This sous vide leg of lamb recipe is perfect when you find yourself with a boneless leg of lamb. It’s a wonderful main dish to serve at holidays, but simple enough, with the help of sous vide, to have as a fancy weekend dinner. Serve with a lemony salsa verde and mashed potatoes for an incredible meal!
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Sous vide leg of lamb has been my enemy for a while. I bought one a few months ago and it’s been sitting in my freezer. It just felt so intimidating! But I finally took the plunge, and I’m so glad I did. I’d totally been overthinking it!
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 been buying my lamb from a high quality source: Porter Road. 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 (I love the Vesta Imersa Elite)
- 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
- Mustard seeds
- Kosher salt
- Garlic cloves
- Olive oil
- Ghee or butter for searing (I like ghee because it’s got the taste of butter but a higher smoking point. I get mine from Thrive Market.)
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!).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 a water bath preheated to 130 degrees F with an immersion circulator and cook for 3-5 hours.
When done, remove from the water bath and bag. Pat super dry with paper towels. Get a cast iron skillet searing hot – as hot as possible – and add the ghee. Sear the leg of lamb on all sides until golden brown.
Remove the twine and slice. Top with salsa verde and serve!
What to do with Leg of Lamb Leftovers
I loooooved 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 chese
- Pitas with arugula, Mama Lil’s hot peppers, kalamata olives, hummus, and labneh
- Hashes with potatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, and a fried egg
What to Serve with Leg of Lamb
When I think side dishes for leg of lamb, I tend to think holiday sides. Some ideas…
- Cacio e Pepe Mashed Potatoes
- Macaroni and cheese
- Focaccia Bread
- Brussels Sprouts with Rosemary Cream Sauce
Sous Vide Leg of Lamb Recipe
Sous Vide Leg of Lamb
For the lamb:
- 3-5 pound boneless leg of lamb
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 garlic cloves
- Leaves of 1 rosemary sprig
- Leaves of 2 thyme sprigs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Ghee or butter for searing
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!