Braised Lamb Neck
I took a lamb butchery class earlier this week at The Pantry at Delancy in Ballard. It was hands on, very informative, and gave me a renewed respect for butchers and the physical nature of butchery. We used boning knives, cleavers and bone saws. We used most every part of the lamb and at the end of it all, there was very little waste. I loved it. I loved it for the technicality of it, for the education on uses for different parts of the lamb we don't normally see in the store, and that good butchery, like any other work when its done really well, is a true art.
We each went home with a bag full of lamb and so tonight it's a little lamb fest at the Emerton house. I marinated rib chops, shoulder chops and porterhouse chops in balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard, soy, rosemary, thyme and garlic to grill. I was also fortunate to get some lamb necks which we were told are gaining popularity amongst chefs, like a new beef short rib. I also have in my freezer, plenty of ground lamb, and some boneless leg of lamb. Pacino even got lucky with some lamb bones. I couldn't wait to braise the necks.
For the lamb neck:
Salt and pepper and brown under the broiler.
Make a mirepoix onions, carrot, celery and shallot.
Smash and chop 2 heads of garlic.
In a small dutch oven, heat a little olive oil. Sauté the mirepoix and garlic until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown.
Add a couple fresh bay leaves, a sprig of rosemary and a tablespoon of tomato paste. Stir in and mix well.
Then add 2 tablespoons of flour and stir to combine.
Deglaze with 1 ½ to 2 cups of red wine. Stir in and bring to a boil.
Add 1 ½ cups of beef stock and bring back to boil.
Add the lamb necks to the pot, cover, turn the heat down to low and braise for about 2 ½ to 3 hours, or until lamb is fork tender. Serve with buttery mashed potatoes and a greek salad. Excellent!