In the Netherlands, poached pears are often served as a side dish with game. I prefer to serve them as dessert, as the sweetness of the pears makes it difficult to pair a red wine with the game. The type of pears used for this are usually Gieser Wildeman. These pears are stoofperen, pears that are (only) suitable for stewing/poaching. Stoofperen are often poached in red wine, although Gieser Wildeman can also turn red of their own accord when they are cooked.
For my dessert version I’ve used port wine instead of red wine, with added sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and star anise. Cooking the pears sous-vide is a good way to save on port wine, as only a bit of porto is needed to surround the pears completely by the port wine. You don’t need a sous-vide cooker to cook pears sous-vide, a stock pot filled with water and a thermometer are enough in terms of equipment. If you don’t own a chamber vacuum sealer, you can use a ziploc bag and the water displacement method to seal the pears.
The pears can be served warm or at room temperature. The poaching liquid can be reduced to make a nice sauce. This makes for an elegant and tasty dessert, which you could complement with some home-made vanilla ice cream if you like.
125 ml (1/2 cup) port wine
100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
1 stick cinnamon
2 star anise
Now carefully light the alcohol to burn it off. This is important as we will be cooking the pears at a temperature above the boiling point of alcohol, so the bag would burst with the alcohol still in there.
Turn off the heat and allow to cool.
Alternatively, use ziploc pouch and submerge it in cold water, sealing it just before the water enters the pouch.
Regular pears will need only 1 hour, but Gieser Wildeman will require 2 hours to become tender.
Two years ago I presented a very simple recipe for chicken legs cooked sous-vide and then finished under the broiler to get a crispy skin.