Nom Nom Paleo

Sous Vide Rack of Lamb (Take 2)

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Our meat CSA had a 10% discount on all lamb products this month, so I stocked up our chest freezer with mutton-y goodness. I’ve made sous vide rack of lamb before with good results so I wanted to make them again tonight. 

Here’s the small amount of work I did to feed 5 hungry adults:

I patted my two racks dry and liberally seasoned them with salt and pepper.

As you can see, these racks are pretty meaty compared to the ones I get from Costco or Trader Joe’s. I didn’t use a special spice rub because I was too lazy to pull one out.

I vacuum sealed the racks and stored the packets in the fridge until I was ready to sous vide them.

Right before noon, I put the lamb racks in the SousVide Supreme set at 130 F and let them cook for 6-8 hours.

After they were finished cooking, I dried them off..

…scorched them with my kitchen torch, and sprinkled on Sagemary finishing salt.

Yes, more salt. I like salt.

Tonight’s racks were a tad bloodier than I like and I’m not super happy about the unrendered globs of fat (again). That being said, the meat was pretty damn tasty.

Next time I sous vide a meaty rack of lamb, I’ll crank up the cooking temperature to 133 F and let them steep in the bath for at least 8 hours. Also, I might try a combination of pan searing and blow torching to get the perfect finish.

Paleo Eats: 2/17/11

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I slept like a log last night so I felt ready to tackle the day as a full time mommy when I woke up. For breakfast, I made myself a frittata with three eggs, nuked frozen broccoli, diced shallots, prosciutto, a dollop of cream-top yogurt, and Fines Herbes seasoning.

After spending an hour jumping on a trampoline with Lil-O at his gym class, we went to Costco and stocked up on essentials. Since the Mountain View Costco is across the street from an In-N-Out burger, the kids and I made a pitstop here for lunch. I ordered a protein-style triple meat burger — hold the spread — with mustard and a whole-grilled onion slice.

Can you believe this baby only cost me $3.80?

We returned home and I put Lil-O down for his afternoon nap. While the little guy slept, Big-O helped me make dinner. I’m always amazed at how enthusiastic he is about helping out in the kitchen. I love that about him.

With Big-O as my sous chef, we made a big pot of curried cream of broccoli soup

braised cabbage

…and sous vide rack of lamb seasoned with Sunny Paris, salt, and pepper.

While I was prepping this food, I was gobbling up macadamia nuts and coconut flakes with abandon. I gotta stop this habit.

I didn’t have to much to do to get dinner on the table — just about everything was already finished. As a result, I had the luxury of watching an episode of Scooby-Doo with the kids before making an additional side of lancinato kale sautéed with bacon and shallots

…and searing off the rack of lamb in some lard.

Here’s my dinner plate:

I also had a bowl of curried cream of broccoli soup (it’s dairy-free!) and a 1/2 cup serving of coconut milk for dessert. Not a bad way to end the day!

Paleo Eats: 2/10/11

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I’m back at work for my first night of seven in a row and here’s what I ate:

As soon as the clock struck midnight, I snarfed down a small container of coconut flakes and macadamia nuts. I can’t believe I deprived myself of these fatty morsels for so long. Clearly, I’m making up for lost time.

For my “lunch,” I ate a box of Rogan Josh with leftover garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes.”

A couple hours later, I consumed my second snack which consisted of coconut milk with strawberries and blueberries.

I never tire of this combination!

My last meal at work was a box of leftover sous vide grass fed beef brisket, roasted asparagus, and garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes.”

When I got home, I set up my SousVide Supreme so it would be ready to cook two packets of Trader Joe’ seasoned Frenched lamb racks. I asked my mom to dump them in the water bath at 4:00 p.m. and then I went to sleep.

At 5:00 p.m., I woke up and started making some vegetable sides to accompany the lamb (which still had another hour to cook).

I roasted carrots and butternut squash tossed with macadamia nut oil, salt, and pepper…

nuked frozen string beans (also from Trader Joe’s) with added butter…

…and sautéed mushrooms with minced garlic and Sunny Paris seasoning.

Then, I seared off the lamb racks and dinner was served.

Here’s my dinner plate:

Good eats with minimal amount of work — just how I like it. I always try to utilize different cooking methods (e.g. microwave, oven, and stove) so that I can prepare everything at the same time and dinner is on the table as quickly as possible.

Sous Vide Trader Joe’s Seasoned Frenched Rack of Lamb

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Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite grocery stores. I always find lots of cool, reasonably priced items such as Valrhona Le Noir Extra Amer 85% cocoa chocolate bars, Kerrygold butter, broccoli slaw, and ready-to-cook prepped produce. Once in a while, I find a dud but those are few and far between.

The other day while I was rummaging through TJ’s freezer section, I came across vacuum-sealed packets of seasoned Frenched lamb racks.

Not only were all the ingredients Paleo-approved but I bet I could dunk these packets straight from the freezer — and still in their packaging — into my SousVide Supreme. Score!

(No SousVide Supreme? No problem! Serious Eats shows you how to make perfect lamb racks with a DIY beer cooler sous vide contraption.)

Today, I finally tested my hypothesis. Before going to bed this morning, I filled up my water oven and set the temperature at 130 F (for medium rare chops). The night before, I’d transferred the lamb racks from the freezer to the fridge but they were still pretty solid. I asked my mom, who was babysitting the kids, to add the two packets of lamb racks to the SousVide Supreme at 4:00 p.m.

I let the lamb racks cook for about 2 hours and then I removed them from the bath and dried them off with paper towels.

Then, I heated a couple of tablespoons of lard in a large cast iron skillet over high heat and seared off each rack.

I sliced them up and they were uniformly pink and moist throughout.

The seasoning wasn’t bad but it was a little heavy-handed with the rosemary. Also, unlike roasting or grilling, the blobs of fat don’t render away when you sous vide so I just eat around them.

Enough bitching already! Overall, the results were great because you can get perfectly-cooked yummy lamb chops on the table with minimal work! I’ll definitely keep a rack or two in my freezer as emergency back-up protein.

Day 13 of Whole30 Eats

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Another day of Whole30 nosh while keeping my full-time mommy hat on.

This morning, I awoke to the sound of my six-year-old stomping/sprinting down the hall to tinkle in the toilet. So much for squeezing in some exercise before the kids got up.

After getting our older rugrat all presentable and decent-smelling for kindergarten, all four of us trudged the 0.2 miles in the crisp chill to drop him off. It was frigid today (for California, anyway); the grass at the school was frosted white. And shivering makes me hungry.

When I got home, I made myself a frittata again — this time, with three eggs, a ton of shredded chard, and half of a thinly-sliced onion.

While whisking the eggs, I threw in a large pinch of smoked paprika along with some salt and pepper. Smoked paprika adds a rich bacon-y taste to the dish. Man, I effing miss bacon! Today’s frittata consisted of more veggies than egg, but it was filling and tasty, especially after I topped it with salsa and homemade chunky guacamole. 

Lest you think I’m turning vegetarian, I also filled a little ramekin with a mini-portion of the beef stew I’m serving later this week.

After I returned from my younger rugrat’s yearly check-up (to my surprise, he’s growing quite nicely despite his refusal to eat anything but Neolithic agricultural products), I made myself another Chipotle-inspired lunch salad with shredded pork, greens, sliced jicama, shredded carrots, sweet peppers, sliced tomatoes, salsa, and a humongous dollop of guacamole.

Post lunch, my three-year-old settled down for a nap, so I recruited my older kid as my sous chef. We baked more kale chips

…and made some garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes.” It’s amazing how much pride kids take in the  foods they help cook. Sarah Fragoso at Everyday Paleo, who cooks with her adorable sons all the time, has definitely inspired me to get my kids more involved in my Paleo cooking adventures.

I felt like I was snacking all afternoon: I downed a hard-boiled egg, tons of coconut flakes and macadamia nuts, and whole handfuls of kale chips. I gotta stop with the mindless snacking. Luckily, I’m returning to work in a couple days, so I’ll be sleeping most of the time I’m actually home.

Tonight for dinner, I made a roasted rack of lamb seasoned with Dukka and I served it with garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes, roasted Portobello mushrooms with balsamic vinegar, and sautéed spinach and orach with sliced shallots.

And because Melicious says I should eat some coconut butter when I feel like a cookie, I ate a heaping tablespoon for dessert.

Quick & Simple Roasted Rack of Lamb

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I’ve never made rack of lamb at home before because it always seemed overly intimidating. And ‘cause I’m lazy.

But when I was at Trader Joe’s this afternoon, the little itty packs of frenched lamb racks looked pretty harmless…and tasty. So on a whim, I bought some. Turns out rack of lamb is easy to make and take no time at all. Plus, if you have a kick-ass meat thermometer, there’s no way you can mess this up.

Here’s what I assembled to feed two people:

  • 1 rack of lamb (~1 pound)
  • 1 tablespoon of Dukka seasoning
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Here’s what I did:

Basically, I followed the directions in my Cook’s Illustrated The Best Meat Recipes book for roasting a rack of lamb. Those kitchen nerds haven’t let me down yet!

I preheated my oven to 425 F and placed a foil-lined baking sheet on a rack in the lower middle of my oven.

After seasoning the lamb very generously with salt and pepper, I sprinkled on the Dukka seasoning.

Per my chef sister, you should always try to salt your meats ahead of time (up to 24 hours), but I salted them only 10 minutes prior to searing. Still, the chops tasted great.

I heated 2 tablespoons of coconut oil over high heat in my large cast iron skillet, and when it began smoking, I added the rack of lamb, meat side down. I let the meat sizzle for 4 minutes until a nice crust formed. Then, I flipped the rack over and cooked it for 2 more minutes on the other side.

Next, the rack went into the oven on the preheated baking sheet.

In case you’re wondering, inside those two other foil packets were Portobello mushrooms that I planned to serve as a side dish.

I roasted the lamb for roughly 12-15 minutes, If you want it cooked medium rare, wait ‘til the temperature of the meat reaches 125 degrees; for medium, wait for it to hit 130 degrees. Mine ended up closer to 133 degrees because I kind of forgot to check on my lamb.

After I removed the rack from the oven…

I loosely tented it with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Then, I sliced the rack into four pieces (2 ribs per slice) and served it up.

Who knew roasted rack of lamb could go from fridge to table in just 30 minutes?