Sous vide rack of lamb with zhug, buttermilk and grilled spring onions

Chantelle Nicholson serves up a stunning sous vide lamb rack recipe, perfect for dinner parties. She serves the beautifully tender lamb with zhug (a spiced herb paste hailing from Yemen), sous vide spring onions and strained buttermilk.

First published in 2017
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Sous vide rack of lamb


  • 120g of buttermilk



Sous vide griddled spring onions


  • J-cloth
  • Piping bags
  • Large vacuum bags 3
  • Bar sealer
  • Water bath
  • Blender
  • Chargrill pan


To begin, place the buttermilk in a sieve lined with a J-cloth and place over a bowl. Leave to strain in the fridge for 6 hours
  • 120g of buttermilk
After this time, scrape the strained buttermilk out of the J-cloth into a new bowl and whisk until smooth. Place in a piping bag and refrigerate
To make the brine for the lamb, place all the ingredients in a saucepan, add 500ml warm water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2 minutes then remove from the heat and add 500ml cold water. Allow to cool completely before using
Fully submerge the lamb racks in the brine and place in the fridge for 2 hours
Preheat a water bath to 55°C
When ready to cook the lamb, rinse the racks well and pat dry. Season well, place in 2 large vacuum bags and add some oil and rosemary to each one. Seal with a bar sealer and cook in the water bath for 3 hours
While the lamb is cooking, make the zhug. Place all the ingredients in a blender jug with 2 tbsp of water and blend until a chunky paste is formed. Season to taste
When ready, remove the lamb from the water bath and increase the temperature to 90°C (to cook the spring onions)
To prepare the spring onions, place in a sous vide bag with the olive oil and thyme and season well. Seal with a bar sealer and place in the water bath for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a chargrill pan until almost smoking for when the spring onions are ready
To brown the lamb, place the butter in a frying pan over a high heat. When foaming, add the lamb racks fat-side down and cook until golden, for approximately 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and keep in a warm place to rest for 5 minutes
Pour any cooking juices from the sous vide bag in the pan and reduce to a glaze
Remove the spring onions from the bag and quickly brown in the chargrill pan
To serve, carve the lamb racks into 12 pieces. Divide the spring onions between the plates, add 3 lamb pieces to each plate and drizzle the pan juices over the lamb. Pipe the buttermilk on the plate, spoon over some zhug and serve
First published in 2017
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From New Zealand law student to the opening of her first solo sustainable restaurant Apricity, Chantelle Nicholson’s hard work and determination – especially in evolving free-from and plant-based cooking at the highest level – has cemented her reputation as one of the UK's most forward-thinking chefs.

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