The Co-operative’s Slow Cooked range

February 8, 2013 by The Co-operative Food beef 29648

It wasn’t until I had the fantastic Pork Belly with Cracked Pepper and Apple Sauce that I even became aware of “sous vide” as a cooking method. I really enjoyed the succulent meat and tangy apple and cider sauce which is set off really well by the heat of the cracked pepper, so I decided to learn what sous vide is all about.

It turns out that it’s a fairly recent style of cooking that’s popular in France and that is gaining interest in British restaurants. Sous vide literally means “in a vacuum” or vacuum packed, and it has become a popular description for cooking meats slowly, sealed in a special plastic wrap. The meat in its plastic wrap is cooked very slowly in water at a specific temperature. That temperature is a lot lower than we’d use for conventional cooking.

Wow! That sounds different doesn’t it? What that means for your food is that the meat stays wonderfully succulent and juicy and that’s because the lower temperatures don’t cause the same reactions in the fibres of the meat that searing or frying bring about. The method was developed in France back in the 70s.

While you can try cooking sous vide style at home, you’ll need a serious piece of kit that holds the water at the perfect temperature. It’s a big water bath and while they are available for the home, they are expensive and take up a lot of room. I will be happy with the four great meals from The Co-operative’s ‘Slow Cooked’ range.

I’ve already said how good the Pork Belly with Cracked Pepper and Apple Sauce is, there’s also a very good Beef in Gravy that’s a great midweek meal, and you could even serve it for the Sunday roast. Try the Lamb Shank in Minted Gravy, we had it with crisp roast potatoes and a mountain of lovely steamed greens. I’m looking forward to the Chicken in Sage and Onion Gravy too, but I mustn’t get carried away, I’ll save that one until next week!

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