Sous-vide Lamb Rack in a Cooler
Overcooking meat or undercooked is an awkward and in some cases disastrous situation to find yourself in. I’ve been there before, ruined a good cut of meat and I’m sure quite a few of my mates have too. Cutting into and taking a bite from a mouth-watering juicy chargrilled steak when you’ve completely nailed it, you reach superstar status. Do this in a remote location with family and friends over an open fire, it’s what memories are made of. Could a sous-vide lamb rack work ok in a cooler?
Fire to Fork
Harry from Fire to Fork
is no stranger to cooking over the fire and luckily for me, he’s not a vegetarian either.
We had cooked a beer can chicken
together recently by means of throwing a few ideas together. It worked really well with a magic end result in a fantastic location.
It was time to cook again and we’d been sharing some more ideas that seemed crazy but we knew would work with not much time and effort.
Robb’s Craft Butchery
Harry had been to his "local" butcher Robb’s Craft Butchery
and acquired a beautiful lamb rack from Cam, bagged with garlic and rosemary supplied from Harry's herb garden at home. Cam Robb is a traditional high-quality butcher located in High Wycombe sourcing fresh meat direct from local farmers. Harry swears by Cam's cuts and travels a long way get these supplies. If you are heading away on a trip and need premium meat custom ordered and vac-packed get in touch with Cam.
Cam Robb M:
0432 369 545
How to Sous-vide
Firstly this was not a hard cook at all, it's dead easy. Lamb cooked perfectly medium rare by Sous-vide in a cooler. Sous-vide pronounced “Sue Vee” is a means of cooking meat long and slow at a low temperature while vacuum-sealed in a bag submerged in a water bath. Normally served in swanky restaurants or at home by keen cooks to impress guests, it’s a failsafe way to not overcook your cut if meat.
Red Roads Cooler
The cooler needs to have thick walls as this will stop temperature fluctuations during the first cooking stage. Turns out coolers are perfect for Sous-vide and the Red Roads Cooler
from Go Camping and Overlanding
was super efficient and was topped up only once during the Sous-vide cooking. These coolers apart from keeping your beers cold for 5 days straight actually have a tonne of extra features and are worth checking out.
The first cooking stage in the cooler was 3 hours at 56°C being monitored by a bbq meat thermometer
wire probe in the water. The use of the thermometer allows you to check the water temperature without constantly lifting the lid and losing heat.
Chargrilling lamb on the Camp Braai
For the second cooking stage over the fire, Harry was keen to use his new Oz Braai
. Oz Braai
is a lightweight stainless steel wire cooking basket with a stand that has a series of tiered shelves for raising and lowering the cooking basket. It also has two hooks so the basket can be well, hung. The basket also has 3 adjustable settings for different size meat or veggies.
We set the Oz Braai
up next to the fire to hang the lamb as the fire core was giving us a thermal reading of +1000°C which was plenty of heat for the finishing touches.
Campers Pantry Bean, Pea and Fetta Salad
To complement the lamb we had some basic ingredients including the bulk 100-gram bags of Campers Pantry Beans
and Campers Pantry Peas
. We also deep fried some sliced potatoes using grape seed oil which has a high smoke point
°C and a neutral flavour
. The beans and peas were rehydrated in hot water then strained and warmed in some butter over the fire before tossing in Persian fetta, mint leaves and topped with chopped almonds.
Below are the photos in sequence as it all happened around the fire.
📷ABOVE: Vacuum-sealed lamb rack from Robb's Craft Butchery.
📷ABOVE: A Bluetooth thermometer was used in the water bath to monitor water temps.
📷ABOVE: We turned the lamb in between drinks and stories around the fire.
📷ABOVE: We were expecting water temp fluctuations, and were surprised how efficient the cooler was.
📷ABOVE: Bluetooth = sit by the fire and check the temps on your phone
📷ABOVE: Cooking stage one complete.
📷ABOVE: Salt, Pepper, rosemary and garlic with a beautiful cut of lamb.
📷ABOVE: Oz Braai time!
📷ABOVE: This little piece of kit is multifunctional and made from 304 stainless steel.
📷ABOVE: Campers Pantry beans and peas being warmed with butter in a skillet while the potatoes deep fry.
📷ABOVE: Our Sous-vide lamb rack copping a huge amount of heat up close and personal with the fire.
📷ABOVE: Varied cooking options to suit your style of cooking. I can’t wait to cook on this again.
📷ABOVE: Rotation of the lamb was Harry’s job, he did the good.
📷ABOVE: The finish line.
Fire to Fork’s aim is to give everyone the ability to make tasty, simple and interesting food armed with very basic items and an ability to light a fire.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time camper or a seasoned overlander, as long as you have access to firewood, a knife and some basic ingredients; my mix of simple bushcraft and cooking will have you impressing your friends in no time.
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