Friday, September 3, 2010

Sous Vide Rack of Lamb with Mint-Shallot Vinaigrette

Happy Labor Day weekend!

As a nice surprise, I thought I'd post another Sous Vide recipe. This time, I took on grass-fed rack of lamb from Healthy Family Farms, my local CSA. Their lamb is amazingly tender, not gamy at all, and I thought cooking it Sous Vide might help preserve its delicate flavor. I'd also been craving rack of lamb.

First, I hit up the Hollywood Farmers Market on Sunday to collect my preordered rack of lamb, and then I picked up the other ingredients I'd be needing for my mint-shallot vinaigrette (namely, mint and shallots). I brought them home and set up shop. The rack of lamb would need to cook in a 130 degree water bath for 1 1/2 - 2 hours for medium rare. 

First, I rubbed the lamb with ground garlic, a dried herb mixture (thyme, oregano, rosemary), and salt and pepper. Then, I wrapped the bones in parchment paper so they wouldn't puncture the plastic bag. Then, I vacuum sealed the lamb with a tablespoon of frozen olive oil (I don't have a chamber sealer, so this prevents the oil from being sucked into the vacuum sealer). Into the water bath it went.

When the lamb came out, I quickly seared it in hot oil on all side and allowed it to rest for five minutes. Then, I sliced it up and served it with my vinaigrette. For the record, this was the most tender lamb I'd ever tasted. The delicate flavor was perfectly preserved, and the sear added nice texture. To complete the meal, I made roasted fingerling potatoes and an heirloom tomato and butter lettuce salad.

Note: if you don't have a Sous Vide Supreme (yet), then here's a link to the recipe with traditional cooking methods. It's delicious both ways!

Sous Vide Rack of Lamb with Mint-Shallot Vinaigrette
Serves 2 people
Prep time: 20 minutes; Cooking time: 1 1/2 hours
Print Recipe

1 rack of lamb (preferrably, grass fed)
1 teaspoon ground garlic
1 tablespoon dried herbs (thyme, oregano, rosemary)
2 tablespoons olive oil (frozen/solidified for vacuum sealing)
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

mint-shallot vinaigrette
5 sprigs of mint, stems removed and discarded
1 small shallot, peeled
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the Sous Vide Supreme to 130 degrees for medium rare.

To prep the lamb, cut the rack in half and trim any extra fat (it doesn't sous vide well). Rub each half with the garlic and herbs, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap the bones with parchment paper so they won't puncture the bag. Then, place each piece of lamb into its own vacuum sealer bag along with a tablespoon of frozen/solidified olive oil. Vacuum seal it up.

Place the bags into the Sous Vide Supreme, making sure that they don't touch, and allow to cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, to make the vinaigrette, put all the ingredients in a small food processor or blender and puree until forms a bright green sauce.  Adjust seasoning (salt) if needed.  Set aside.

Once the lamb is finished cooking in the sous vide machine, remove it and open up the bags. In a saute pan, heat the grapeseed oil over high heat until almost smoking. Quickly, sear the lamb on all sides. Remove from heat and allow to rest for five minutes before slicing.

To place, place the slices of lamb on a plate. Top with the mint-shallot vinaigrette and fresh cracked pepper. Enjoy!

Source for Ingredients
grass-fed rack of lamb (Healthy Family Farms), organic mint, organic shallots, and organic garlic from Hollywood Farmers Market

organic ground garlic and organic dried herbs from Whole Foods

Wine Pairing
With this meaty dish, we decided to open a bottle of cabernet sauvignon from one of my favorite California producers, Rivers-Marie. While they're more known for their pinot noir, we love their cabernet. This bottle was a 2006. It was lovely - fruity and earthy - and paired wonderfully with this dish.

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