Australian Leg of Lamb, processing via sous vide @
The vegetables provide a lot of flavor to the eventual dipping sauce. In concert with the meat itself, this hearty stock is what always made the roast beef version of this dish stand out.
Sous vide process the Lamb @
Shock the lamb cold in iced water until it achieves 70F/21C. This should take approximately one half hour. To be sure, without adding more water, let the pouch stay in the water for fifteen minutes. If the temperature of the water increases above 70F/21C, repeat the process. Refrigerate @40F/4C.
Coat the vegetables with a few drops of oil to conduct the heat and roast at
400F/204C in the oven until quite brown.
Add 2 liters water, simmer for two hours, strain. Season with approximately 2 teaspoons of salt and a dash of pepper. The adage is to add salt until you can almost taste it, but not quite. This takes practice, even for professionals!
Patience is the key with browning vegetables. There is very little simple sugar in vegetables, so it is the caramelized carbohydrates that create the color.
It is difficult to resist opening the oven to monitor progress but it takes a long time for the vegetables to burn beyond use. It is better to set a timer and occupy ourselves with something else like making the rolls!
There is no shame in buying bread at the store or bakery. It is difficult to make a product at home that is better than the professional versions. It is fun once in a while, and much easier than most people realize. I use the sponge method, a well kept secret among bakers.
Start with 1 cup/150 g. of the flour and the yeast. Mix well to insulate the yeast from the hot water. Add 1/3 cup/80 ml warm tap water (110/44C) and mix until ball forms. Fill bowl with more warm water. The ball will float in a few minutes as the yeast is activated. Remove water, add a few drops of oil, a pinch of salt, and another half cup/75g flour. Mix until smooth ball forms. Divide the dough into four equal portions and roll out or run them through a pasta machine as explained in the slides below.
Again, impatience is the enemy of good bread. If you provide the correct temperatures and the time required, yeast is a very dependable ally.
Not everyone has a pasta machine and it is not required to make this roll. I find it to be a small investment that helps me avoid searching for my rolling pin. It also gives you the versatility to create a wide variety of shapes with little labor. I start on “1” and work my way to “5”.
In ancient times, the task of forming rolls was assigned to children to keep them busy. This is still true in some countries today. I find that forming the rolls brings out the child in me, too, along with the urge to be whimsical and rather care free. No matter how strange the eventual shape, the bread will be edible! Paint the sheets of dough with egg so they stick together, and roll or fold into the desired shape. When completed, paint the top with egg wash, too.
After seasoning the stock, pour some into the cups for dipping. Add the meat, lamb in this case, to heat. Remove with tongs and assemble the sandwiches. Some people like to add cheese or other sandwich toppings but the simplicity of this sandwich is what makes it attractive. Cut the sandwiches in half and garnish with Potato Fritters or Potato Slivers
I hope you found this recipe useful, and even a little entertaining. French Dips are always big sellers in restaurants because customers are secure in the belief that the basic simplicity will not be reworked to incorporate a lot of creative but distracting ingredients. Bread, meat and a hearty broth is a very reassuring and satisfying thing. Here’s the link to the potato fritters, along with the pork chop that I served them with. Enjoy!
Below is a slide that covers the basic preparation of a sous vide leg of lamb. For the complete recipe of our Sous Vide Roast Leg of Lamb, click HERE.