard, it makes a pretty good alternative.