Active time: 35 min. Total time:8 hours, 45 min.
Yield: Serves 8 (serving size: about 6 oz.)

Our Sous Vide Leg of Lamb is extraordinarily tender—like all sous vide meats that are cooked rare or medium rare, the redness extends almost to the edges of the meat as opposed to just the center. The meat itself takes on the chili, lemon, garlic, and rosemary flavor profile, and the sauce is like a jus that’s enriched by sweetness and tanginess from the combination of honey and lime. This is truly a centerpiece, celebratory dish. Ask your butcher for a BRT (boned, rolled, tied) leg of lamb roast, and lightly brown the lamb over gentle heat before sealing it to help infuse a caramelized flavor into the meat while it cooks. This way, only the outside will brown and none of the inside will cook, letting you get that medium-medium rare texture throughout. Adding butter to the bag will help infuse the flavors of all the aromatics into the meat, and chilling prevents steam from building up in the bag and inhibiting the vacuum sealing process.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup canola oil, divided
  • 1(4-lb.) boneless leg of lamb roast, rolled and tied
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup chilled unsalted butter
  • 6(2-in.) lemon peel strips (from 1 lemon)
  • 5garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2(4-in.) rosemary sprigs
  • 8 cups unsalted beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil; add lamb, and cook, turning often, just until lightly brown on all sides, 18 to 20 minutes total. Transfer lamb to a platter, and chill, uncovered, at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours.

Step 2

Rub lamb all over with crushed red pepper and 2 teaspoons of the salt. Place in a vacuum-seal cooking bag. Add butter, lemon peel strips, garlic, and rosemary. Vacuum seal bag according to manufacturer’s instructions. Heat a water bath with a thermal circulator to 138°F in a pot large enough to hold bag. Add bag with lamb to water bath. Cook 3 hours (or up to 4 hours) for about medium-rare. Remove from water bath, and let rest, sealed, 15 minutes. 

Step 3

Meanwhile, place stock in a large saucepan over medium-high. Bring to a boil, and boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in honey, lime juice, cilantro, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.

Step 4

Unseal bag; pour off juices, and discard solids. Pat lamb dry with paper towels. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high. Sprinkle lamb with 1 teaspoon of the salt; add to skillet, and brown on all sides, turning occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board, and let stand 10 minutes. Cut into (1/2-inch-thick) slices; sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Serve with honey-lime sauce.

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