Sous Vide Supreme: Pulled Skate With Sauteed Chard

In the past I have eluded to a skate dish I had made that really coaxed the urine flavor out of this odd fish.  Since I served urine soaked skate to my girlfriend, I have been a little skittish about trying this dish again.  The dish in question?  Pulled Skate With Sauteed Swiss Chard.    Skate is naturally stringy, and pretty much looks the part of pulled pork.

Pulled pork is actually a low temperature, slow cooked chunk of pig.  Slowly smoked, the connective tissue converts into gelatin, getting all gooey and delicious.  Hand shredded and then slapped between bread or served over rice, this is an amazing experience.  There is a lot of barbecue religion in this country, but my personal favorite prep for pulled pork is Eastern North Carolina style (and yes, there is also a Western North Carolina style.  This basically means smoked and then doused with a thin tangy-peppery barbecue sauce.

When adapting this for sous vide and fish, I did take some short cuts.  No rub.  No smoke (although next time I think I will use some smoked paprika or chipotle).  I also didn't use any fat, making the skate pretty happy.  Also, instead of white bread I used a baguette.  Recipe after the pic.

  1. Preheat the Sous Vide Supreme to 150F.  Yes, it is a little on the high side, but we do want the skate to be a little stringier.    
  2. Since ammonia is a base, I started by putting the skate in acidulated water.   This was effective in neutralizing any potential pee flavor.   Acidulated water is really just an acid like vinegar or lemon juice (which is what I used) mixed in water.  I let the skate sit in the water for about 30 minutes.  This was probably a little too long, but after my previous experience, why take the risk.  
  3. While the skate pee is being neutralized, mix together the barbecue sauce.  It is basically 2 cups of vinegar, TBS brown sugar, TBS cayenne, TBS Tobasco and s&p.
  4. Remove the skate from the acidulated water and pat dry.
  5. Put the skate into a bag along with 4 TBS of the barbecue sauce.
  6. Cook the skate in the water bath for 25 minutes.  The skate I used was ~1LB and was bone-in, which I personally recommend.
  7. I sauteed the chard with chopped garlic, crushed red pepper, olive oil, s&p.
  8. Remove the skate from the bag and put it into a bowl.  Using a fork, shred the skate.  Then pour on a lot more bbq sauce.  season with salt and pepper.  You really want to taste the sauce here.
  9. Place chard and skate on bread or rice or whatever.


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