Leg of Lamb Sous-Vide with Anchovies, Garlic, and Rosemary

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A great way to cook a whole leg of lamb is to roast it in the oven with anchovies, garlic and rosemary. I wanted to cook the lamb sous-vide instead so it would be more tender and juicy, and just a portion of the leg as I was feeding only a small crowd. To flavor more of the lamb and not just the outside, I decided to butterfly it and make a roulade. This worked very well. The lamb was perfectly cooked with just the right balance between meat and seasoning. Here’s what I did…

Ingredients

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For 2 servings

300 grams (.66 lb) deboned leg of lamb

3 anchovy fillets

1/2 Tbsp minced rosemary (needles only)

1/2 Tbsp minced garlic (about 1 clove)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

extra virgin olive oil

80 ml (1/3 cup) reduced lamb stock

120 ml (1/2 cup) red wine

Preparation

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Mince the anchovies, garlic, and rosemary together.

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Put this mixture in a bowl and add just enough olive oil to cover. Stir to mix.

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Butterfly the meat — you could also ask your butcher to do this for you — to obtain a slab of roughly even thickness of a generous centimeter (1/2 inch).

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Season the meat with salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides.

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I’m showing the other side as well, to show you what the butterflied meat will look like.

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Spread the garlic-rosemary-anchovy mixture on the meat.

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Make sure it is evenly covered…

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…then roll it up and brush the outside of the roulade too.

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Secure the roulade with butcher’s twine.

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Vacuum seal.

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Cook sous-vide at 55ºC/131ºF for 3 to 5 hours. This is convenient for a dinner party, as you can prepare everything up to here and the timing of when you take the meat out of the sous-vide is not critical at all.

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Take the meat out of the bag, and pat dry with paper towels.

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Brown the meat on all sides in olive oil. Then wrap the meat in aluminum foil and allow it to rest while you finish the sauce.

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Deglaze the pan with 120 ml (1/2 cup) of red wine. The wine that you will be drinking with the lamb would be a good choice. Use a wooden spatula to scrape along the bottom of the pan, to include any nice browned bits from browning the meat for maximum flavor.

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Add 80 ml (1/3 cup) of reduced lamb stock.

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Simmer until the sauce is nice and thick. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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Slice the meat across the grain and serve on preheated plates with the sauce.

Wine pairing

We enjoyed this with a nice nero d’avola from Sicily. Another full-bodied red that can handle the seasoning would work too.

Flashback

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Veal piccata is quick and easy to prepare, but has lots of flavor. You could also prepare it with chicken, turkey or pork.

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12 thoughts on “Leg of Lamb Sous-Vide with Anchovies, Garlic, and Rosemary

  1. I was just thinking of you when I opened the blogs I read in my reader and there you were! If you ever want to give your husband a spectacular surprise gift ( I am assuming he doesn’t read blog comments) I recommend you take him here (Midsummer house, Cambridge, check out the menu: on their website midsummerhouse.co.uk – a surprise weekend hop across the channel, an afternoon punting on the river, some really beautiful buildings, great classical concerts and the best meal I have ever eaten, and as you may have gathered at this point, I have eaten a fair few. Get the table in back and you can watch the chefs through a glass window into the kitchen – or pick a more romantic table in a corner….I am confident you would love it

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  2. Love your flavours as I do not always use anchovies . . . have to follow even tho’, mysteriously, the dish will end up in the oven 😀 !! You knew it would !!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carissimo Stefan, due giorni fa mi è stato consegnato un premio ideato da Carla sull’amicizia. Io, romanticona e sognatrice come sono, ci ho creduto veramente e allora eccomi qui con la mia consegna a te di questa staffetta virtuale: https://viaggiandoconbea.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/la-staffetta-dellaffetto-chi-mi-segue/
    PS: Sai che ho trovato un tuo like sul mio primissimo articolo su Barcellona? Sono più di due anni che ci rincorriamo sui post 🙂
    Ciaoo

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  4. I did not pay attention and so cooked at 57C as in other lamb recipes. Is there a reason this is at 55C?

    Also used this recipe as part of a larger group with two small legs being cooked – this time at 55C. The lower temperature does give a more ‘chewy’ result.

    The anchovies, garlic and rosemary are a great flavor combination and I have wondered where else I could use this.

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    • Leg is more tender than neck or shoulder, so 55C is usually enough. Sometimes meat that has been cooked sous-vide can become ‘too’ tender and I miss a bit of chew. Was this too chewy or nicely chewy?
      Garlic, anchovies and rosemary is a powerful trio. I think it’d be nice with monkfish. In Italian beef or pork recipes, the anchovies is often omitted or replaced by sage (for pork) or thyme.

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