Lamb Neck Stew
By Kath Dedon
This Lamb Neck Stew turned out even better than I expected! It was Comfort Food Supreme for a chilly February night. It made two generous servings, but I saved a tiny bit that I savored for breakfast the next morning.
I know one of the reasons it was so good is because I used top-quality lamb, a gift from our good friends in California. Mike and Liz raise sheep on their Southern Cross Ranch. Their lamb is, without a doubt, the best I have ever tasted! The last time we visited, they generously sent us home with a few pieces to put in our freezer!
One of the pieces was lamb neck. I had never seen lamb neck in the store* and I didn’t really know how to prepare it. Searching the Internet, I learned that lamb neck is well suited for slow braising, making it perfect for stew.
I found a recipe from a woman in Australia for Lamb Neck Stew. Mike is Australian, so this seemed like a fitting recipe for his lamb!
* (3/6/13) I looked at my local Safeway today and, lo and behold, they had lamb neck! I will be making Lamb Neck Stew again, and probably soon! :)
I didn’t plan to blog this one, so I just snapped some quick iPhone photos which don’t do it justice. It was so tasty, though; I just had to share!
Lamb Neck Stew
(Adapted from a recipe from “Shiho” on allrecipes.com.au)
If you can’t find lamb neck, you could try substituting lamb shanks or a shoulder cut.
Generously serves 2
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound lamb neck
3 tablespoons flour (or potato starch flour for gluten free)
½ medium yellow onion (about 4 ounces), quartered
1 large carrot (about 5 ounces), sliced
10 ounces fingerling potatoes, with skin, cut in smaller pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste
2⅓ cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
6 sprigs thyme
1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
2. Dust the lamb neck with the flour and cook it in the hot oil until it is lightly browned. Remove the meat from the pot.
3. Add the onion to the pot and cook, stirring, for 3 – 4 minutes until it is starting to soften.
4. Add the carrot and potatoes. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Stir and cook for an additional minute or two.
5. Stir the Worcestershire sauce into the chicken broth and pour into the pot. Add the thyme and stir.
6. Put the lamb back into the pot, cover, and simmer over very low heat for about 2½ hours or until the meat is very tender. (I had to set my stove to the lowest heat possible to keep the stew at a simmer – with just a few gentle bubbles appearing at a slow rate.) I set the cover ajar for the last hour to help the stew thicken.
Lid set slightly ajar during the last hour or so
7. When the lamb is tender, take the meat out of the pot and remove the lamb from the bones. Cut, or shred the meat into bite-sized pieces and return to the pot.
8. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Remove the thyme sprigs and serve.