Sous Vide Pork Loin with rice pilaf and cherry red wine sauce – wow! If you like your pork moist and juicy, then sous vide is the way to go. I prefer my pork a little pink on the inside, and with sous vide, I can do this easily and safely.
- Sous Vide /so͞o ˈvēd/
- French – under vacuum
Sous vide is a method of cooking food sealed in a leak-proof bag at a precise temperature until the food becomes the desired temperature. It’s not quick, but it’s well worth the effort because the food cannot burn or become overcooked. It comes to the exact temperature you want.
Sous Vide Pork Loin
Pork loin is one of those meats that can be horrible very easily. It has very little fat and it’s a tender cut. That can be a problem for conventional cooking and barbecue. If it’s too hot, the outside will develop a burned crust while the inside is raw. That is why you have to use the indirect method when grilling outdoors. For the stovetop, in a cast-iron skillet, you also have to be very careful or the dog gets it. Sous vide makes a moist piece of meat that is flavorful and tender.
When I first heard of sous vide, I really couldn’t understand why anyone would want to cook something in a vacuum bag for an hour when you could cook it in a cast-iron skillet in a few minutes. Then I was talking with a friend who said I should I was missing out, I found one on Deal of the Day on Amazon, cooked with it, and got educated. Now, I’m a convert, and here’s why.
Why Sous Vide?
- Cast-iron is great, but it’s imprecise. If you go a little too long, you can go from perfectly cooked rare steak to just give it to the dog well-done in an instant. With sous vide, you take the steak out of the package, put it on your scorching preheated cast-iron skillet for a few seconds, turn it, and you’re done.
- Marinating is great. You put the marinade in the bag with the meat and while it’s cooking, because it’s under vacuum, it absorbs the marinade. Instead of marinating something in the fridge for an hour, it’s marinating while it’s cooking.
- Freezing – Yup, that’s right. Put the meat and marinade in the bag, seal it up and throw it in the freezer. Then when you want to eat it, just add a half an hour to the recommended cooking time. How simple is that?
- You have time to spend with your guests or have a nice glass of wine before dinner without rushing. Sweet!
I liked my sous vide cooker so much that I even bought a magnetic cheat sheet to put on the refrigerator. I highly recommend getting one. They are available on Amazon. The same folks make a handy dandy magnetic cheat sheet for the Instant Pot, too. I have both.
There are a couple of ways of sealing the food you want to prepare. You can use a regular heavy-duty, freezer-grade plastic bag and squeeze all the air out of it to keep it from bobbing up and down in the water. I really don’t recommend this method. The other is to use a vacuum sealer.
I have a Nesco vacuum sealer. Why not Food Saver? I had a Food Saver a few years ago, and it unexpectedly died. One day, after about a year, it just wouldn’t come on anymore. When I got tired of getting freezer burn on my food, I decided it was time for another sealer. I trust the Nesco brand and when I saw they had one, I got it.
One of the reasons I love it because I can buy a whole chuck roast, grind it into burgers and what have you, then seal the meat in a sealing bag, write what’s in it, and throw it in the freezer to keep fresh much, much longer than conventional freezer bags. I also use it to reseal some snack bags – no more stale chips for us! But, where it really stands out is for Sous Vide. I put the meat in the bag, seal it, plop it in the water with the immersion cooker, and the food doesn’t bob up and down because there is zero air inside the bag.
Now that I have convinced you that you need these things, let’s get cooking!
- 2 lbs Pork Loin
- 1/4 Red Onion
- 1/4 cup Cranberry Juice
- 1/4 cup Red Wine
- 1 tablespoon Cherry Preserves
- Put the pork loin in a leak-proof sous vide bag. Fill a large container or stockpot with water up to the fill line of the immersion cooker. Put the immersion cooker at 144 F / 62 C and set it to 1 hour. If your roast is frozen, add a half an hour to the time.
For the Sauce
- Meanwhile, while that is happening, prep the ingredients for the sauce. Chop the onion coarsely. Heat a small skillet till smoking and add olive oil. Saute onions until translucent. Mix cranberry juice with wine and add to skillet. Cover and simmer on low heat and let the liquid reduce by a third. Add preserves to skillet and whisk constantly until sauce reduced almost to a syrup. The sauce will be glossy.
- When the roast is done, heat a large castiron skillet and put a little olive oil in. Let it get to the point that the oil is shimmering. Add the pork loin and brown on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and let it sit for about 5 minutes before slicing it. Serve it with the sauce.