Moroccan Roll

Because we live near Somerville’s prime viewing spot for the Boston Esplanade fireworks, I never do any holiday grilling on July 4th. On the few occasions I’ve tried, I’ve had to fend off drunken passers-by – not a pleasant assertion of independence, either theirs or mine. Yesterday was no different: She Who Must Be Obeyed and I treated ourselves to our annual lobster roll, and I grilled dinner on Sunday the 3rd.

I alluded to the grilling project at the end of a previous post, and after consulting with a friend who had cooked a similar meal, I worked out a plan that involved minimal effort  and maximum flavor. I would marinate and then sous vide cook a boneless leg of lamb, then finish it on the grill and add a pomegranate glaze. I staretd two days earlier with the lamb, a pint of Greek yogurt, and an ounce of harissa.

I mixed the harissa and yogurt, covered the lamb with the marinade, and then vacuum sealed it for a day-long rest in the fridge. Using Greek yogurt meant the marinade was thick enough not to get sucked out of the bag during the sealing process.

After a ful 24 hours of marinating, I unsealed the bag, wiped off as much of the yogurt mixture as I could, then vacuum sealed the lamb in a new bag with an entire stick of butter divided over the top and bottom.

I let the lamb cook for 24 hours at 57 °C, which was also the first long-term test of my homebrewed immersion circulator.

About an hour before dinner time I reduced a pint of pomegranate juice to a quarter cup of glaze, then I removed the bag from its warm bath.

When drained and patted dry, the lamb didn’t look all that appetizing, but I knew it was a uniform medium rare inside.

While my grill warned up, I prepared the two sides: minted couscous and glazed carrots with cumin.

I crisped the outside of the lamb on the grill over a very hot hardwood charcoal fire. The lamb needed no more than a few minutes on each side to develop a dark char. After a short rest, I sliced and plated the lamb, then drizzled the glaze over the top.

You can see that the lamb is perfectly pink all the way to the edges, the result of the long sous vide cooking step. It was tender and juicy, complemented by the pomegranate and a hint of smoke from the grill. Best of all, while it took some time and a bit of planning, it was dead simple to actually prepare.

I got to be lazy and cook a tasty meal on a holiday weekend. I love it when a plan comes together.


Lamb: Stillman’s
Harissa: See Smell Taste
Yogurt: Fage
Pomegranate Juice: POM Wonderful

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8 Responses to Moroccan Roll

  1. winenegress says:

    That looks delicious and is making me rethink whether I should take the sous vide plunge. See you soon.

  2. Chris Shaw says:

    Are those ping pong balls floating on top of the water? (and why?)

    • David says:

      Yup. ping pong balls. They prevent evaporative water loss, but slide out of the way when you need to add or remove something from the water bath. Easier to work with than a rigid cover.

  3. Andrea says:

    The lamb did it. I’m going to ask Dennis to make me a sous vide now that he’s finished with a little plumbing job. It can’t be any more difficult than hooking up an Ikea sink and faucet into our 19th century 3rd floor bathroom.

    • David says:

      You better get him started now, it takes almost a month for the PID controller and thermocouple to arrive from Hong Kong. He can talk to me about the particulars of building the thing.

  4. Ryan says:

    I need to make this ASAP. Looks amazing!

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