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

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…


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


Mince the anchovies, garlic, and rosemary together.

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

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).

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

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

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

Make sure it is evenly covered…

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

Secure the roulade with butcher’s twine.

Vacuum seal.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.


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


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


  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 🙂


  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.


    1. 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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