Sous Vide Leg of Lamb is super tender and full of rosemary and garlic flavors! The sous vide technique allows you to make the most delicious lamb that tastes even better than the lamb you’ve eaten at your favorite restaurant. You can use both boneless or bone-in leg of lamb for this recipe.
Once you try this no-fail recipe, you’ll wonder why you shied away from cooking lamb in the past. This dish would be perfect for a Sunday dinner or as a special occasion meal with guests.
What is Sous Vide Cooking?
Sous vide means “under vacuum” in French. It’s a water bath cooking method that seals food in a bag, and then gently cooks it over a long period of time to a very precise temperature.
This technique is known for producing tender, juicy, and flavorful meat or fish. If you are new to sous vide cooking, you’ll find everything you need to know in this Sous Vide Cooking Guide.
Can You Sous Vide a Bone-in Leg of Lamb?
Yes, you can use the sous vide method to cook a bone-in leg of lamb. And because bone-in lamb is more economical, you’ll also save yourself some money. To prepare a sous vide bone-in leg of lamb, you’ll need to start the sous vide process the day before you want to serve the lamb. After cooking in the sous vide, you can chill the lamb in the sous vide bag until ready to sear, or immediately sear the lamb in the pan.
Is Lamb Good to Sous Vide?
Yes, lamb is a great choice to cook using the sous vide method. Because lamb tends to be lean, it can be easily overcooked. Using a sous vide ensures that it retains its moisture and tenderness.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Leg of Lamb, boneless
- Fresh Rosemary
- Lemon Juice
- Black Pepper
- Olive Oil
How to Make Rosemary Garlic Sous Vide Boneless Leg of Lamb
1. Fill a pot with hot water and attach the sous vide precision cooker and set the temperature to 135ºF/57ºC for medium doneness. Leave it to preheat on the side.
2. Whisk together garlic, rosemary, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and black pepper in a medium bowl. Thoroughly rub the meat with this seasoning mixture.
3. Place the seasoned lamb in a zip-loc bag. Seal all but one corner of the bag.
4. Slowly place the bag in the water bath. Make sure everything below the zip-line is covered by water. Then seal the rest of the bag.
5. Cover with foil to minimize water evaporation, and leave to cook for 10 hours, when the timer goes off.
6. Remove the lamb from the bag and use paper towels to wipe off any extra moisture.
7. On an oiled skillet over medium heat, sear the meat for about 2 minutes per side until nicely browned. Let the Lamb rest in aluminum foil over a chopping board for 5 minutes before chopping and serving.
How Long Should I Sous Vide Leg of Lamb?
The cooking time varies depending on the size of your lamb and the desired doneness. It usually takes about 8-16 hours to sous vide a leg of lamb. It’s ok to leave the lamb in the water bath for an extra 1 or 2 hours.
Temperature and Doneness
For lamb that’s always tender and juicy, aim for medium done or 135°F. If you prefer your lamb medium-rare, cook it until it reaches 131°F. Below are some additional cooking guidelines:
|Sous Vide Lamb Temperature||Doneness|
|115°F to 124°F||Rare|
|125°F to 134°F||Medium-rare|
|135°F to 144°F||Medium|
|145°F to 154°F||Medium-well|
|155°F and above||Well-done|
- You can seal the bag without a vacuum sealer: If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can use a zip-loc bag which is safe for sous vide cooking. If your boneless leg of lamb is too big to fit into the bag, you can cut the lamb into two pieces.
- You can use boneless or bone-in leg of lamb for this recipe: Note that bone-in leg of lamb is much larger and you’ll need an extra-large bag and container.
- Cook to medium-rare: It’s best to cook lamb to rare or medium-rare for the most tender texture. As a rule, don’t cook lamb beyond medium.
- Check the water level from time to time: Make sure to submerge the meat in the water completely, and add more water if necessary.
- Pat the meat dry before searing: Use paper towels to wipe off any extra moisture on the surface of meat as it inhibits proper searing.
Frequently asked questions:
Can You Sous Vide Leg of Lamb Ahead of Time?
Yes, one of the benefits of sous vide cooking is that you can use it to cook meals in advance. For this recipe, you can make everything ahead of time before you’re ready to sear the meat. You’ll need to warm up the lamb in the sous vide water bath for about 1 hour before searing.
Can You Sous Vide Frozen Leg of Lamb?
Yes, in order to use a frozen leg of lamb you’ll need to add 3 hours of cooking time in the sous vide water bath.
More Sous Vide Recipes You’ll Love
Best Sous Vide Leg of Lamb Recipe
- 5-6 lb leg of lamb boneless
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
- Preheat the sous vide machine: Fill a large container or pot with water, attach the sous vide precision cooker and set the temperature to 135ºF/57ºC for medium doneness*.
- Season the lamb: In a medium bowl, whisk together garlic, rosemary, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Rub the seasoning into the meat thoroughly.
- Vacuum seal the meat: Place the seasoned lamb in a zip-loc bag. Seal all but one corner of the bag, and slowly place it in the water bath. Make sure everything below the zip-line is covered by water. Then seal the rest of the bag.
- Cover with foil to minimize water evaporation.
- Sous vide leg of lamb: Place the bag in the sous vide water bath and cook for about 8-10 hours. Once the timer goes off, remove the bag from the water bath.
- Sear the lamb: Remove the lamb from the bag and use paper towels to wipe off any extra moisture.
- Place a skillet on medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is smoking hot, add the lamb and sear for about 2 minutes per side until nicely browned. (You can also add some rosemary sprigs if preferred).
- Transfer the lamb to a cutting board, cover it with foil and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- 135°F is our favorite doneness for lamb that’s super tender and juicy. Temperatures between 125°F to 134°F will produce medium-rare doneness. Temperatures below 125°F, will result in very rare and almost raw tasting meat.