One of the best cuts of lamb, in my opinion, comes from the end of the neck. It’s a stewing meat, so needs long, slow cooking but it’s packed with a strong flavour. It’s very underrated as a cut and consequently is very cheap; one of the cheapest, in fact.
- 1 3/4 pounds deboned neck end of lamb, cut into large chunks
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup onions, roughly chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 cup carrots, roughly chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 heaped tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 bouquet garni
- Salt and pepper
For the garnish:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup onions, cut into small dice
- 1 cup carrots, cut into small dice
- Mashed potatoes
Heat the oven to 400°F.
Season the lamb chunks with salt and pepper. Heat a large, heavy-based casserole dish or Dutch oven over a medium heat. Add the oil and once hot, add the meat and keep it turning until it is sealed and golden brown on all sides – you may need to do this in two batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Remove the lamb with a slotted spoon and set aside, then add the onion and carrot to the casserole dish or Dutch oven and leave to sweat until golden. Return the sealed lamb to the pot along with the flour and tomato purée (paste), and cover with cold water. Bring the water to the boil, then add the garlic and the bouquet garni.
Cover the casserole dish or Dutch oven with a lid and transfer to the oven for 35–40 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the garnish. Melt the butter in a saucepan, and leave the onion and carrot to sweat slowly until just tender but with a slight bite – the cubes should retain their shape.
When the stew is ready, scatter the garnish on top or stir it through. Cook the stew in the oven for a further 10 minutes. Check the seasoning, remove the bouquet garni and serve. We recommend with mashed potatoes.
Recipe adapted from Classic Koffmann by Pierre Koffmann.