Monday, February 27, 2012

Sous Vide Lamb with Lemony Tomato Pepper Relish

We're on a roll at Casa Minx! After successfully making salmon in the Sous Vide Supreme, we tried some meat! Nothing fancy, just some lamb shoulder on the bone. It was cheap--if it got messed up somehow, there'd be no great investment lost--and Ms Minx was feeling vaguely Moroccan; lamb would go perfectly with her tomato and pepper relish accented with preserved lemon.

The meat was cooked to medium and then given a quick turn in the broiler. It wasn't as tender as expected, but it was certainly easy, and apart from throwing out a piece of foil, cleanup was quick. That's a real benefit to using the Sous Vide Supreme - no roasting pans or pots to scrub!

Sous Vide Lamb

1.5 lbs lamb shoulder steaks (may also use leg meat, cut into slabs 3/4" - 1" thick)
2 cloves garlic
pinch smoked paprika
salt and pepper
canola oil

Pat lamb pieces dry and place in a large sous vide bag. Add garlic, sprinkle with paprika, salt, and pepper. Vacuum seal bag and hold in refrigerator until ready to cook. Preheat Sous Vide Supreme to 120F/49C for rare, 134F/56.5C for medium rare, 140F/60C for medium. (If you want the meat more well done, there's no reason at all to deal with sous vide. Merely overcook it using your favorite method.) Submerge bag of lamb and cook in the water bath for 2 hours and up to 4 hours.

Lamb right out of the vacuum bag. Notice that it's a nice medium pink.
Preheat broiler. Remove lamb from plastic bag and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil on one side for 2-3 minutes until browned.

Serve with Lemony Tomato Pepper Relish and orzotto. Serves 2-6, depending on the proportion of bone to meat in your lamb.

Lemony Tomato Pepper Relish

1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper
3/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, cut into strips
1/2 sweet onion, cut into very thin slices
olive oil
1 small clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup preserved lemon, very finely chopped (or, the flesh and finely minced zest of half a fresh lemon)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ancho chile pepper
1 teaspoon aleppo pepper
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons agave syrup or honey (or to taste)
salt and pepper

Roast bell pepper over an open flame to char the skin all over. Put pepper in a paper bag and set aside to cool. When cool, rub off skin, remove seeds and stem, and dice flesh. Set aside.

Put sun dried tomatoes in a small saucepan with about half a cup of water (more if tomatoes are very dry). Bring to a boil then lower heat. Simmer until tomatoes are soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow tomatoes to come to room temperature. Drain off any excess liquid and process tomatoes to a paste in a food pro or mini prep. Set aside.

Cook onion in a splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt over low heat until very soft and slightly caramelized, about 20 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add sundried tomato paste, preserved lemon, paprika, ancho, and aleppo pepper and stir well to combine. Stir in vinegar and agave syrup and taste for seasoning. You don't want the condiment to be sweet or sour, but the flavors should be balanced. Season to taste with salt and pepper, remove from heat, and refrigerate until ready to use.

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