This recipe from Masterchef Australia was a perfect use of my sous vide water oven.

I am still trying out various temperatures for the “perfect” eggs to get my favorite consistency. Furthermore, Chantal – correctly – assumed that choosing this recipe would be a great excuse for me to pick up a “Smoking Gun” from Polyscience.

The result sure looked impressive, and the hickory smoke added an exciting taste to all the ingredients. We combined the dish with a 2012 Jurtschitsch/Sonnhof Riesling Reserve Zöbinger Heiligenstein (€16

The Masterchef Australia site seems to be geoblocking Europe, so I have now taken up the recipe the way I made it.

The things I changed to the original are the following:

  • For the perfect sous-vide eggs, I cooked them 63℃ / 145℉ for 1 hour, instead of the suggested 62℃ / 143℉ for 52 minutes, to get them slightly more firm.
  • I wasn’t sure about the salmon roe emulsion as it would again be a soft texture, so I opted to switch that one with gravadlax from my fishmonger (roughly sliced as to facilitate eating from the pots). You can easily leave them out for an entirely vegetarian version.
  • Instead of messing about trying to oven-cook the mushroom custard in the pots, I used the sous vide machine too to make a foolproof mushroom custard (75℃ / 162℉ / @ 1 hour), and it came out nice and velvety.

Recipe accuracy:
The recipe was easy to follow, and timing was accurate, but it’s best to make the mushroom custard the day before.

Suggested tweaks:
The measures for the parmesan crisps and breadcrumbs were way too much, but no complaints here.

Verdict: 8/10; worth the effort making again

The recipe (serves 6)

The ingredients
For the mushroom custard:
  • 100g / 3oz butter
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, 2 finely chopped, 1 halved
  • 250g / 2 cups chestnut mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 125ml / ½ cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 200ml / 7oz milk
  • 200ml / 7oz cup heavy cream
  • 12g / ½ cup dried porcini mushrooms, finely ground
  • ½ tsp soy sauce
  • 6 eggs, beaten
For the sous-vide eggs:
  • 6 eggs, whole
For the garlic breadcrumbs:
  • 100g / 3oz sourdough bread, cut into 3mm / 1/8″ slices
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 60ml / ¼ cup olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
For the parmesan crisps:
  • 60g / 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
For the salmon roe emulsion: (optional)
  • 1 tbsp salmon roe
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • a pinch of caster sugar
To finish:
  • Some smoking chips, such as hickory
  • Dill sprigs, to garnish
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
The instructions
For the mushroom custard:
  1. Pre-heat your sous vide water oven to 75℃ / 145℉.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook the shallots and the finely chopped garlic for 2-3 minutes until are translucent, stirring regularly.
  3. Add field mushrooms, and cook for about 10-12 minutes until the liquid has evaporated, stirring regularly. Add chicken stock to the pan, and reduce heat to low.
  4. Add milk, cream, and dried mushroom powder, and simmer for 10 minutes to allow flavors to infuse, taking care not to let the mixture boil.
  5. Stir in soy sauce, then strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a large bowl. Set aside to cool.
  6. Gradually whisk the beaten eggs into cooled mushroom mixture until well combined, then divide the mixture in a large sous vide bag and vacuum seal (or use a Ziploc bag and carefully immerse into the water to get rid of excess air).
  7. Place the bag in the sous vide water oven, and cook for 1 hour minutes until the custard starts to set.
  8. If preparing the day ahead, cool down in an ice bath and keep in the refrigerator and reheat together with the sous vide eggs. If using immediately, divide the mixture among 6 jars (about 500ml / 17oz sealable jars that are about 8cm / 3″-wide) and set aside to cool to lukewarm.
For the sous-vide eggs:
  1. Set the sous vide water oven to 63℃ / 145℉.
  2. Gently add 6 eggs and cook them for 1 hour.
  3. If made the day before, reheat the mushroom custard for the last 20-25 minutes.
For the garlic breadcrumbs and parmesan crisps:
  1. Pre-heat your (regular) oven to 160℃ / 320℉.
  2. Line two trays with baking paper. Rub sourdough slices with the garlic clove halves. Arrange the slices on one tray, drizzle with olive oil, and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Spread parmesan onto the other tray (preferably on parchment paper or Silpat), and bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden and no longer bubbling.
  4. Roughly crumble both sourdough croutons and parmesan crisps.
For the salmon roe emulsion:
  1. Crush half the salmon roe in a bowl, then whisk in the egg yolks, vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt to combine.
  2. Gradually add the olive oil, constantly whisking until thick and combined. Fold in remaining roe, then set aside.
To assemble:
  1. Divide the mushroom custard mixture among the 6 jars and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. If using, divide the roe emulsion or the gravadlax slivers among the jars
  3. Very carefully remove the shell from sous vide cooked eggs and place on top.
  4. Add woodchips to the Smoking Gun and light it. Add the hose to the pots to fill them with smoke, close them for 2 minutes before releasing the smoke (if not using a Smoking Gun: place a large saucepan set over high heat. Place steamer attachment on top and cover with a lid. Heat the woodchips until they start to smoke in the pan. Turn off the heat, and in batches, add open jars to the steamer, cover with lid and smoke for 2 minutes)
  5. Add the crumbled sourdough croutons and Parmesan, garnish with dill.


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