Contains: Dairy, nightshade spice. Is: Wheat/gluten-free, primal.
Made for the June 6th online Culinary Meet-Up. I really wish I could share!!! (And taste everyone else’s food in return!)
The concept behind this particular Meet-Up was to focus once again on the pantry (and fridge, and freezer). Pick three ingredients, and make something.
We picked our three main ingredients from this pantry-picking site over at Epicurious: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes-menus/pantry-recipe-finder-article
I decided to go with the lamb / sweet potato / mushroom combo.
I’d gotten a half lamb for the freezer back early-mid March, from Sepe Farm, Newtown Connecticut (also the date of my last haircut, Wild Iris, Brookfield Connecticut, my last sushi lunch (J Ramen, Brookfield), the date my taxes were done, same town, and the last face-to-face book club meeting I’ve attended – Newtown, again. And yes, the date I picked up shad roe at Stew Leonard’s). The world has changed since March 11th. This area was my old stomping ground.
Epicurious pointed me at this recipe:
Which I didn’t make. It does look like a great recipe, however. I do have the ground lamb the above recipe calls for, but I really wanted to use the sous vide technique, which involves an implement we’ve never used to date at any of our Culinary Meet Ups. I went with a nice shoulder lamb chop, which was fortuitously cut at 3/4th to 1 inch thickness – ideal for the sous vide! Thicker improves what you can do. (Yes, you can cook ground meat in the a sous vide water bath circulator, but I really didn’t wish to do so. Sous vide technique is more interesting with whole cuts.) I stuck to the recipe’s flavor profile, omitting (obviously) items I didn’t have – such as the mint. Even without COVID-19, I am not dashing 40 minutes one way to a supermarket to find that they might or might not be out of the stuff! (I plan to grow it this year. I need to set up container planting, as mint is invasive.)
The recipe also pointed to yogurt – and yes, I do have that! As well as a little leftover fennel bulb. In the spirit of a pantry, though, for this I used dried mushrooms, re-hydrated.
I fear that sometimes it takes more time to write up a recipe than actually COOK it !!!! (And this time, this is very, very true…)
Prep Time: 30 minutes.
Sous Vide Time: 1.25 – 2 hours.
Cook Time: 40 minutes.
Rest Time: Not required.
Cuisine: Western world, with a nod, perhaps, to Greece?
Leftovers: Reheat at 375 F, for 10 minutes, to keep the meat from overcooking past your preference.
Sous Vide Lamb Shoulder Chop, with Sweet Potatoes and Mushrooms
- Around 1 pound lamb shoulder chop or lamb steak – look for something with a lot of meat. There may be bone and some fat, but your ideal will be meatiness. The thicker the better (mine was 3/4 inch to an inch in thickness). The steak will be easier to divide into servings than the chop.
- Salt and pepper to taste – err on the lesser side, as you can always add more later.
- 1 teaspoon Aleppo chili powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
- 200 grams of sweet potatoes, chopped into large segments. (skin or not, to preference. But remove thick bits or anything that looks dodgy.)
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin.
- 0.5 ounces dehydrated shiitake mushrooms weighed WITHOUT the stems, or around 6 ounces fresh shiitakes, destemmed.
- Up to 5 ounces of thinly sliced fennel bulb. (What was left of what I had was maybe 3 ounces.)
- 1 half small red onion (OR 1/8th small white onion, which is what i had) sliced very thin.
- 1/4 cup unseasoned rice or apple cider vinegar. (I used rice.)
- 1/2 cup quality plain whole milk yogurt. Greek or otherwise.
- 1.5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.
- 1/4 cup shredded mint leaves — or if you don’t have, a heaping half teaspoon or so of dried oregano.
- A couple teaspoons of cooking oil. (I go with my stand-by, avocado.)
FOR THE SOUS VIDE:
Place the unit in an appropriate vessel of water, following manufacturer instructions. Set the temperature to 130-135 F for medium rare. For more of a medium, go for 140 F. (I chose 132 F.) Plan to cook for 1.25 – 2 hours, noting that sous vide will give you some leeway in the other direction. This is contingent on cooking THAWED not frozen meat. You’ll need more time if you are pulling the steak or chop out of the freezer directly.
Season the lamb with a little salt, some ground pepper, the Aleppo and the cinnamon. Rub these seasonings into the meat, and then tuck the lamb into the bag you will immerse into the water bath.
Remove as much air as possible. You can use 1) a dedicated sous vide vacuum seal bag, for which you will also need a vacuum sealer; 2) a zip lock bag from which you will use the water immersion technique to force air out, before zipping the bag locked. 3) a reusable silicon bag, with which you will use the same water immersion technique.
Place in the water bath. You can place the food in the bath prior to the bath having gotten to temperature, but do count the timing from whence that temperature is reached.
Plan on this lamb cooking sous vide for 1.25 – 2 hours, more or less.
FOR THE MUSHROOMS AND SWEET POTATOES
For dehydrated mushrooms: Place in a suitable container which will allow room for expansion, and cover with hot water, for around an hour, or re-constituted. Mine were thin, and took less than an hour. For thicker ones, you may want to start soaking them before you run the sous vide. For fresh, simply slice and set aside.
When the mushrooms are ready, the coarsely chunked sweet potatoes should be set into water along with the rehydrated mushroom (and THEIR liquid), brought to a boil, and then allowed to simmer for about 25 minutes or until soft.
FOR THE PICKLED FENNEL AND ONION
In a small vessel, combine vinegar, fennel and onion, and allow to pickle 15-30 minutes.
FOR THE YOGURT SAUCE
Mix yogurt, lemon, mint (or oregano) in a small vessel.
ASSEMBLAGE, OR PUTTING THIS ALL TOGETHER!
Drain, and lightly mash the sweet potato dish.
Remove the lamb from the sous vide, remove the lamb from the bag, gently pat dry with a paper towel.
Pour the juices from the bag into the mashed sweet potato and mushroom pot, and stir briefly.
Add the drained sweet potato and mushrooms, with juice, to a large skillet (medium high), moving it around in this pan, encouraging the liquids to meld in to the veggies.
While there is no need to “rest” sous vide meat, do set aside to cook down and concentrate the flavors of the juices with the sweet potato and mushroom mix. Move these to the cooler sides of the skillet and add the lamb. Sear (searing after cooking is known as reverse-searing) the lamb, about 2 minutes each side.
Plate into a platter, and top with the yogurt mixture. Drain the vinegar from the pickled fennel and onion, and top the final dish with that.
Prepare to divvy up, and serve. (This is where a lamb steak will be more useful than a lamb chop…) If you have any fennel fronds (the part that looks like dill) this would make a great garnish.
This recipe is linking to: