Sous vide rack of lamb provides a restaurant-quality meal at home, which is shockingly easy to make! Cooking lamb with sous vide turns this already luxurious cut of meat into a gourmet masterpiece that your family will love.
While sous vide can seem intimidating initially and sounds fancy—and trust me, the results are nothing short of fancy—it’s surprisingly simple. It is set-it-and-forget-it cooking, requiring a few minutes of prep work at the beginning and the end.
Sous vide is a cooking method that involves sealing the food in a plastic bag and cooking it in a water bath at a precise temperature. Once the water temperature is set, you only need to wait for the food to cook.
In this blog post, we will walk through an easy yet impressive sous vide rack of lamb recipe. We’ll cover everything from setting the right temperature for your sous vide bath to finishing it with a beautiful sear. And, of course, I’ll give you my best tips and serving ideas.
🍖What is a Rack of Lamb?
A rack of lamb is a cut of meat from the rib section of a lamb. This cut typically includes eight ribs, and the meat is attached to the ribs in one piece, forming a “rack.”
It is often sold “Frenched,” which means the fat and meat are trimmed away from the ends of the rib bones. While Frenched rack of lamb looks more elegant, it doesn’t affect sous vide cooking either way.
For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below
- Racks of lamb: Look for ones with a good amount of meat and a nice layer of fat.
- Fresh rosemary
- Fresh thyme
- Black pepper
🌡️Best Temperature for Sous Vide Rack of Lamb
Lamb is generally considered at its most tender and juiciest when cooked to medium-rare or medium. Anything above medium and the lamb will be dry and less tender. I usually cook it at 135 degrees F, at the bottom of the medium range.
Here is the temperature chart for lamb:
|120°F to 129°F||rare||cool red center|
|130°F to 134°F||medium rare||warm red center|
|135°F o 144°F||medium||warm pink center, still moist|
|145°F-154°F||medium well||slightly pink center, a bit dry|
|150°F and up||well done||little or no pink, firmer, drier|
Note: I don’t recommend cooking any meat below 130 degrees F for food safety reasons.
🥣How to Make Sous Vide Rack of Lamb
- First, make sure you have a sous vide container that will work with the shape of the lamb rack. If you need to, you can slice it into smaller pieces. Then set your sous vide water bath to 135 degrees F or your chosen water temperature.
- Once the water reaches temperature, season your lamb with salt and pepper. Then, seal the lamb in a bag with rosemary, thyme, and garlic slices. It is handy to have a vacuum sealer, but if you don’t use the water displacement method. In this method, you use the weight of the meat to push out all the air as you submerge the bag.
- Add the sous vide to the pot of water and let it cook for 1-4 hours. This slow, even cooking will ensure the lamb is tender, juicy, and packed with flavor.
- Once the meat is done, heat a grill to high heat. Take the lamb out and dry it with a paper towel. Then sear it quick on all sides so that it develops beautiful, caramelized edges. You can also sear the lamb in a cast iron skillet, but the shape of the rack of lamb makes using a grill easier.
⏲️Why is There Such a Wide Cooking Time Range?
A time range of 1-4 hours for cooking the rack of lamb is an extensive range. This is because once the lamb reaches the temperature you have set, it won’t go any higher, so leaving it in the water won’t affect it.
Eventually, however, it will reach the point where the meat will develop a less desirable texture. So don’t leave it in longer than 4 hours, but use the wide range to time your dinner when it is most convenient for you.
🍴Serving Ideas for Sous Vide Rack of Lamb
I generally slice the cooked lamb into individual chops before serving because cutting it at the table can get messy. Allow 3-4 ribs per person, depending on how many sides your offer to go with the main course.
Add some sprigs of rosemary to the plate and serve with your favorite side dishes. Like a fancy restaurant, you can arrange the lamb steaks around a pile of mashed potatoes. Or pair it with some roasted veggies for a rustic, homey feel.
💭How to Store
What to do if you have some leftover rack of lamb? Once it’s cool enough to handle, transfer it into an airtight container and pop it into the fridge. It should last for about 3 to 4 days.
You can also freeze your leftover lamb. Just make sure it’s well wrapped to prevent freezer burn, and it can last for up to two months. And when you’re ready to enjoy it again, thaw it overnight in the fridge and reheat it gently.
Remember, the lamb is already perfectly cooked, so be careful not to overcook it during reheating. Using the sous vide for reheating is a simple way to ensure it doesn’t get overcooked.
Be sure to check out the step by step instructions
- Look for a rack with even fat distribution and a bright, fresh color. Your butcher can help you select a good one.
- Don’t let the fancy French name intimidate you; sous vide is simpler than it sounds. You’ll need a sous vide machine (I use the Anova Precision Cooker) and a large pot or container to hold water.
- If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, use a zip-top bag and the water displacement method. The water pushes out the air, creating a tight fit around the lamb.
You bet! One of the great things about sous vide is that it’s forgiving. Just add an extra hour to the cook time.
Yes, you can, but I prefer to sear it after. The high heat gives the lamb a beautiful brown crust, like the cherry on top of a sundae. It’s the finishing touch that elevates the dish from good to great.
No worries! As I mentioned, you can use the water displacement method with a zip-top bag. It’s not as fancy, but it gets the job done.
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Sous Vide Rack of Lamb Recipe
- 1 rack of lamb
- 1 clove garlic
- Fresh rosemary sprigs
- Black pepper
- Make sure the rack of lamb fits into your sous vide container. Fill the container with water and set the circulator to 135 degrees F. The notes below for a chart of temperatures for lamb.
- Once it reaches temperature, season the lamb with salt and pepper. Place the lamb in a bag with fresh herbs and slices of garlic.1 rack of lamb, 1 clove garlic, Salt, Black pepper, Fresh rosemary sprigs
- To seal the bag, use a vacuum-sealer or zip-top bag using the water displacement method. To use the water displacement method, seal the bag most of the way and slowly lower it in the water, letting the water pressure push out most of the air.
- Place the lamb in the preheated water bath. Let it cook for 1 – 4 hours.
- When you are ready to eat, heat a grill on high heat. Remove the rack of lamb from the bag and pat it dry with a paper towel. Sear for 1-2 minutes per side to form a nice crust on the meat.
- Slice into individual lamb chops and serve with more fresh herbs.
- Look for a lamb rack with even fat distribution and a bright, fresh color. Your butcher can help you select a good one.
- You can sear the meat in a hot skillet; it is just more difficult than a grill due to the shape of the lamb rack.
- Allow 3-4 lamb chops per person.
- If the lamb is frozen, add 1 hour to the cooking time.
- Over 4 hours, the lamb texture will start to deteriorate.
Temperature Chart for Sous Vide Rack of LambCooking under 130°F isn’t recommended. Lamb is usually served medium rare or medium so it doesn’t get dry. 130°F to 134°F| medium rare | warm red center 135°F to 144°F | medium | warm pink center, still moist 145°F to 154°F| medium well | slightly pink center, a bit dry 150°F and up | well done | little or no pink, firmer, drier
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Nutrition facts are estimates.