Sous vide herb crusted rack of lamb is what dreams are made of. These lamb chops are cooked to perfection using a sous vide, then covered in a delicious herbed bread crumb mixture.
The result? A masterful tasting dish that you can whip out for a romantic dinner, the holidays or a casual Sunday. This is a sous vide rack of lamb recipe you do not want to miss.
To French or Not to French
"Frenching" is a culinary technique that involves exposing the rib bones by cutting off meat and fat from the bone side of a rack of lamb. Frenching is generally used to beautify a dish and make it look fancier.
However, for this recipe frenching makes sense since you are trimming away excess fat in advance that you would end up cutting off later. Plus the rack of lamb looks absolutely stunning frenched.
If you want to be adventurous and learn a new skill, try frenching the rack of lamb yourself at home. Just make sure your knife is real sharp so you can effortlessly carve this heavenly piece of meat. I recommend the E5 electric knife sharpener for the job.
If frenching isn't for you, just ask your butcher and they will be happy to do it for you.
An essential part of cooking sous vide is putting ingredients in an air-tight bag or container. The two most common techniques to package your ingredients are vacuum sealing and using the water displacement method.
A vacuum sealer removes all the air and seals the contents of a plastic bag through a vacuum. This process ensures the food is airtight and properly sealed, and prevents the bag from floating which can result in uneven cooking. If you are in the market for a vacuum sealer, I’d recommend the Anova sealer.
The displacement method is a technique where you first place your food and marinades in a sous vide bag. Next, submerge the bag in a container of water, and allow the pressure to force all the air out of the bag. Once all the air is out, zip up the bag and you’re all set!
Both of these methods work for this recipe, so use whichever you feel more comfortable with!
Rack of Lamb Time and Temperature
Through loads of experimentation, we’ve found that cooking the lamb racks sous vide at 58C/136F for 2 hours is the perfect combo. Leaving the lamb in for 2 hours breaks down the connective tissue (collagen), which results in an extremely tender rack. Also, cooking them at a temperature of 136F is the sweet spot for a succulent but firm lamb.
Although this combination of time and temperature is our favorite, we recommend you explore different combinations to find your personal favorite. Our cooking guide can always help you find your perfect time and temperature.
Placing Rack in an Ice Bath
Once the rack of lamb is finished cooking in the sous vide, I recommend immediately transferring it to an ice bath. An ice bath is the term for a big bowl or cooler filled with ice and water.
Placing the lamb in the ice bath for 10 minutes will cool down the external temperature and make it easy to get a great sear and spread the dijon mustard.
Finishing the Rack of Lamb
Searing is the most critical step in the sous vide process. Getting a deep, rich sear can make your food look like it is Michelin star quality. Failing to do so will make your dinner guests wonder why they let you cook again.
If you want to get an amazing finish on your rack of lamb, follow these steps:
Pre-searing the Rack
Take the rack of lamb out of the bag, discard the rosemary and garlic and pat dry using paper towels. Season the lamb with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat up large skillet on high and add oil. Sear rack of lamb fat side down for 60 seconds, or until browned. Continue flipping the rack to sear the crown and edges. Remove from pan, place on a plate and gently pat with paper towels to remove excess oils.
Applying Dijon Mustard and Bread Crumbs
After the meat is dry, coat the rack thinly and evenly with dijon mustard. The most effective way to spread the dijon evenly on the rack of lamb is with pastry brush or a fork.
Note that the dijon is used as a binder so the bread crumbs will stick to the rack, and also provides excellent flavor to the lamb. If dijon is not for you, regular mustard or a mild hot sauce should work fine.
Next, pat a thick layer of bread crumbs on top of the rack of the lamb. The bread crumbs should adhere to the dijon mustard creating a nice, thick crust.
Finishing in Oven
Last, cook the rack of lamb at high temperatures to achieve a deep, rich sear. We suggest baking the rack in the oven at 400F for 10 - 15 minutes.
This high temperature ensures the bread crumbs will result in a nice, browned crust. Also 10-15 minutes will make sure the internal temperature of the rack of lamb is at serving temperature.
Sous Vide Machine – This one is obvious. To cook sous vide, you’re going to need a device to precisely regulate the temperature of the bath water. The two best sous vide machines in the game right now are the Anova Precision Cooker and the Breville Joule.
The main difference between the two is that with the Anova you can control the device both manually and with a mobile device, and with the Joule you can only control the device by using your mobile device. Either way, both sous vide machines are top class and you can’t go wrong with either choice.
12-quart Container – Although you can use a basic stockpot for your sous vide cooking needs, I highly recommend buying a large plastic container. They are inexpensive and spacious, so you won’t have to worry about cooking a big roast in a small pot. I recommend a 12 quart Rubbermaid container, as it is BPA free, sturdy, and large enough for just about anything you will be cooking.
Container Lid – If you are going to buy a plastic container, I highly suggest buying a compatible lid for it. When you sous vide for a long duration, the heat of the water causes evaporation. With a lid, it eliminates a majority of the evaporation so you can cook for hours care-free.
Roasting Pan and Rack – Having a quality roasting pan for this recipe can help achieve an excellent sear in the oven. Made In offers the best quality and price, which is why it is our favorite pan brand.
Check out our full list of recommended gear here.
Sous Vide Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb
- 1 rack lamb
- 4 sprigs rosemary
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ tablespoon dijon mustard
- ½ cup Progresso bread crumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
Set sous vide machine to 58C/136F.
Salt and pepper rack of lamb to taste. Place rack of lamb in bag with 2 sprigs of rosemary, 2 cloves of crushed garlic and olive oil. Remove the air through a vacuum sealer or the displacement method. Drop the bag in the bath for 2 hours.
Herbed Bread Crumb Mixture
While lamb is cooking, create the bread crumb mixture. Add Progresso bread crumbs and a touch of oil and sauté until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoon of chopped rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and let cool.
After 2 hours, remove bag from bath. Immediately transfer lamb to ice bath to reduce the internal temperature of the meat. Once cool, take out of the bag, discard rosemary and garlic and pat dry with paper towel.
Heat up large skillet on high and add oil. Sear rack of lamb for 60 seconds on each side, or until browned. Remove from pan, place on a plate and gently pat with paper towels to remove excess oils.
Preheat oven to 400F. Evenly brush dijon mustard on the rack of lamb, then pat a thick layer of the herbed bread crumb mixture.
Put coated rack of lamb in oven at 400F for 10 - 15 minutes. Take lamb out of the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice the rack of lamb into individual chops and feast!