Brick Oven Cooking For Marinades, Sous Vides, and Searing can be tricky. Marra Forni Corporate Chef Michael Kelly is also the Northeast, Midwest, Eastern Canada Regional Sales Manager at Marra Forni. Although he’s a master at many culinary techniques, it’s hard for us to think of him without images of marinades or sous vide cooking coming to mind. The information that he shared with us in our All You Need to Know About Sous Vide to Brick Oven Cooking blog post was so popular, after all, that we decided to discuss the topic further.
Chef Michael grew up in the restaurant industry, literally. He began at 12 years old as a busboy, and then worked his way up the line while attending culinary school in high school and then post-graduation as well. He studied at West Virginia University while also working there, prior to additional experience at restaurants and country clubs. One of the most challenging positions he ever held was as the Chef for the Pittsburgh Steelers where he prepared 3 meals a day, six days a week for the team.
Those days, meat and potatoes were all the rage with the players. One of their favorites among his sous vide creations, he recalls, was a 3-day marinade on flank steak. To achieve the best results, he still makes the recipe with high heat sear in a Marra Forni oven and then a low-temperature sous-vide session.
“The final sear is really important with sous vide & Marra Forni Brick Oven cooking guarantees of flavor and tenderness is the final result,“ says Chef Michael. The three dishes he recently tried out for our #MarraCooks series are his signature Mustard-Rubbed Rack of Lamb, Chicken Wings, and his rendition of Street Corn that takes ordinary corn on the cob to new heights.
Chef Michael decided to try chicken wings with the sous vide method because it really helps break down bone-in items that normally have a tough, dried-out texture. To make them, he cooks them at 142 F for 2 hours, then chills them and finishes them in a Marra Forni oven at 825 or 850F. The technique, he assures, yields a crispy, charred -texture on the outside that is still moist inside. Best of all, the sous vide technique saves fryer oil, which is a huge restaurant expense. It also extends fryer life and gives a healthier option than fried wings.
Another one of Chef Michael’s show stoppers is his Street Corn, a name that doesn’t come close to describing the triumph of creamy flavors and perfect textures in his corn on the cob recipe. To make this dish, he started with fresh sweet corn that was husked and vacuum sealed with Himalayan sea salt and 36% fat content-heavy cream.
After a bath in the sous vide, he placed it on a sizzling plate in the Rotator Brick Oven, then seared for 30 seconds and rotated twice. With Marraforni Brick Oven Cooking Once the corn was seared, he rubbed it with Irish butter, feta, and fresh cilantro. Unique menu items such as this, Chef Michael says, can expand a restaurant’s menu easily while adding value and interest for customers.
Mustard-Rubbed Rack of Lamb
Follow this recipe to try your hand at Chef Michael’s go-to Lamb Chop recipe.
Ingredients for the Sous Vide portion:
- 2 (8-bone) racks of lamb, about 2 pounds (900g) total
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Aromatics, such as fresh thyme or rosemary sprigs, sliced shallots, and sliced garlic (optional)
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable, canola, or rice bran oil
- 2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter
Process for Sous Vide
- Place all ingredients in a vacuum pouch and seal with a hard seal.
- Set circulator to 148 degrees F and cook for 90 minutes.
- Remove lamb and pat dry.
Ingredients for the Searing:
- 4 Tbsp of Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup Seasoned bread crumbs
- Preheat sizzle platter in brick oven set to 780 degrees F
- Sear each side of rack of lamb (each rotation – 30 seconds first one).
- Remove from oven and coat with mustard and bread crumbs.
- Toast bread crumbs in oven.Remove and let rest.
- Slice into lollipop cuts and plate for service.
Thank you all for watching our new #MarraCooks series! Join us in our Marra Forni Nation group on LinkedIn to learn more and converse with our fantastic community of Chefs, Pizzaioli, Industry experts, and more.