I’m not generally one to buy into trends, at least not quickly. I heard about this Sous Vide trend a while back and didn’t really think much about it. It seemed odd to me. But since that first time I heard about it everywhere I seemed to look the Sous Vide method of cooking was popping up, on blogs, instagram… everywhere! Seemed to be so simple and a very effective way of cooking and controlling your cooking. If you don’t yet know about it, which is highly unlikely I’m guessing because sometimes I’m a little slow, just Google it and you will find an insane amount of information online.
Essentially it’s a water immersion method of cooking food. Though the big excitement seems to be mostly about they way this method manages to consistently cook meat, you can certainly cook any food this way. You take your food, season it, seal it in a bag and then immerse it in a temperature controlled water bath for a as little as an hour for proteins like fish, to one or more hours for various cuts of beef. The tougher the meat the longer the bath and it apparently all comes out tasting super tender and juicy and perfect every time… Hmmmm…. interesting? The idea behind it is that all the juices in the meat stay in the meat and the gentle cooking doesn’t destroy the cells, you don’t lose any of the flavour and because you’re setting a very specific temperature that doesn’t overcook the meat even if you bath it for quite some time longer. The thing that got me was the notion of cooking an egg for hours and still having the yolk soft boiled and runny… WHAT?! Seriously…. it’s all about temperature specific control.
I must say that it didn’t take me too long to really consider this. To be clear it is not a quick cooking method, unless of course you can wrap your head around thinking of your meals in advance, bagging and throwing them in the water bath and forgetting about them for quite some time. Then the actual ‘hands on’ cooking time is really just a quick sear in a pan to give the meat some color. I did some research online and decided that this was an endeavour I was up for.
Mother’s day and my birthday almost collide each spring so this year rather than allow my partner to do his usual gift shopping, which by the way works out quite well for me, I decided I’d point him in the direction of this kitchen toy, though still expensive it has come down drastically from the price I’d been quoted the first time I heard about it… $1200.00! This hefty price tag was attached to commercial versions of the machine and since then they’ve come up with much more affordable options for home cooks ranging between about $300 – 500.
I’d made lamb chops once before years ago, lamb is a pretty expensive meat that requires very specific cooking, something that isn’t easy to accomplish using the traditional cooking methods. The sous vide makes this super simple and so this was my first journey into immersion cooking… I needed to make the perfect lamb chops…. bath at 140 degrees F for about 2 1/2 hours then a quick pan sear in butter and dinner is served.
I have to say that I’m impressed at how these turned out. I seasoned these in the bag and threw them in the bath as soon as I got home from work, did a few things around the house, we went for our walk and when we came home I quickly pan seared them in butter… I just couldn’t resist. They were juicy and tender and might I say perfectly cooked though I feel a little hard pressed to take all the credit. The sous vide makes it so incredibly simple it feels like cheating! I feel like I’m going a little sous vide crazy now…thinking about all the cool things I can make, and trust that they’ll be cooked just right…. I’m truly addicted and though some things can take several days, it seems pretty easy to just throw them in and forget about them…. and have several things going at once, staggering them so that you can have dinner ready for every evening after work.
Garlic Rosemary Lamb Chops in the Sous Vide
- 4 lamb chops
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter (optional as the meat doesn’t really need it)
Preheat the sous vide to 140 degrees F.
Salt and pepper the lamb chops, sprinkle them with rosemary and thyme and lay sliced garlic on each of the chops. Add in a tablespoon of butter and place the seasoned chops into a bag. Seal the bag and immerse in the sous vide. Cook for about an hour per inch of lamb chop thickness, I cooked mine for about 2 1/2 hours. Once they are done sear quickly on high heat just to brown them and serve.