Rolled lamb belly (ottolenghi inspired) - Help!

I have bought a rolled lamb belly from our local butcher. It weighs about 400g and is cryovac’d but has a mix of herbs and spices with it already. It is about 10cm in diameter and maybe 15cm long.

I have searched for a recipe for it without luck.

Any suggestions on cook time and temperature for medium-rare edging towards medium please?

Aussie lamb tends to be a bit younger than what passes for lamb in some other countries. I’d go with 60C for 24-36 hours for a first attempt. Though you might go to 48 hours without any problems. It really depends on the final texture you want from it.

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Mark, if you like lamb, and i think you must judging from your handle, you have one of the best parts imaginable. It is most definitely a special occasion dinner party item.

I think of it as Lamb Porchetta and SV cook it in the same manner as the traditional pork menu item, 65ᴼC for 36 hours.

To finish it i thoroughly dry and crisp all surfaces in 180ᴼC oil in a small Dutch Oven or similar heavy pot.

You can make a delicious sauce by simmering the juices fortified with some white wine and chicken stock and swirled with a few teaspoons of butter. Strain, season and serve with thin slices of lamb.

Ottolenghi might serve it thinly sliced over couscous or with Latkes.


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Thanks Ember and Chatnoir.

I have two of these. I had them split the roll in to 2 x 400g rolls and separately cryovacced. Given the long cooking time I figured I would cook both then freeze one for use later (still cryovacced), then do the crisping.

Sound OK?

Good to me.

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I do it frequently Mark, but only with solid-muscle meats, not large rolls, fabricated, or stuffed items. I also limit product thickness to about 70mm to ensure quick and thorough freezing. I am more comfortable with 50mm thickness as a limit in advanced cooking.

Thank you for clarifying that you posses two pieces of meat. I don’t usually consider weight in SV cooking as it’s not a critical factor and i couldn’t resolve the inconsistency between a 400g weight and the dimensions provided. Attention to details is an essential ingredient in SV cooking.

From SV cooks’ comments, mostly over at the Anova FB site, it appears a lot of them don’t give the intermediate chilling step beween cooking and frozen storage sufficient attention. With rolled meat there is a lot of surface area that could permit excessive moisture loss. You want to have the water in the meat freeze as quickly as possible. That’s accomplished by getting all of the meat close to the freezing point, about 5ᴼC, before placing in the freezer which results in a higher quality end product.

Rather than having a 10cm thick roll of meat which typically requires about 5 hours in a 50% ice bath for thorough chilling, if i understand you correctly, you now have a 75mm thick half requiring about 3 hours of pre-chilling. That a tolerable size and time, but just barely. Don’t skimp on the ice and freeze as quickly as possible.

Be safe.

I ended up cooking for about 40 hours as I managed to have it “finishing” at 430 am. Used the ice bath method for one and am finishing the other one tonight. Will use your suggested sauce method. Will let you know how it ended up.

Thanks for all you help but is there a good chart somewhere I can use in future? Teach a man to fish and all that…

I think others have talked of charts, but the best option really is for you to create your own by recording your cooks and the outcomes.

I guess that’s fine for some but for me life is too short and I like to follow proven recipes!1

But you will always come across things that are different.

Best options are probably the recipe site here (not a big fan of it), Serious Eats website and ChefSteps websites. Of course, you need to get used to translating American to Australian, but that’s normal. Oh, and best of all is Douglas Baldwin’s sous vide bible: A practical guide to sous vide.

Well, we had the first half last night along with mixed roast vegetables - parsnip, carrot, celery, brussel sprouts with a little pancetta, some cherry tomatoes. Worked very well together.

Made a sauce from the juices with some red wine and chicken stock and a smidge of flour to thicken it.

The lamb was delicious, melt in your mouth tender. Very rich though so the ~150g each was more than enough.

Thanks for all your help everyone.

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