Ingredients

Lamb neck

Other Names: Collier (French), coppa or collo (Italian), gollete (Spanish), neck slices, rebanada de pescuezo (Spanish, neck slice), scrag end (British, upper neck end).

General Description: Lamb neck has tasty and extremely tender, fine-grained, though bony, meat. The neck is a small, tough, flavorful cut usually sold cut into crosswise slices, though it may be found whole in specialty markets. Lamb neck makes great stew and exquisite curry and is well known in countries that love lamb. The meat has plenty of collagen, which softens and dissolves to provide a rich, silky sauce and luscious meat.

Part of Animal: Lamb neck lies between the head and the shoulder.

Characteristics: Lamb neck is bony with bits of flavorful, soft meat.

How to Choose: Neck may be sold as slices or bone-in stew meat, and will be found at Italian, Middle Eastern, Indian, and other ethnic meat markets. Choose the largest neck slices you can find; these will be the meatiest.

Amount to Buy: Allow at least 1 pound lamb neck per person.

Storage: Store lamb neck up to 2 days refrigerated.

Preparation:

  1. Wash the necks well. Season, pat dry and toss in a little flour, shaking off any excess.
  2. Heat a small amount of oil in a large heavy skillet. Brown the neck slices slowly over moderate heat. If desired, add chopped onions, celery, and carrots, and a little chopped garlic to the pan. Cook till soft.
  3. Pour off and discard excess fat. Season to taste.
  4. Add about 1/2 cup liquid, such as red wine, vegetable juice, or stock, to the pan along with crushed tomatoes, if desired. Cover tightly and simmer over low about 1 1/2 hours, or until fork tender.
  5. Cool and then strain, reserving the liquid. Remove the meat from the bones and reserve, discarding the bones. Strain the liquid and chill, overnight if desired. Skim off the fat.
  6. Gently reheat the neck meat in the sauce.

Flavor Affinities: Baby carrots, bay leaves, celery, chives, curry, garlic, marjoram, onions, red wine, rosemary, sage, thyme.

from Quirk Books: www.quirkbooks.com