An inexpensive, super tasty lamb dish
This grass-fed lamb neck with giant couscous and tahini sauce is a bit of a ‘wow’ dish.
- SERVES: 4
- PREP TIME: 15 mins
- COOKING TIME: 40 mins
- DIFFICULTY: easy
- IDEAL FOR: weekends, Sunday lunch, crowd-pleaser
- BUDGET: £
Lamb neck with giant couscous and tahini sauce
I came across this recipe from Pipers Farm.
I love using inexpensive cuts that you don’t normally find and lamb neck fillet is one of those.
Lamb neck is relatively cheap so it’s a good option for lamb-lovers on a budget.
It’s sold as small long fillets or sometimes diced as a braising lamb.
I’ve used it in a lamb hot pot and it’s one of my favourite pies.
This particular recipe is pretty simple and not too time-consuming.
I whipped it up on a Sunday instead of the usual Sunday roast for friends who came over.
Tips on cooking lamb neck fillet
How to pan-fry lamb neck
This recipe simply pan-fry the fillet but you have to use your own judgement on when it’s cooked.
What I mean is, that the recipe doesn’t really give you a time but I found it took longer than expected.
I cooked two fillets for approx. 10 mins before resting for a minimum of 5 mins.
And once I sliced it, it was perfectly tender (I was worried it may be tough).
If you’re nervous about getting it just perfect (like I was), there is nothing wrong with cutting the fillet in half to check it.
I did this and then realised it needed more time.
Of course, resting the meat is non-negotiable. Always rest your meat.
Below is a method for cooking lamb neck from Great British Chefs.
I think I would give this method a go next time I do this dish because the oven is on anyway from cooking the carrots.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC
- Season the lamb heavily with salt and pepper and place a large frying pan over high heat.
- Once smoking hot, add the lamb fillet and cook all over until nicely browned on every side
- Add a good knob of butter, and allow the butter to melt and foam up.
- Use a spoon to baste the meat in the flavoured butter, then transfer to the oven and cook for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and leave to rest in a warm place for 5 minutes before carving – make sure you pour the resting juices back over the meat before serving.
What to look for when buying lamb neck
You can find lamb neck in larger supermarkets.
But if you want it off the bone AND you want high-quality grass-fed meat.
Then a little trip to your butcher this the way forward.
You’ll always be rewarded with flavour for paying a little extra for supporting good farming practices.
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.
One fillet generally feeds approx. 2 people.
Lamb neck dishes
Lamb neck is usually best or should I say easy to get right and cook, low and slow.
It’s brilliant for spicy curries or tagines.
As mentioned, a good Lancashire hotpot is ideal using lamb neck fillet.
Giant couscous aka morgrabieh
Mograbieh is the Lebanese version of couscous and the largest type of couscous in the Middle East.
It is made of durum wheat semolina (the milled endosperm of durum wheat).
And are like eating little pearls.
You could use normal couscous for this recipe.
But having tried this for the first time – and having a husband who isn’t a fan of couscous – I think we landed on a winner.
You can find it in supermarkets or online like Amazon.
Lamb neck with giant couscous and tahini sauce
- 2 (grass-fed) lamb neck fillets
- 400 g carrots, chopped into chunks
- 250 g giant couscous (mograbieh)
- 100 g sultana's
- 80 g pine nuts
- 1 lemon
- 3 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- bunch of fresh coriander and mint, finely chopped
- a few knobs of butter
- sea salt and pepper for seasoning
- 120 g tahini
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 tbsp water
- Preheat oven to 200C
- Toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan, then add to a pestle and mortar with a good pinch of sea salt and grind to make a coarse powder.Next, place the carrot chunks on a baking tray with some oil and dots of butter, sprinkle over half the cumin and salt powder, mix altogether and roast for 30 mins.
- Bring a pan of water to a boil, season well and add the giant couscous. Cook for 8-10 minutes until tender but still with a little bite.
- Once the carrots are done, add the sultanas and pine nuts and out back in the oven for another few minutes.
- Strain off the giant couscous, and place in a large bowl then add the carrots etc., and stir through. Add the cinnamon, mint, coriander and a squeeze of lemon. Mix well, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary with more cumin salt and lemon juice. Place a plate on top and keep warm while you cook the neck fillet.
- For the lamb neck fillet: season the meat well with sea salt and ground pepper. Then in a hot frying pan with a little oil, place it in.Cooked each side until nicely caramelised. You’re looking for medium rare and blushing pink on the inside which could take approx 10 mins. (There is nothing wrong with cutting it in half to check the colour). When ready, remove to a chopping board and leave it to rest for 5 minutes.
- To serve, slice the neck fillet at an angle. Add the giant cousous to a large serving plate and place the sliced lamb on top. Squeeze over a dash of lemon and finish with a generous drizzle of the tahini sauce.