Underused yet delicious, lamb neck is a cut we should all be using more! Not only is it packed full of flavour, but it's also an extremely cheap cut making it perfect for lamb-lovers on a budget.
An under-utilised cut of lamb, lamb neck is relatively cheap so it’s a good option for lamb-lovers on a budget. It is most commonly sold off the bone in small fillets, or sometimes diced as ‘braising lamb.’ You can also get bone-in lamb neck steaks, which are ideal for long, slow stews or curries.
What to look for when buying lamb neck
Lamb neck fillets are usually now available in larger supermarkets, but you’ll likely need a trip to the butchers if you want something on the bone. Lamb neck does contain a little sinew and silver skin, which can easily be trimmed away (or ask your butcher) and is nicely marbled with a little fat too. The meat should be a deep red, not slimy or greying. As well as being better for the animal, grass-fed lamb will produce tastier meat. One fillet generally weighs around 450g–600g so feeds 2–3 people well.
Lamb neck is a muscle, meaning it can be tough if not treated properly. The safest way to get it right is probably a low and slow cook. As the cut is relatively small (compared to say, the shoulder,) a good ninety-minute to two-hour braise will leave you with tender, meat that falls apart. The strong, slightly gamey flavour of lamb means it stands up well to bold flavours, so it's ideal for a heavily spiced curry or tagine.