6hr “Sous Vide” Miso Lamb Shoulder

miso lamb shoulder

miso lamb shoulder

this (above photo) was my very first attempt on miso lamb, which I did for a 11-course dinner for 11pax on 5.5.2014.

i do a good pistachio crusted rack of lamb but no other variations. decided to do a 3-day miso marinade on a cheap frozen lamb cut & coincide the 6hr sous vide bath in 90degC oven with the char siew (to save electricity).

90degC (oven temperature) is also the optimum temperature (fastest) for conversion of collagen the tough connective tissues to gelatine with excellent texture & flavours.

160°F/70°C — Connective tissue collagen begins to dissolve to gelatin. Melting of collagen starts to accelerate at 160F and continues rapidly up to 180F.

miso lamb shoulder

miso lamb shoulder

i did again for a 12-course 9-pax homecooked chinese dinner for friends on 15.7.2014.

that was the best i did then, better than the last 2 times & w/o the gamey taste. the 3-day miso marinade & 6hrs “sous vide” in 90degC oven did the trick. many liked this.

#5 miso lamb

miso lamb shoulder

most recent was a homecooked dinner for 14pax friends + spouses on 18.12.2014.

the miso lamb shoulder chop was ok, very tender, with strong lamb flavours nicely masked by miso.

lamb though is in general not much a favourite dish among my family & friends, and a tenderised lamb shoulder, even miso-falvoured, cannot really match a good rack of lamb.

after having the most wonderful rack of lamb i had so far at american club amarone wine dinner on 29.11.2014, i was thinking of trying out a herb crusted rack of lamb as a variation of my pistachio rack of lamb.

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • packet of lamb shoulders from Giant S$4.95 (300g)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 3tbsp cup mirin
  • 3tbsp cup cooking sake

Directions:

  1. mixed saké, mirin, sugar & miso paste in a large bowl and whisk.
  2. scald lamb shoulders with boiling water to remove scum. place lamb shoulders in a ziplock bag & pour in the cooled marinate and leave in fridge for 3 full days. turning over once in the morning & once in the evening to ensure all sides are fully coated.
  3. take out lamb shoulders & place it in an oven dish with lid with the miso marinade just covering the lamb for 1/2 hr to get it to room temperature. place it in the preheated oven at 90degC for 6hrs. 90degC is the optimum temperature (fastest) for conversion of collagen the tough connective tissues to gelatine with excellent texture & flavours.
  4. cut the lamb shoulders to bite size & serve.

Good Mansard Champagne Dinner @ Halia at Raffles Hotel on 2Dec2013

baked oysters in feta cheese gratin

baked oysters in feta cheese gratin

i have this group of friends who are always in the know when it comes to the finest wine dinner in town. 🙂

we got ourselves a table for 10 at the mansard champagne dinner at halia @ raffles hotel on 2.12.2013. halia looked to occupy the previous seah deli space, with a open bar area at the pavilion outside. the acoustic was very poor as 1 of my “expert” friends noticed right away, and we had to “shout” at each other to be heard as the place was full & echoes were flying off all the hard surfaces – walls & glass windows. the din was like fish market – very happening…haha. 🙂

this the second time my wife & i joined the wine dinners. the last one at fordham & grand was one of the best dinners i had. 🙂

mansard champagne dinner menu

mansard champagne dinner menu

i looked at the halia mansard dinner menu & it looked great too. the concept was communal dining so the courses came in platters for sharing for 2pax. i had been to halia @ botanic gardens once, perhaps twice, likely more than 5 years ago. the experience was good, perhaps not compelling. i did remember it served 1 of the best lamb racks then. but halia standard should be fine. 🙂

the oyster gratin was a good, tasty, competent dish. most of us would prefer freshly shucked oysters or sashimi but if you had to have it baked, this was good. 🙂

spicy prawn salad

spicy prawn salad

the spicy prawn salad was 1 of my favourites. very refreshing. love especially the sharp spiciness that added kick to the dish. prawns & salad were fine but nothing special.

pan-fried foie gras risotto with shredded duck leg

pan-fried foie gras risotto with shredded duck leg

the foie gras risotto with apples & duck leg rillette was great too, the duck imparting some flavours to the risotto, which was nicely done al dente. this was perhaps a finer preparation than that served at jamie’s italian & alfresco gusto but taste-wise i preferred the latter 2 which were creamier & more hearty & intense. certainly it was not the best risotto experience i had. 🙂 a few friends did not like the al dente texture. 1 quipped that it was duck porridge..haha. 🙂

palate cleanser sorbet

lime & lemon sorbet palate cleanser

before getting on the main, we had a very nice lime sorbet palate cleanser.

seared yellow fin ahi tuna loin

seared yellow fin ahi tuna loin

the ahi tuna loin was another competent dish (maguro not quite my favourite sashimi as it is plain in taste, not so sweet like hamachi or kajiki or aji). these were very lightly seared. the japanese aburi (torched) sashimi preparation would be better. the capsicum & white beans garnishing were good & complement the fish rather well.  overall i liked the dish though i had better ahi tuna loin in california & aburi maguro in japanese restaurants. the dish did not win many votes among my companions though, 1 was shaking his head. 🙂

sous vide wagyu rump & polenta

sous vide wagyu rump & polenta

next was the sous vide wagyu. i thought it was rump as most restaurants served this cheaper cut braised in course meals & confirmed with the server that it was so. it was strange that after sous vide (slow vacuum low temp cooking) the beef was still slightly tough & not tender enough, something not usually associated with the tender consistency if anaemic colour that sous vide produced. it was still not a bad dish for a rump cut, perhaps fine preparation & kind of average taste. 🙂

white & dark chocolates

white & dark chocolates

the dessert was fabulous, especially the white chocolate. the caramel honeycomb had an interesting & pleasant after taste. some of us thought of it as “terng chan po piah” the vanishing food with a honeycomb wrapped in po piah skin. 🙂

many of my friends, having been schooled in (or just “spoilt” by) many good wine dinners, didn’t think the food was great. it was ok though for my wife & me. i guess everything is relative & depends on the point of reference. perhaps many other wine dinner were better & this would not rank high. but i didn’t see much difference between this (comparing over all the courses) & what one could get at oso, otto, absinthe or forlino at S$88 even w/o the champagne,  so to me dinner was quite good, & especially fun & enjoyable with the company, though the food at fordham & grand i had last was much better. 🙂

& that’s not the end. there was a lucky draw for a magnum (1500ml) champagne. there were 64 diners so we had 10 in 64 chances, & 1 of our friends took home the magnum, with the few among us trying in vain to coax him to let us do the safe-keeping! hahaha. 🙂

c.h.e.f. andy