lamb chops sous vide

January 11th, 2012

So, one of my biggest Christmas presents this year was a huge addition to our kitchen: a sous vide machine! 

Because when Thomas Keller writes a book about a revolutionary cooking technique, most of us who love to cook immediately want to try it out!

Sous vide is a technique that starts with vacuum-sealing the meat or vegetables that you’re cooking, and then boils them at a low temperature for a long period of time, which breaks down proteins without toughening the meat.  You basically can’t overcook anything using this method — so long as you set the proper temperature for the water bath, you could leave the meat in it for anywhere from 90 minutes to about 8 hours with terrific results.  You can also cook foods at less than the temperature you’d need to oven-bake it to, because you’re holding the food at the temperature for longer.  Sounds good, right?  Add in dozens of people online talking about how sous-vide is the future of cooking, and I was extremely curious.

This machine is a pretty serious investment, and I’ve spent just about every weekend getting used to it.  What started with a so-so salmon filet (my fault, not seasoned properly or seared to finish) eventually became an absolutely perfect chicken breast (in bulk for weeknight dinners, even) and these terrific lamb chops.  I’m not usually much of a meat-eater (or -cooker), which you guys know already from reading this blog, but these were great.

Worth the investment?  Time will tell.  I’m still a little scared to leave anything cooking while we’re at work, both for food-safety and regular-safety reasons, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it.  And to save me from being stuck in the kitchen during a dinner party while everyone else is having appetizers and drinks?  Priceless. 

Lamb Chops Sous-Vide


1/2 pound lamb chops
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Fleur de sel
Fresh cracked pepper


Fill the sous vide machine with water and heat it to 132 degrees F.  Salt and pepper the lamb chops and rub a small amount of olive oil on each.  Vacuum seal the lamb chops.  Cook for two hours in the sous vide machine, and then sear them (in a preheated pan with a tiny bit of olive oil) on high heat for 30 seconds on each side. 

Tags: food · main dishes

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Colleen @ Jimmy Choos on the Treadmill // Jan 11, 2012 at 7:46 am

    A sous-vide machine would definitely be great for large dinner parties or even holiday dinners. I’m all for anything that takes a step out of cooking!

  • 2 Jamie P. // Jan 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    I love sous vide. While you are learning you should check out the Sous Vide Dash iPhone app in the app store. It will help you figure out cooking times for a lot of different foods.

  • 3 Rosemaryandthegoat // Jan 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Chops look great. Just before I quit Williams Sonoma we started selling the sous-vide. I never got to use one there but see it being used all the time on food shows. Look forward to seeing what you cook in it. — Sherry

  • 4 Sarah // Jan 11, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Wow – sounds pretty intense! But your meat turned out beautifully (and coming from a vegetarian – that’s a real compliment!)

  • 5 Nicolette // Jan 12, 2012 at 12:15 am

    I saw this on Martha a few weeks ago.  Very interesting. I would have a hard time getting used to the concept too I think.

  • 6 Aaron // Jan 12, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    What sealer did you buy? I bought the SVP but was too cheap to buy a new sealer but really need something better! The food looks great! Keep using it and it gets better and better. I love eggs in mine!

  • 7 katy // Jan 12, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    I actually got the sealer at Costco — it’s a FoodSaver in the 3000 series (I paid $179 for it).  It’s actually really great — I’ll check the model number tonight and post it!

  • 8 JaySeeDub // Jan 12, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    If you’re concerned about sanitation when cooking with sous vide, don’t be. While it’s true that salmonella dies after 12 minutes at 60C (140F), it also dies at 55C (131F) after 90 minutes. Using your immersion circulator will kill off pathogenic bacteria above ~50C (122F). So if you’re going for lower temps, longer cooking times would be even better. There wouldn’t be any incubation of pathogenic bacteria (they do well at around our body temp).

  • 9 Sheila // Jan 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Love my new Polyscience Sous Vide !! Thanks for the info on the lamb chops.  I did my thanksgiving turkey – best one in 40 yrs of making them.  BBQ ribs great too.  Did corn beef, 145 for 72 hrs.  WOW.  I use the Food Saver with the marinate option and that is terrific.

  • 10 peter // Jan 13, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Not understanding why this is better than cooking those babies in minutes on a cast iron pan?

  • 11 Katy // Jan 13, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    A couple of advantages (although for this dish, I’m not sure it’s worth the fuss):

    1) Because you’re sealing in the meat during most of the cooking, it loses less moisture.  Also, because you’re cooking it slowly at a low temp, you don’t have to heat it as high.

    2) If you’re doing a bigger batch, you don’t have to sit over the oven for 30-4o min to get everything cooked off.  You cook everything in the water bath, and then just sear for 30 seconds before serving to finish them off.

  • 12 Ly // Jan 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I’ve always wanted to try sous vide. Unfortunately I don’t have the equipment.

  • 13 Mira8 // Jan 19, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    I don’t care how you cook them, they’re lamB chops, not lamp chops.

  • 14 katy // Jan 20, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Sorry guys — think I caught them all.  Blame my decade as a vegetarian, or the fact that I’m basically working 18 hour days till the end of February…

  • 15 Heather // Feb 14, 2012 at 1:04 am

    Cooking in plastic? Yuck.

Leave a Comment