From cooking and grilling to stewing
Lamb neck is just about the tastiest part of the lamb to stew. It is not expensive at all and this meat has a lot of flavor. Below you can read more about lamb neck and the different ways in which you can cook it.
Table of content
- Chapter 1: What kind of meat is lamb neck?
- Chapter 2: Where does lamb come from?
- Chapter 3: What does lamb taste like?
- Chapter 4: Is lamb meat healthy?
- Chapter 5: Which wine pairs well with lamb neck?
- Chapter 6: How to cook lamb neck?
- Chapter 7: Recipe: Slow cooked lamb neck served as a pita
- Chapter 8: All recipes
What kind of meat is lamb neck?
Lamb neck is one of the tastiest parts of the lamb, because it has some fat in it. The fat between the muscles ensures that the meat has a lot of flavor and is juicy. The neck is usually cut into slices or fillets, but it can, of course, also be cooked as a whole.
The meat of the lamb’s neck is the lamb neck fillet. Lamb neck with bone adds more flavor to a dish than the lamb neck fillet where the bone and excess fat have been removed. The bone provides that insanely delicious taste in your stew.
Lamb neck is ideal for slow cooking and is also very suitable for use in stews, such as lamb curry. You can also make a delicious broth from lamb neck.
Lamb neck is best bought at a halal butcher. They bone the lamb themselves and you can also say what you want so that they chop or slice it for you.
Where does lamb come from?
A large part of the lamb sold worldwide comes from New Zealand, Australia and Great Britain, in particular from Scotland.
In the Netherlands there are several sheep breeds that graze in the meadows in Zeeland and on Texel. The meat of the Texelaar, the sheep breed of Texel, is highly valued by connoisseurs and lovers of lamb meat.
What does lamb taste like?
Lamb meat has a somewhat distinct taste. It has a finer texture and is more tender than beef. It may only be called lamb if the young sheep is no more than one year old. Meat older than a year is sold as mutton.
The younger the lamb, the more tender the meat. The flesh is pink-red in color and has a typical, spicy taste. The fat of lamb should be white. If it is yellowish, then it is mutton.
Is lamb meat healthy?
Lamb is a very lean type of meat and contains many nutritional values, such as proteins, iron, zinc and vitamin B. Lamb is low in calories. It contains more iron than, for example, vegetables and grains.
Lamb meat contains a lot of vitamin B, which provides energy, is good for the skin and stimulates the production of red blood cells. Lamb meat is rich in zinc, which is important for growth, digestion, the appetite and the immune system.
Which wine pairs well with lamb neck?
The best choice with lamb is a smooth and powerful red wine. The powerful aromas and tannins combine perfectly with lamb. For example, choose a Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Bordeaux, Merlot or a Pinot Noir.
How to cook lamb neck?
Let your butcher cut the lamb neck into pieces or slices. By cooking the meat with bone and all, you’ll get a lot of flavor in the dish. Always let the meat reach room temperature before you start cooking it.
If you are going to stew lamb neck, take into account the amount and thickness of the meat. Cubes of meat cook faster than large pieces. Use a pan with a thick bottom for cooking, so that the heat is optimally distributed.
You can combine lamb neck with various herbs such as thyme, rosemary, sage, garlic and mint. And also, for example, with yogurt as in Indian cuisine.
Stewing is the slow cooking of meat in broth, wine, cider or beer with vegetables and herbs. If you want to stew the lamb neck, do so at a low temperature (up to 90˚C) for a creamy result.
If you want the stew meat to be ready faster, you can cook it at a higher temperature.
- Take the meat out of the refrigerator half an hour in advance and let it reach room temperature.
- Fry it so that it is seared all around, this gives it an extra flavor and color.
- Remove the meat from the pan and brown the other ingredients.
- Then add the meat back in, add the liquid and make sure that the meat is covered.
- Put the lid on the pan and simmer it gently for 3 hours.
- If you use beer, add half of it during the last 15 minutes, then the meat will become less bitter.
- Do not exceed 90˚C for creamy stewed meat.
- If you serve the stew immediately, let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- If you leave the stew in the fridge overnight after stewing, it will become even softer and tastier.
- Warm the cooled stewed meat gently and keep it well below 90˚C, then most of the moisture will remain in the meat.
In the oven
If you want to cook the lamb neck in the oven, you should do this at a medium temperature.
- Place the lamb neck in a pan or deep oven dish 1 day in advance.
- Pour some oil, garlic and bay leaf over it and put it back in the fridge.
- Now let it reach room temperature for 2 hours.
- Turn on an oven at 80 to 90˚C.
- Place the necks in the oven and cook them for 12 to 14 hours.
Grilling on the barbecue
If you are grilling lamb neck on the barbecue, make sure the coals are hot.
- Coat the lamb neck with a marinade.
- Cover it and place it in the fridge to let it marinate overnight.
- Place the lamb on the barbecue and insert a core thermometer in it.
- For medium rare, leave the meat until a core temperature of 52˚C is reached. For medium the core temperature needs to be 54˚C.
- Remove the lamb from the barbecue, wrap it in aluminum foil if necessary and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.
- Cut the lamb neck into nice slices and serve them.
Sous vide is cooking vacuum-sealed meat in a hot water bath so that the entire piece of meat reaches the exact desired core temperature.
- Let the meat reach room temperature and add spices of your choice.
- Then vacuum seal the meat and cook it sous vide at 57°C for 24 hours.
- After the cooking time you can remove the meat from the bag.
- If you don’t need the meat immediately, you can leave it in the water bath for 1 hour longer.
- If necessary, pat it dry with some kitchen paper before baking.
- Stew, bake, grill or barbecue the meat at a high temperature for as short a time as possible for extra flavor and a crispy crust.
- The meat does not have to rest, it can be cut or served immediately.
Recipe: Slow cooked lamb neck served as a pita
Slow cooked lamb neck served as a pita
- 800 grams boneless lamb neck
- 4 tsp smooth mustard
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp ras el hanout
- 8 artisan pita breads
- ½ red onion
- ¼ iceberg lettuce finely chopped
- 1 red pointy bell pepper
- ½ jalapeno pepper
- 4 tbsp spicy sambal sauce
- Place the neck of lamb in an ovenproof dish and add the mustard and spices. Massage the meat with the mustard and spices and place it in the refrigerator overnight to let it marinate well.
- The next day, prepare the barbecue for indirect cooking at a temperature of about 110 degrees Celsius. Place the dish with the marinated neck of lamb in the barbecue and close the lid. Let it smoke for about an hour, turning the meat once in between.
- Insert a core thermometer into the meat and set it to 54 degrees Celsius. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and continue to cook it gently until the temperature is reached.
- Meanwhile, bake the pita breads and roughly chop the bell pepper. Cut thin rings of the red onion and finely slice the pepper. Then, chop the iceberg lettuce finely.
- Remove the meat from the barbecue, let it rest for another 10 minutes and then cut it into thin slices.
- Cut the sandwiches open and fill them with the finely chopped iceberg lettuce and bell pepper. Spoon in a little of the sauce and fill the buns with the finely chopped lamb.
- Finish the pita breads with onion rings, slices of jalapeno pepper and a little of the sambal sauce.
Looking for more inspiration? Then see below more recipes with lamb neck. Or check our lamb recipes for even more inspiration.