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Sous vide lamb for Easter

law_doc89 Mar 30, 2013 07:20 AM

I am about to experiment with a boneless, butterfly leg. 2.4 pounds.

I am finding grossly conflicting information on temperature and time, everything from 8 hours to 22, 131 degrees to 140.

I have seasoned it, added some peas and carrots I hope will dissolve in the juices, sealed it, and now am stymied.

Any advice from SVers out there?


  1. law_doc89 Mar 31, 2013 10:18 PM

    Well, I hate it when people don’t get back, so I am getting back.

    The lamb turned out as a perfect medium rare. But a lot happened. I planned to do the SV, then take it out the night before and be able to finish it in the oven the next day (I wanted to have flexibility as to when we sat down for dinner, an advantage of SV) but I fell asleep, and the timer didn’t turn off the machine, so I cooked it for about 20 hours at 138. The peas cooked, the carrots were crunchy, and the juice was blood red. I finished it at 325 in the oven, and used the broiler on each side for about 1 minute, I simmered the veggies and juice while finishing the lamb. The meat had fine texture, tender, but not mushy, and the mint and garlic perfused the meat uniformly. I am amazed at the wide tolerance for errors. I am better understanding the wide range of temps and times. Thanks for the advice, and I will be experimenting more.

    2 Replies
    1. re: law_doc89
      firecooked Apr 1, 2013 08:17 AM

      Thanks! Did you chill before going into the oven, and how long did you hold at 325?

      I did my short ribs for 32 hours at 56C (133F). They were definitely medium rare, and still a bit chewy.. Kind of like prime rib, not bad, but not what I wanted. I have one left, I think I'm going to throw it back in at 160 for several hours to get more of a traditional braise texture. On the bright side, I did come up up with a great orange sauce to go with.

      1. re: firecooked
        law_doc89 Apr 1, 2013 02:35 PM

        I did chill, and did about 30 minutes in the oven.

    2. firecooked Mar 30, 2013 08:13 AM

      All the sous vide recipes are like this! I feel your pain. I have some short ribs in my food Jacuzzi right now, and have been looking at recipes that range from 130 to 160 F, and from 1 to 3 days! 131 will give you a medium rare, 140 will be more medium in terms of meat color, so your preference in terms of what you like. I have not done lamb, but would expect that the longer time would be better. My Douglas Baldwin cookbook says 24 hours, and as long as there is plenty of fat, that's what I would recommend. If you have trimmed it well, go for less time. Vegetables typically don't cook at temps below 180.

      1. Coogles Mar 30, 2013 07:59 AM

        I've only cooked smaller cuts of lamb sous vide but here are my thoughts. The bath temperature will depend on how done you like your lamb, most of my family likes lamb at the medium rare side of medium so I usually go around 138 degrees or so. The time will depend on how thick the roast is and what level of texture modification you are looking for, for minimum times I would look at the pasteurization tables found here. http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vi... Longer cooking times will result in more connective tissue breaking down resulting in more tender meat, but overdo it and the meat can become mushy. Leg of lamb generally isn't too tough so I'd probably stay closer to the 8 hour cook time maybe up to 10 hours. Once the leg is out of the bath I would suggest allowing it to cool for 10-15 minutes before de-bagging (save the juice!), drying off with paper towels and popping in to a really hot oven for about 10-15 minutes to brown the surface. Then let it rest for another 10 minutes before carving.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Coogles
          law_doc89 Mar 30, 2013 10:54 AM

          Thank you both. The book came with the bath.

          I think I will try 10 hours at 138, with an oven finish and broiler sear.

          I will let you know,

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