“When the only tool you have is a hammer, it is tempting to treat everything as if it were a nail.”
OK, OK, I’ve gone a little sous vide crazy lately… but can you blame me? Perhaps the most revolutionary cooking method of our lifetimes has just poked its head into my kitchen. It’ll take more than a few weeks and a handful of medium-rare proteins before I’m over it.
We all know that the sous vide method produces flawless (and dare I say, unparalleled) steak. But, did you know that the same magic works on lamb? It’s an amazing and, frankly, jolting experience to watch an incredibly tender lamb loin chop fall off the bone, only to reveal that the interior is a perfect medium-rare. How can this be? In order to get lamb tender enough to fall apart, you have to braise the hell out of it, right? Wrong. That’s where sous vide comes in. I cooked the lamb shanks at 54.5C – a precise medium rare – for 24 hours, until they were just barely clinging to the bone. And since lamb is so flavorful and succulent on its own, a simple slice of pita bread, some feta cheese and toasted tomatoes were all that was needed to create a really memorable dinner.
Makes: 4 little lamb wraps
Total kitchen time: 15 minutes active, 24 hours cooking
Special equipment required: sous vide immersion circulator, blowtorch (optional), vacuum sealer
- 4 American lamb loin chops
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 4 pieces pita bread
- 1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
- 1 cup roasted tomatoes (available in finer grocery stores, substitute sun dried tomatoes)
- Heat your sous vide immersion circulator to 54.5C.
- Pat the lamb chops dry and coat liberally with kosher salt. Sear all sides with a blowtorch until just browned. If you don’t have a blowtorch (you should get one if you’re gonna be sous videing) preheat a skillet over very high heat. Sear the lamb chops on all sides, just a few seconds per side.
- Place lamb chops in a vacuum sealer bag and seal. Place in the water bath and cook 24 hours, up to 32 hours.
- When ready to serve, heat the pita slices for 30 seconds in the microwave. Divide the Feta and tomatoes between the pita. Remove lamb from the water bath and pull the meat apart with your fingers or a fork. Add to the pita. Roll and serve!
It’s a little jarring at first to see shredded lamb that’s so bright pink and moist. But one bight of this dish will make you forget every lamb sandwich you’ve ever eaten. Rather than tough, dry meat that begs for the rehydrating action of mint jelly, this is lamb as it should be.
Full Disclosure: I got free stuff, but that doesn’t pay for my opinion.