Sous Vide Lamb Chop with Pickled Garlic

sous vide lamb chop

I've recently received several requests to demonstrate usages and techniques of the immersion circulator. Precise water baths and sous vide cooking is not yet common in most home kitchens but it has many practical applications, I use sous vide in my home kitchen when I want to precisely cook a tender and lean peice of meat, as a replacement of steaming vegetables because the nutrients are retained, and to cook food when I know I'll be busy; cooking sous vide allows for a large margin of time for food to spend in the water bath without overcooking or changing the texture of the cooked item. For some of my earlier posts on sous vide check out Sous Vide Venison Loin with Hazelnut Maple Coffee Butter and the Hot Spring Egg (Onsen Tamago).

I decided to take a more classic approach on this dish by focusing on the beloved flavor trinity of lamb, garlic, and rosemary. This dish demonstrates that by embracing new technologies and approaches to a craft, exciting and successful innovations are to be found at every turn. This dish is also very easy to recreate with similar consistency time after time, this is thanks to the precision of sous vide cooking.

Lamb is both environmentally and culturally an interesting source of nutrition. Lamb is an important source of protein throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East, and has been for a very long time in many of these regions. Lamb is largely consumed in countries which are heavily populated by Muslims(Manyfold Farms), this is due to the religious laws of halal which allow for lamb and beef consumption but not pork. I also believe lamb are historically important to Europe and the Middle east due to the fact they were domesticated in the region around 10,000 BC(Claeys), which would date the animal being an important food source in the region for roughly 12,000 years.

Interestingly, lamb consumption only accounts for about 1% of the meat consumption in the United States(EWG). Despite lamb's lack of popularity in the United States, lamb production is an important issue to have awareness of, per pound lamb production is the largest agricultural product contributing to releasing greenhouse emissions. Take a look at This Meat Eaters Guide for a better understanding of what and how these agriculture products add to greenhouse emissions. Awareness is the first step to more responsible consumer actions.

I am not making the argument that lamb should totally be eliminated from ones diet due to the high release of greenhouse emissions, but spreading awareness may help with the future supply and demand of lamb. That being said, lamb is a rare treat and should be thoroughly enjoyed when acquired. Local lambs are generally quite expensive per pound and can be found at farmers markets throughout the country. Considering the price and environmental issues with producing lamb, reserving this meat as a rare treat makes this dish all the more special.
sous vide lamb chop

Sous Vide Lamb Chops with Pickled Garlic

  • 2 Thick lamb chops
  • 2 T Butter, and more to sear the lamb chops
  • Rosemary, reserve enough rosemary to finely mince
  • Pickled garlic, purchased or home-made
  • salt and pepper
Cooking Directions
  1. Lightly salt both sides of the lamb chops.
  2. Vacuum seal lamb chops, butter, and one sprig of rosemary together. Ensure that the seal is complete.
  3. Preheat your immersion circulator or other water bath option to 140 F for a medium cooked lamb chop. 115 for rare, 130 for medium-rare, 145 for medium-well, or 150 F for well done. (This recipe is timed for a medium cooked lamb chop)
  4. Let the lamb sit in the water bath for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the bag from the water bath and thoroughly dry with a paper towel so the surface moisture is gone.
  6. On a stovetop melt butter or oil of choice in a cast iron skillet. (Any pan is fine)
  7. Sear the exterior of the lamb chop until a brown crust forms, roughly 30 seconds per side, but may vary depending on cooking set-up.
  8. Once the meat is browned plate by sprinkling over finely minced rosemary, sliced pickled garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.
Total Time: 2 hours
Citations and Further Readings:
  • Claeys, Matthew C. " Sheep Facts." Department of Animal Science. Ed. Lori McBryde. NCSU, n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2003.

  • "Climate and Environmental Impacts." Meat Eater's Guide. EWG, n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2015. <>.
  • "How To Eat Lamb." Manyfeld Farms, 1 Sept. 2012. Web. <>.

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