Henry Poon's Blog

Cooking a boneless leg of lamb for Christmas!

I impulse bought one from Costco maybe about a couple of months ago thinking I would learn how to cook it in a reasonable amount of time. That would have made sense had I bought a smaller portion, but the one I got was almost 6 lbs… Around November, some friends and I thought it’d be a good idea to cook it for Christmas!

This post is not so much an expert chef cooking something, but more so the chronicles of a noob trying to learn the art.

I knew I wanted to sous vide it (what is it?). I wasn’t going to mess around with baking temperatures and times and what not. The sous vide would make the texture and consistency perfect. So I went ahead and looked for recipes.

I found these two:

I pretty much did a hybrid of those 2 videos. Both of them show similar content as to how to season the lamb, but the first one finishes it in the oven and deep fries some herbs for additional aromatics, while the second one uses a blowtorch. I didn’t want to deep fry anything, and I didn’t have a blow torch. So this is what I did:

Ingredients for the seasoning

  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 80g Colman’s dry mustard powder
  • 5 sprigs of rosemary

Ingredients for the glaze

  • Leftover juices from the bag after the sous vide process
  • 200 mL balsamic vinegar (could be more or less according to taste)

Instructions for cooking the lamb

1. Score the lamb (in a grid pattern with each cut around 0.75″ to 1″ apart)

2. Mix the mustard powder, salt, and black pepper together

3. Rub over the lamb generously
4. Put lamb and rosemary into the sous vide bag

5. Sous vide at 55 °C / 131 °F for 24 hours. Throughout the process, juices from the lamb will collect in the bag. Be sure not to dump the juices since it will be used laterPreheat oven to 232 °C or 450 °FTake the lamb out of the bag and put it into the oven. When putting the lamb in the oven, it helps to prop up the lamb with something like a steaming rack that can go into the oven so the bottom doesn’t get soggy. Alternatively, propping it up with tin foil also works.

6. Cook the oven for 10-15 minutes. The timing here isn’t so important so long as the meat has the right “look” that you want since it’s already cooked from the sous vide.

Instructions for the glaze

The glaze can be applied on the lamb or on the side. I opted to do it on the side since I didn’t know how the glaze would turn out.

  1. Mix the juices from the bag and the balsamic vinegar
  2. Cook it over medium high heat until it reduces to the point where when you put a spoon into the glaze, the liquid coats the back of the spoon instead of sliding off

The lamb was a fine addition to the rest of the meal we had!

Overall, the meat tasted great. The doneness and tenderness were spot on due to using the sous vide. Some parts of the lamb were unexpectedly gamier, but I think the rub wasn’t as evenly spread as I thought. Also, I think I left the lamb in the freezer too long since the quality of the meat itself had deteriorated a bit, making the lamb meat a bit rougher. The glaze itself added a bit of acidity to the savouriness which was welcome. So I think this was somewhat of a success!

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