Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lamb Neck Stew

When it comes to cooking lamb it seems most recipes tend to deal with only a few types cuts like lamb racks or lamb legs but we should be looking at the less aesthetically pleasing but more flavoursome parts like lamb necks.

lamb neck© by Haalo

The main issue with lamb neck is its fat content but the key to that issue is in how you cook it. Long and slow to extract the most amount of flavour and then let it sit overnight. The fat will solidify over the top where it can then be easily removing leaving you with unbelievable tender and flavoursome meat. Consider this dish an alternative to osso buco.

lamb neck stew© by Haalo

Lamb Neck Stew

2 lamb necks, sliced into 4 (your butcher will do this)
plain flour
salt and pepper
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped, leaves included

Coat the slices of lamb neck in a light dusting of flour - lay these slices out on a board and then sprinkle over with salt and pepper.

Heat a little oil and butter in a heavy based pot - this should be oven proof as this dish will be going into the oven.

When the butter has melted and is starting to sizzle, add in a few of the lamb slices, seasoned side down - don't overcrowd the pot or the temperature will drop and the meat will stew rather than brown. Season the top and as soon as the underside has browned turn the slices. Once both sides are brown, remove from the pot and set aside while you cook the rest.

Once all the lamb has been browned, add in the chopped onions, carrots and celery as wall as a sprig or two of fresh rosemary - you could use dried rosemary but as it is more pungent only use a pinch or two.

Allow the vegetables to soften slightly but not colour before returning the lamb to the pan. Pour in enough water to cover the lamb and vegetables then take a sheet of baking paper and press it down into the pot - you want it to rest right against the surface to form a tight seal. I've used water rather than stock because you will extract enough flavour from the meat and vegetables during the cooking process.

Place the pot in a low oven (around 150°C) and let it very slowly cook for about 3 hours or until the meat starts to fall from the bone.

Remove from the oven and let it cool overnight - this will set the fat and enrich the flavour of the dish.

The next day, remove the baking paper and skim the set fat from the surface. Place the paper back over the dish and return to a low oven to reheat.

To Serve:
Carefully remove the lamb neck slices and place into serving bowls, along with the vegetables and the broth. To finish, serve with slices of steamed potatoes.


  1. I must try this.
    I made lamb (legs) for Christmas rubbed in liquorice/orange salt.
    It came out very good

  2. Love to try this recipe.Looks deliciously good.

  3. great recipe! i'll try this.

  4. I want to make this dish but don't have an oven-proof pot. Can I cook this on the stove instead. Is there a difference in the way the dish comes out if I don't put it in the oven?


  5. Grazie Stefania!

    Liquorice and orange salt, that sounds amazing Brii!

    Thanks Tricia.

    Thanks John.

    Hi Paz - it is different because an oven works by having heat circulate around the pot whereas stove top cooking, has the heat source directly underneath. It would be possible to make on the stove top but you'd need to check on it more frequently to ensure that it doesn't stick or burn - it needs to go on the lowest heat possible. You would also need to turn the meat over during the cooking so that both sides are exposed to the same amount of direct heat.

    Thanks Anne!

  6. Hmmm... Okay, thanks.


  7. Paz, please please please add an oven proof casserole dish to your Christmas list!
    This recipe is fantastic. I cook it for 2 hours and then when I re-heat I add diced potatoes and carrots and slow roast until the veggies are cooked. Yum!


© Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once | All rights reserved.