If there is anyone I got my love of cooking from, it’s my dad. When I was a kid, my favorite dish he would make is what I would call fettuccine “al-daddy-o”. He also made a whole bunch of other stuff I was still too young to appreciate as much as I do now. Looking through old photos this past weekend, it struck me how much he looks like most hipsters do today: nerdy glasses, flannel and of course a full beard.
I always feel extra nervous cooking for my Dad because his taste is better than most and he is a great cook himself. I gave him an Anova Precision Cooker for Christmas, but he has yet to try it so I decided to give him a taste of what it is all about. For those who may be unfamiliar with it, sous vide is a technique of vacuum sealing and submerging food in constantly circulating warm water. Think of it as an extra-extra slow cooker. Your crockpot will be jealous.
I’m still getting the hang of my own Sous Vide water circulator, so I decided to reference this tried and tested recipe for lamb loin chops. To pair with it, I decided to recreate my own version of an apple, cheese and chive salad I recently had at Cafe Lurcat in Minneapolis that was to. die. for. and I knew would be a hit.
To round out our dinner, my sister brought roasted potatoes, freshly squeezed lemonade and homemade strawberry shortcake. No it was not gluten free, but yes, I had some.
sous vide lamb loin chops
2 lamb loin chops / person
8 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs rosemary
2-3 cloves slivered garlic
salt & pepper
apple, cheese & chive salad
4 apples (I went with honeycrisp)
3oz manchego cheese
1/4 c finely minced chives & herbs (I used cilantro)
1/4 c olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp dijon mustard
salt & pepper, to taste
step 1 – prep your water bath
In a large pot or other basin of water that will fit all your lamb, attach the precision cooker and pre-heat the water. For lamb, I went with 131°. Here is a handy chart for sous vide temps for any cut of lamb.
step 2 – season & vacuum seal the lamb
Season all sides of each lamb loin with salt and pepper and place 4-5 loins in a vacuum seal-able bag. Evenly distribute a couple sprigs of thyme, a sprig of rosemary and the slivered garlic on top of the lamb loins and vacuum seal each of the bags.
step 3 – submerge the lamb
Add your vacuum sealed packets of lamb to the water bath, set your timer and walk away. I set my timer for 3 hours. The Anova Precision Cooker is Bluetooth enabled and you can control it remotely with their app.
step 4 – grill or sear
When the lamb is finished in the water bath, it may look a little unappetizing, but it should now be the perfect even temperature. Remove the garlic and sprigs of rosemary and thyme. On a pre-heated pan or the grill, sear each chop on both sides for 1-2 minutes. Once removed, let rest 5-10 minutes.
and for the apple salad…
step 1 – mix your dressing
In a medium bowl, mix together the lemon juice, honey, dijon mustard, salt, pepper and olive oil.
step 2 – prep the salad
Slice cheese into 1/8″ slices, and then again length and width-wise, so you have mini cheese cubes. For efficiency, I did for multiple slices at once. Chop your herbs. I added cilantro in addition to the chives because I received a large bunch in my CSA box this week and I thought it would pair nicely with the other flavors. Save the apples for last as they will begin to oxidize and turn brown quickly. Using a mandolin slicer, I sliced my apples on the thickest setting and then used my knife to chop them length-wise into matchstick sized pieces.
step 3 – combine everything
Toss the dressing with the apples & cheese. Add the herbs to the top last and gently continue tossing to combine.
Even though it was a warm 90° day in Minnesota, we ended up enjoying our meal outside in my shady back yard. Later that evening, I got the best compliment a budding home cook can get… a text from my dad saying “Thank you for the best Father’s Day dinner ever!”
To make this dish more elegant, you can also slice the meat. I had to do it just to show off how beautifully cooked the lamb turned out.