Monday, February 15, 2010

Sous-vide lamb loin with lamb jus, toasted orzo with sundried tomato and garlic confit, and broccoli raab with anchovies

This is my first foray into sous-vide cooking, and I am completely sold. I have never cooked something so perfectly. The difficulty with most cooking methods is that you are using a heat that is much higher than the temperature that you want to bring the meat up to. As a result, the outside of the meat may be a little too well done by the time the core reaches the desired internal temperature. With sous-vide, you get the water to the temperature you want to hit, throw the meat in a bag with some seasonings, aromatics, or a marinade, set it in the water and let it go. Since the temperature will never go above the desired internal temperature, you can forget about it for a while and not worry about overcooking. When you are ready to plate, remove the meat from the bag and give it a sear in a smoking hot pan. You want to use a super high heat so you can develop the Maillard reaction as quickly as possible. (The Maillard reaction occurs when you expose proteins to high heat. This is responsible for the nice crust associated with seared pieces of meat.) The end result is something that is cooked perfectly and consistently from the center to the very edge.

Here's the recipe for the meal that I made:
-1 lamb loin
-6 cloves garlic confit*
-2 Tbsp chopped rosemary
-1 Tbsp thyme
-2 tsp lemon juice
-1/4 cup olive oil or canola oil
-salt, pepper

Blend together the garlic, rosemary, thyme, lemon juice, and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the lamb loin with the marinade and let sit for a couple hours. Add the lamb to a plastic bag and vacuum out the air and place in a water bath set at 125 to 130 for rare or 130 to 135 for medium rare. If you like your meat well done, maybe you should rethink your preferences. The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the meat. I let my lamb loin sit in the water bath for about 2.5 hours.

-4 cups chicken stock
-lamb bones
-2 sprigs rosemary
-2 tsp sherry
-1.5 Tbsp red wine vinegar
-1 Tbsp sugar
-1 tsp salt

Try to buy the lamb loin on the bone so you can use the bones and scraps to make a lamb jus. Add the bones and scraps to the chicken stock and bring to a gentle simmer. After about an hour, add the rosemary sprigs. Lighly crush the rosemary with your knife handle to help release some of the oils. Turn the heat up a little bit and simmer for another 30 minutes. Remove the bones and rosemary and strain out any impurities. Add the remaining ingredients and then turn the heat up and reduce the mixture until it gets down to about 3/4 cup.

-1 cup orzo
-2 cups chicken stock
-4 sundried tomatoes, diced
-6 cloves garlic confit
-1/4 cup white wine
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-chopped parsley
-salt, pepper.

Heat the oil in a saute pan. Add half the orzo and the garlic confit. Cook until the orzo begins to brown. Add the wine to stop the browning, and then add the rest of the orzo. Add the sundried tomatoes and begin adding the chicken stock a little bit at a time and stirring as if you are making risotto. Keep adding liquid and stirring until the orzo is just al dente. Remove from heat, stir in about a tablespoon of chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper. This dish is also good with pine nuts and artichoke hearts.

-1/2 bunch of broccoli raab
-2 anchovy fillets
-2 tsp olive oil
-1 tsp lemon juice
- clove garlic confit, smashed.
-pinch of red pepper flakes
-salt, pepper

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Chop the broccoli raab to the desired size and add the thick stems to the pot. About 30 seconds to a minute later, add the rest of the broccoli and cook for another minute. Remove the broccoli to the ice bath to stop the cooking and set the color. Set aside in a strainer. Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Add the smashed garlic confit, anchovies, and red pepper flakes and stir/smash everything together. Add the broccoli raab and cook, stirring frequently until the broccoli is cooked to your liking. Remove from heat, add the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.

*To make garlic confit, add peeled garlic cloves to a pot with enough olive oil to cover by about an inch. Heat up the oil enough so that small bubbles just begin to rise to the surface (about 180F to 200F). Let the garlic cloves cook for about 20 to 30 minutes. Turn the heat off and let everything cool down. The garlic confit should keep for about a month.


Derrick said...

I see the experiment went well! I'm disappointed that I wasn't able to make it!

Btw, how did you "vacuum" the air out of the bag you stored the lamb in? I ended up using a straw to attempt to suction out, carefully avoiding any raw juices... did you have a better method?

Sam said...

Same as you. Just use a straw to suck the air out. This worked out pretty well, but I think it's worth spending the $15 or so to get a hand held vacuum sealer.

Nicole Hilario said...

Wow - great work creating your 'sous-vide' and this gorgeous meal. You should be on Chef Academy - or a show like it... seriously! Great website.
Nicole Hilario

wait.andrwe said...

A really easy way to get the air out is to put the meat in the bag and slowly immerse the bag in the water (cold), with a bit of the bag left open at the top.. simple water pressure will force all the air out for you, no sucking and ingesting uncooked blood etc.

You just need to be careful when the water gets near the top of the bag and you come to seal it; but it really is simple this way!

farres said...

I had a question regarding the lamb. Do you put the lamb with or without the marinade in the bag?
Looking forward to making this recipe. Many thanks.

Sam said...

I include a little bit of the marinade in the bag, but not too much. Basically, I just remove the lamb from the marinade and whatever is stuck to it or drips into the sous-vide bag gets cooked with it.