Quality British Lamb: Persian Spiced Lamb Neck Recipe

I love it when I get a parcel from the lovely people at Quality Standard Beef and Lamb.  I had such a great time at an event they ran recently with Sabrina Ghayour that they decided to calm me down, or gag me, with the ingredients to make one of the dishes she created.  I simply cannot stop cooking from Persiana.  It’s a real winner for me, and for her as it happens, the colourful cookbook won the Guardian Observer Food Monthly 2014 ‘Cookbook of The Year’.

Persian Spiced Lamb Ingredients

This recipe uses lamb neck fillets, a fairly economical cut which reacts well to long, slow cooking.  However, this recipe works rather well.  A decent fillet from a Quality Standard Mark Butcher means it’ll be trimmed, ready to use just like the three sent from Aubrey Allen, all their lamb is from Cornish and Devon farms.

Whilst this recipe uses a lot of ingredients, they’re all available in larger supermarkets, and as Sabrina told me at the event there’s little point putting together recipes when it’s almost impossible to find the ingredients, readily.  It doesn’t take a huge amount of preparation, you just need to be organised, and it’s not out of reach for the novice chef either.

The lamb needs searing and then blasting in a very hot oven for about 15 minutes, it has to be pink but not too red on the inside as this meat will be like chewing gum, which isn’t ideal, and certainly not how it’s intended to be eaten.

Begin by preparing the marinade, the lamb has to sit in the fridge in its spicy coat for at least an hour, I left mine for two and the spice had really absorbed into the meat.  For those who aren’t too keen on spice, you may want to cut the 4 heaped teaspoons of Ras el Hanout to 2.

Ingredients

Serves 4-6

800g trimmed lamb neck fillets

Pomegranate Molasses (for drizzling on the lamb)

For the Marinade

4 heaped teaspoons of Ras el Hanout Spice Mix

Enough Olive Oil to make a paste (about 6 tablespoons)

For the Yogurt Dressing

300ml Greek Yogurt

3 heaped teaspoons of Sumac spice

1 small bunch of Coriander, finely chopped

1 small bunch of Mint, finely chopped

Salt and Pepper

Drizzle of garlic or olive oil

To fill

Small red onion, very thinly sliced

50g rocket leaves

100g pomegranate seeds

8-10 four Tortilla wraps

Method

Place the neck fillets into a flat-base, shallow dish and make a paste with the Ras el Hanout Spice and Olive Oil, then get your fingers dirty and rub all over the fillets.  Cover the dish with cling wrap and marinate for at least an hour.

Ras el Hanout

Ras el Hanout with Olive Oil

Spiced neck fillets

For the yogurt dressing, mix the yogurt, ground Coriander, Sumac, fresh herbs, salt and pepper, a good drizzle of garlic or olive oil and mix well.  I finished with a drizzle of olive oil, after mixing in garlic.  Cling wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Yogurt Marinade

Yogurt Marinade

Once your meat’s had an hour or so, preheat a large frying pan with a small amount of oil on a medium heat.

Neck Fillet

The lamb fillets may need to be cooked one at a time but don’t allow the spice covering to burn.  You’re looking to sear the fillets, turning them every few minutes for around 10 in total, depending on the thickness of the cut. You are looking for a slightly blackened exterior but not burnt.

This is how you don’t want it too look, too red, tough as shoe leather.

Raw neck fillet

The meat can be finished in a hot oven but it does need to be pink inside as the fat won’t melt sufficiently.  Pink is what you are looking for.  If you squeeze the fillet and it isn’t firm and has a lot of bounce, then it needs more time.

Lamb Neck Fillet

Once cooked, the meat should rest between 6-8 minutes, covered with foil.  Using a very sharp knife, thinly slice the fillet and arrange on a platter.  Build the wraps with onion, rocket, pomegranate seeds, yogurt, meat and molasses.

Neck Fillet Wrap

For recipes, more information on cuts and general information about lamb and beef, head over to the Simply Beef and Lamb website.