Check out these little beauties. Sous vide lamb chops cooked to perfection. Moist, tender and no stress about over cooking. Worth the extra cook time if you have it.
I love a simple mint chimichurri to drizzle over the chops because mint pairs so well with lamb. As always, you can try a few variations and even a shortcut.
I use lamb loin chops for this recipe which are like mini T-bone steaks cut from the waist of the lamb. Rack of lamb and lamb chops are the most expensive and tender cuts of lamb.
Typically, lamb from New Zealand is cheapest. Costco sources its lamb from Australia, known for high quality and tender meat. Here’s a guide to buying and cooking lamb.
For those who are new to the sous vide method of cooking:
Sous vide is a technique in which food is sealed in a bag, immersed in a water bath and cooked at a precise temperature. This cooks the food to the exact desired temperature (e.g. medium rare) for perfect results. No worries about overcooking. Meats are amazingly tender. And the whole cooking process is pretty much stress free.
Although the lamb chops need a couple of hours to sit in the water bath, the actual hands-on time for this dish, including the chimichurri sauce, is about 10 minutes.
Why sous vide lamb chops? The pros and cons
Lamb chops only take a few minutes on the grill and can taste delicious. So why bother with the sous vide cooking method?
Well, if you’ve made loin lamb chops before, you will know they can be easy to over cook, they can be a little on the chewy side and the centers might be pink while the outer edges are brown.
You can eliminate all these hiccups with sous vide.
- choose the temperature you prefer – rare, medium rare, etc – and the lamb chops are guaranteed to come out that way. Edge to edge.
- count on tender, moist chops – as long as you don’t cook them for more than the suggested time.
There are a couple of downsides though. First, the longer cook time (1 1/2 – 3 hours). And second is the extra step of a final finishing sear to make the meat look good.
Bottom line: If you have the time and want guaranteed amazing tender lamb chops without the stress of worrying about over cooking, lamb sous vide is a great way to go.
What to serve with lamb chops
These sous vide lamb chops are fabulous with 15-minute hasselback sweet potatoes (especially of you’re finishing the chops on the grill), crispy oven roasted potatoes, curried rice with raisins and grilled carrots with balsamic glaze.
The lamb chops would make a nice alternative to a roast lamb or ham for an Easter dinner menu.
Tailor To Your Taste
Seasoning: In addition to salt, pepper and garlic powder, try a bit of cumin and/or oregano.
Chimichurri: Vary the fresh herbs you use with the parsley to make the chimichurri. Good examples are cilantro, chives and oregano. If you like mint and can’t find mint leaves, add a couple of teaspoons of bottled mint sauce.
Skip the homemade chimichurri and use a bottled chimichurri sauce, mint jelly or any fruit chutney.
Sous vide the chops a day ahead and place them in the fridge in the bag. To finish, bring them to room temperature and sear or grill for 40-60 seconds per side (or slightly longer if chops are very thick).
Make the mint chimichurri several days ahead and keep it in a sealed container in the fridge.
Other sous vide recipes you might like
If you love sous vide cooking or you are just starting with this cooking method, try our best sous vide recipes post which includes lots of tips and great recipes. Chicken, beef, turkey and pork are all covered.
How to make sous vide lamb chops with mint chimichurri
Sous Vide Lamb Chops with Mint Chimichurri
- Sous Vide equipment (immersion circulator or sous vide box machine plus water bath container)
- 4 lamb loin chops, about 1 to 1 1/4 lbs (0.45-0.55kg) total 1-1 1/2 (2.5-3.2cm) inches thick
- kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon oil with high heat point e.g. vegetable, canola, grapeseed
Mint Chimichurri sauce, Note 1 for shortcut
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, Note 2
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, larger stems removed
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic cloves 1 clove
- 1/2 lemon (lemon juice plus zest)
- 1/8 teaspoon red chili flakes, or more to taste optional
- 3 tablespoon neutral olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
- HEAT SOUS VIDE WATER BATH: Heat sous vide water to your desired internal temperature. 131F (55C) for medium-rare lamb. (I use this) 138-140F (59-60C) for medium. 145-148F (63-64C ) for medium well.
- PREPARE LAMB CHOPS: Season chops generously on both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place in large sealable bag. Note 1. Add a small sprig of fresh rosemary if desired.
- COOK SOUS VIDE: Using the displacement method, place unzipped bag of lamb chops into preheated water bath until top of bag is just above water line. Air will be pushed out. Then zip up bag. Let bag go – it should sink below water line if all the air is out of the bag. Clip to side if needed. Cook for 1.5-3 hours. Cooking time depends on thickness. Chops up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Cook thicker chops 2 1/2 to 3 hours.) Remove chops from water bath and sous vide bag. Pat dry with paper towels. If you have time, let them rest for 10-60 minutes before final sear. If no time, don't worry about it.
- MAKE MINT CHIMICHURRI SAUCE: You can use a food processor or immersion blender for 1 minute to pulse all ingredients together to blend. Alternatively, chop all ingredients finely by hand and blend well with whish or fork. Note 2 for shortcut.
- FINISH LAMB CHOPS: Either finish with a pan sear or on grill. For either method, brush lightly with oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. I only finish the chops on one side to make them look nice. I don't see a point in doing the other side as it doesn't show and there is a risk of over cooking the chops. If chops are cooled down, you can sear on both sides if you like. I like to rest them for at least 10 minutes but it's not essential. To grill: Heat grill to High (500-600F OR 260-315C). Grill for 1 minute on one side and, if chops are thick, another minute on edges (to render and brown fat). To pan sear: Heat non stick pan or cast iron skillet to very hot e.g. 8-9/10. Place lamb chops in hot skillet and do a quick sear. Press gently to sear them evenly for less than 1 minute per side. If chops are thick, sear outer edges as well. Drizzle mint chimichurri on chops or pass on the side.
- Alternate bagging for sous vide: Instead of the water displacement method, you can use a vacuum sealer with a vacuum seal bag.
- Shortcut for chimichurri sauce: You can skip the homemade chimichurri and use a bottled chimichurri sauce, mint jelly or any fruit chutney.
- If you can’t find fresh mint leaves, double the amount of parsley and add 1-2 tsp bottled mint sauce. Then taste and adjust seasonings to your taste. Alternatively, use chives or fresh oregano instead of mint leaves.
- To make ahead:
- Sous vide the chops a day ahead and place them in the fridge in the bag. To finish, bring them to room temperature and sear or grill for 40-60 seconds per side (or slightly longer if chops are very thick).
- The chimichurri sauce can be made several days ahead and kept in a sealed container in the fridge.