Sous Vide Leg of Lamb, with a flavorful garlic herb rub and garlic butter sauce, makes the best addition to your Easter dinner menu. Just like our Sous Vide Lamb Chops, this succulent lamb roast is cooked to your preferred temperature then seared to develop a perfect crust.
More popular lamb recipes and sous vide recipes: Smoked Rack of Lamb and Smoked Leg of Lamb.
Our lamb seasoning recipe uses a simple, yet flavorful, garlic herb marinade comprised of garlic powder, fresh rosemary, dijon mustard recipe (substitute for dijon mustard options), kosher salt and black pepper.
If you’re not into rosemary, fresh thyme (or a mix of both herbs) will taste just as lovely.
Throw some aromatics in the bag for added flavor, if you like. Here are a few ideas: thyme, rosemary, oregano, onion, shallots, etc. Sous vide does bring out the concentration of the herbs, so use sparingly compared to your normal amount.
Garlic Butter Sauce
While this Sous Vide leg of lamb recipe is outstanding on it’s own, serving it with a side of garlic butter sauce kicks it up a notch!
Tip – throw in a sprig of rosemary (or thyme) when you’re making the butter sauce for an herbaceous dipping sauce.
How To Sous Vide Leg of Lamb
Only a few short steps stand between you and a tender lamb roast. Lamb is an extremely lean piece of meat, so it’s easy to overcook and dry out. Enter sous vide!
Step 1 – Pre-heat the water bath to your preferred temperature (consult the sous vous lamb temperature chart below), using a sous vide immersion circulator. It’s important to determine the correct temp and time so you don’t end up with raw or rare meat when you’re aiming for medium rare
Step 2 – Prepare the lamb roast by coating it in mustard and spices. Once seasoned, add the roast to the sous vide bag and vacuum seal.
Step 3 – Transfer the lamb to your sous vide machine and set the timer for a minimum of eight hour and a max of twelve hours. Consult the “how long does it take to sous vide lamb” chart below.
Step 4 – Reverse sear the leg of lamb in a very hot pre-heated cast iron pan for 45 seconds per side to develop a nice crust.
Reverse searing will only increase the temp by 1-2°, so pull accordingly once you determine your final temperature. The lamb pictured above was cooked in a water bath of 130°F and then reverse seared for 45 seconds per side.
- Rare Lamb: 115°F – 124°F
- Medium-Rare Lamb: 125°F – 134°F
- Medium Lamb: 135°F – 144°F
- Medium Well Lamb: 145°F – 154°F
- Well Done Lamb: 155°F +
For more cooking tips, visit our Lamb Temperature Chart guide.
Leg of lamb cook time is determined by the thickness of the roast. Fortunately, most boneless leg of lamb roasts are similar in size (in general).
We’ve tested a cook time of 4 hours and didn’t love the results. It made for a VERY chewy experience. The next test was at the 8 hour mark and it was much more tender and soft. So, we highly recommend NOT going for a cook time under 8 hours, if possible.
There are quite a few other flavor variations you can use to make this leg of lamb recipe.
- Greek Rub With Tzatziki (Smoked Rack of Lamb)
- Mint Chimichurri (Sous Vide Lamb Chops)
- Cilantro Chimichurri (Picanha)
- Chimichurri (Coulotte Steak)
You can absolutely use frozen lamb. Just add an extra hour to the cooking time.
For those new to sous vide cooking, we will add our experience with frozen meat. We don’t love using frozen meat. The juice that’s emitted usually takes on a slight “freezer burn” flavor. It’s ever so slight, but if you have a sensitive palate, we recommend sticking to defrosted or fresh meat.
Sous Vide Equipment
- Sous Vide Immersion Circulator – Any brand will work! We use the popular Anova Immersion Circulator.
- Vacuum Sealed Bags – You can always use a Ziploc bag and use the water displacement method if desired vs a vacuum sealer with a sous vide bag.
- Sous Vide Food Container – Here’s the sous vide food container we use.
- Cast Iron Pan – Use a large enough cast iron pan, or griddle pan, to accommodate multiple lamb chops. A stainless steel skillet will work as well, but it’s imperative you pre-heat and use plenty of oil so the roast doesn’t stick.
How to Re-heat
The best way to re-heat Sous Vide leg of lamb is to heat it back up in a water bath! Heat the water to just below the cooking temp you used the first time around. The time will stay the same as the first cook.
- Prepare the lamb by trimming the excess fat and silver skin prior to seasoning if your roast isn’t netted. If it does have a net, keep it on and skip trimming.
- Make sure the meat is fully submerged in the sous vide bath. If the meat isn’t fully submerged it won’t cook properly. Do not even attempt as food safety would not be guaranteed.
- Make sure to do a thorough job patting dry the lamb with paper towels after cooking. To get a good pan-seared crust, the lamb needs to be dry.
- Reserve searing lamb can create smoke. Turn on the oven fan prior to searing.
- If your sous vide bag floats, either re-seal or grab something to weight it down. We use sous vide weights when needed.
- Slice thin and against the grain.
Pinot Noir, Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon
Lamb Sous Vide Leg
- 1 leg of lamb (*Note 1)
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- ½ Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil, for searing (*Note 2)
OPTIONAL: GARLIC BUTTER SAUCE
- 1 Batch Garlic Butter Sauce
COOK THE LAMB
- Pre-heat the water bath to your preferred doneness (*Note 1) using a sous vide immersion circulator.
- Trim any excess fat from the lamb, unless it's netted. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Coat the roast evenly with dijon mustard.
- Combine the spices together in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the lamb. Press down gently so the seasonings "stick" to the lamb.
- Place the lamb in a vacuum-seal bag and close using a vacuum sealer or the water displacement method.
- Transfer the vacuum bag to the water bath and cook for 6 hours minimum up to 12 hours.
- Carefully remove the bag from the water bath with tongs. Remove the lamb from the bag and pat dry. Discard any juice that accumulated.
OPTIONAL: MAKE THE GARLIC BUTTER SAUCE
- If serving with the garlic butter sauce, make it right before you remove the lamb roast from the water bath.
- Add enough oil (approx. 1-2 tbsp) to cover the bottom of a cast iron skillet and pre-heat over high heat until it's scorching hot (it will start to smoke a little). This will take approx. 3-5 minutes. (*Note 2)
- Sear each side of the lamb for 45 seconds.
- Turn off the stove and transfer the lamb to a cutting board. Slice against the grain and serve immediately for best texture and flavor.
- Rare: 115°F - 124°F
- Medium-Rare: 125°F - 134°F
- Medium: 135°F - 144°F
- Medium Well: 145°F - 154°F
- Well Done: 155°F +