Why It Works
- Cooking ham sous vide overnight leads to extraordinarily tender results.
- A quick sear on one side only gives you a crisp texture to contrast with the tenderness.
Like bacon, sliced Canadian bacon (a.k.a. breakfast ham) is not one of the meats you'd think would benefit from being cooked sous vide. It's such an easy meat to cook, not to mention that it's already par-cooked when you buy it. What benefit could there be?
But as it turns out, sous-vide ham is every bit as revelatory as sous vide bacon. Cooked low and slow overnight, it retains all of its juiciness, but gains an incredibly luxurious, buttery-soft tenderness as its connective tissue and muscles break down. It's also convenient: once cooked, all you have to do is sear it on a hot skillet or griddle to crisp up the outside and give it browned flavor, and it's ready to serve.
- 8 slices Canadian bacon or ham
- 1 teaspoon vegetable or canola oil
Set your sous-vide water bath to 145°F (63°C).
Place ham in a heavy duty zipper-lock bag or a sous-vide bag (it's okay if the ham slices are stacked) and remove all air from bag using the water displacement method or a vacuum sealer. Add bagged ham to preheated water bath and cook for at least 6 and up to 12 hours. Cooked ham can be seared and served immediately, refrigerated for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to several months. If frozen, transfer to refrigerator and allow to thaw overnight before searing.
Heat half the oil in a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add ham and cook, pressing down with a stiff spatula or griddle press, until well-seared and crisp, about 2 minutes. Do not sear second side. Transfer to a warm plate and repeat with remaining oil and ham. Serve immediately.