How to sous vide perfectly tender boneless leg of lamb at home! This leg of lamb recipe is a wonderful main dish for special occasions, but simple and effortless enough—with the help of sous vide equipment—to enjoy as a nice Sunday dinner. For best results, use boneless leg of lamb that is butterflied.
There are a lot of sous vide dinner recipes out there that are considered “easy,” and this is probably not one of them. While sous vide leg of lamb is more of a special occasion meal or elaborate Sunday dinner, it is beyond worth it! The texture is unparalleled thanks to sous vide and between the herby rub and salsa verde, it has so much flavor.
Once you’ve fallen in love with this recipe, make sure to try Sous Vide Rack of Lamb (that herby feta sauce is amazing). If you need more sauce, marinade, and seasoning inspiration, look no further than my cookbooks!
This cookbook outlines my entire method for keeping your freezer stocked with ready to sous vide meals (and some great recipes to boot!).
What to Look for in Leg of Lamb
Lamb has a reputation for being “gamey”, but that hasn’t been my experience. I think (nope, I know) it’s because I’ve buy my lamb from high quality sources. Don’t skimp on when buying your boneless leg of lamb – save that for boneless skinless chicken breasts!
And on that note, yes: make sure your leg of lamb is boneless. If you’re buying direct from a butcher, they can do this for you. This makes it easier to handle and allows us to smother it with a delicious garlicky, herby mixture and roll it right up!
What do I need to make sous vide leg of lamb?
Fret not: this is a much simpler process than you are anticipating. I promise.
In terms of equipment, you’ll need:
- Food processor or mortar and pestle
- A heatproof container (could just be a large stockpot, but I love my Everie container)
- An immersion circulator
- It’s not necessary, but a vacuum sealer and bags makes things easier
- Butcher’s twine
For the leg of lamb, you’ll need:
- Boneless leg of lamb (don’t skimp when it comes to quality!)
- A host of dried herbs, like mustard seeds, coriander, cumin, peppercorns (you could use black or tricolor)
- Garlic cloves
- Fresh rosemary
- Fresh thyme
- Olive oil
- Ghee or butter for searing (I like ghee because it’s got the taste of butter but a higher smoking point.)
You can get loosey goosey with the dried herbs you happen to have on hand. Don’t have coriander? No biggie. Only have dried rosemary? Fine. Get creative! It’s hard to go wrong.
How to Prepare Sous Vide Leg of Lamb
Again, make sure your leg of lamb is boneless, and it should be butterflied, meaning it can lay flat!
Add all the ingredients except the lamb, ghee, and salsa verde ingredients to a food processor or use a mortar and pestle to grind them into a paste.
Season the leg of lamb liberally on both sides with kosher salt. Lay with the fat cap side down (you can trim this if you want) and score the top with a sharp pairing knife (this means dragging the knife across in diagonal lines both ways – watch the how to video to see how it’s done!).
When done, remove from the water bath and bag. Pat super dry with paper towels.
Remove the twine and slice. Top with salsa verde and serve!
What to Serve with Leg of Lamb
When I think side dishes for leg of lamb, I tend to think holiday sides. Some ideas…
- Scalloped Potatoes with Gruyere and Thyme
- Cacio e Pepe Mashed Potatoes
- Focaccia Bread
- Brussels Sprouts with Rosemary Cream Sauce
I looooove the leftovers almost more than the actual dish! I sliced the remaining leg of lamb super, super thinly and used it to make sandwiches with pesto, confit tomatoes, and goat cheese; pitas with arugula, Mama Lil’s hot peppers, kalamata olives, hummus, and labneh; hashes with potatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, and a fried egg. Get creative!
The short answer is no, but you kind of can. As long as you use a temperature between 130-135 degrees F, it will be a beautiful medium rare, but you can affect the texture if you cook it too long. Don’t go more than 5 hours and you’ll be a-okay.
Yes, it does! That’s the beauty of sous vide. You can tenderize while keeping meat a beautiful medium rare. However, you can overdo it – don’t go too long, or you’ll be left with mushy meat!
You can view this recipe as a step-by-step web story.
Get the Recipe:
Sous Vide Boneless Leg of Lamb
For the lamb:
For the salsa verde (optional):
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 tsp flaked sea salt
- Juice of half a lemon
- Zest of one lemon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Using your immersion circulator, preheat water bath to 130 degrees F.
- Add all the ingredients except the lamb, ghee, and salsa verde ingredients to a food processor or use a mortar and pestle to grind them into a paste.
- Season the leg of lamb liberally on both sides with additional kosher salt. Lay with the fat cap side down (you can trim this if you want) and score the top with a sharp pairing knife (this means dragging the knife across in diagonal lines both ways – watch the how to video to see how it’s done!).
- Rub the herb mixture all over the scored side. Roll it up, and secure in place with butcher’s twine.
- Vacuum seal the rolled leg of lamb or add to a gallon-sized zipper top bag and remove all the air. Add to preheated water bath and cook for 3-5 hours.
- When done, remove from the water bath and bag. Pat leg of lamb as dry as possible with paper towels.
- Get a cast iron skillet searing hot – as hot as possible – and add enough ghee to coat the skillet. Sear the leg of lamb on all sides until golden brown.
- Let the leg of lamb rest for a moment on the cutting board. Prep the salsa verde by mixing together all ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
- Remove the twine from the leg of lamb and slice into 1/2 inch slices. Top with salsa verde and serve!