Sous Vide Dashi glazed melt in the mouth lamb shoulder

May 24, 2019

Sous vide is the only way to prepare delicious moist, falling apart lamb shoulder. High quality ingredients will make all the difference with this recipe, so look for an ethically raised local lamb shoulder from your butcher and top quality soy sauce such as Shibanuma.

This is not your usual long and slow sous vide cook. The aim here is to produce, for all intensive purposes, a traditional looking braised shoulder of lamb deep with flavour and umami yet soft and moist with a consistent grey tinge to the meat.

The advantage of sous vide cooking here is being able to cook the lamb well in advance and to prepare the sauce at leisure, carefully skimming all of the lamb fat and leaving a shimmering brown liquor that can be used as both a glaze and the sauce.

Dashi stock
10 grams dried kombu
450ml filtered water
15 grams bonito flakes

In a pan, combine the kombu and filtered water, and leave to soak for 20 minutes. Bring to a temperature between 60-65⁰C/140-150⁰F (or until you can see a little steam), then remove from heat and set aside for 30 minutes. Discard the kombu and return pan to the stove. Bring the stock back to a simmer, then add the bonito flakes, and cook for 30 seconds. Strain, and chill.
(Alternatively, the dashi stock can be made with 1½ teaspoons of hon-dashi to 450ml of warm filtered water, stirring until dissolved. Chill.)

Sous Vide lamb shoulder ready to be cooked

Sous Vide cooking the Lamb
300ml mirin
2.5kg boneless lamb shoulder
400ml dashi stock (from above)
200ml good quality soy sauce
150ml shiro dashi Preheat a water bath to 88°C

In a saucepan, reduce the mirin by half over medium heat. Chill. Place the lamb in a vacuum pouch with the remaining ingredients, and seal on high. Cook in the preheated water bath for 6 hours, then transfer the pouch to a cold-water bath to bring it back to room temperature. Cut a corner off the pouch and drain the braising juices into a small pot. Bring the pot to a high simmer over medium heat, removing any fat that rises to the surface. Continue cooking, skimming regularly, until reduced to a tare (Japanese glaze).


To finish
Remove the lamb from the vacuum bag and place in a baking tray. Preheat the oven to 225C and roast the lamb for 10-15 minutes or until well browned and hot through. I like to spoon the tare over the lamb every few minutes to give it a glazed look.


This lamb is melt in the mouth, great to shred up with two forks and fill a wrap with. Top with fresh lettuce, tomato and lashings of tzatziki. Leftovers – if there are any – can make a delicious ragu tossed with pasta or gnocchi, you could also use it to fill steamed buns.