The Lazy Cook’s Lamb Neck Stew (using a revolutionary tip!)
It’s admission time. Do you have a bag (or two) of lamb neck chops lurking in the bottom of your freezer?
Yep – we do too!
Have you ever wondered why most people tend to use every other cut in their freezers, and leave these little meaty morsels til last?
There are at least 3 reasons we can think of. Despite neck chops being economical and flavoursome,
- It’s hard to get past the fatty after-feeling in your mouth
- They are renowned for being fiddly due to the numerous little bones
- And really, you end up with relatively little meat for your effort.
Let’s face it – there are some pretty big things to overcome here!
So, what’s the best way to cook them, and honestly, are they even worth worrying about?
Through trial and error, we’ve recently discovered that all of these 3 obstacles can be overcome by using ONE SIMPLE TRICK (hence why we refer to this recipe as the lazy cook’s lamb neck stew!).
And it’s honestly so simple we wished we’d thought of it before 🙂
Start preparing this stew the day before you want to eat it.
Yeah, we know what you’re thinking …. “how can this make a difference?”
That’s why we call it a revolutionary tip 🙂
By applying this one tip, we’re found a way to overcome the 3 common drawbacks of cooking neck chops:
- Fatty after-taste: cooking the chops twice allows the fat to cook out, cool and be easily removed before adding in the remaining ingredients
- Heaps of small bones: we’ve deliberately cooked the lamb chops separately first (without adding extra ingredients) because it’s easier to distinguish what’s bone and what’s not. This way you can safely serve your stew to the whole family, without worrying about choking on a little bone.
- Not enough meat: we like to keep our neck chops til we’ve got at least 1kg, or we’ve been known to combine with lamb shanks, and cook them together. This way you end up with enough meat for a full meal, and can bulk out with vegies as required.
How promising does this sound?
But there are even more reasons to try this tip – it gives time for the flavours to meld together, you have a head-start on tomorrow’s dinner (which earns you extra brownie points!), and you can even pre-prep this to step 8, freeze it, and resume when you need a no-brainer meal.
Although it looks like it has many steps, it’s a very hands-off type recipe that uses your slow cooker to do all the hard work. Perfect for us ‘lazy’ cooks 😉
So don’t give up and feed your stash of neck chops to your hound, try this tip when you stumble upon that lonely bag in your freezer!
We’d love to hear what you think. Please let us know in the comments below.
The Lazy Cook’s Lamb Neck Stew (in 2 easy steps)
- 1kg lamb neck chops (approx 10 chops) *
- 1/2 – 1 cup bone broth
- 1 cup tomato passata
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 pinch allspice
- 1 tsp sea salt
- generous grind of pepper
- 1 cup bone broth (extra)
- 4 carrots, diced or cut into chunks
- 1 onion, halved and sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- DAY ONE: Heat a small slow cooker on the low setting.
- Heat a medium sized heavy-based frypan over medium-high heat. Add a knob of tallow or drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
- Working in batches, brown the neck chops on both sides.
- Transfer chops and all the lovely meat juices + scrapings to the slow cooker.
- Add approx 1/2 cup of bone broth or water (more if your slow cooker is on the hot side), cover with the lid and cook for 6 – 8 hours.
- When chops are fully cooked and falling off the bone, remove from the slow cooker and set aside til they are cool enough to handle.
- Pour any remaining cooking juices into a small dish, cover and refrigerate. You want the fats and juices to cool and separate so you can scrape off the top layer of fat. (Rinse the slow cooker bowl and set aside for the next stage of making the stew).
- When cool, pick the meat off the bones, being careful not to let any small neck bones end up with the meat, as they may cause an emergency trip to the dentist 🙂
- DAY TWO:
- In a large Dutch oven, or slow cooker bowl, mix together all the sauce ingredients.
- Add lamb meat, any reserved cooking juices (that have had the fat removed) and vegetables to the Dutch oven.
- Mix gently to coat the lamb and vegies with the sauce.
- Cover and cook on the stovetop on low for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, or in the slow cooker on low for 3 – 4 hours.
- Serve with cauliflower rice, rice or mashed potato and some steamed green vegies.
Serves: 4 – 6
* Works equally as well using lamb shanks, or a mixture of neck chops and shanks
* We like to keep our neck chops until we’ve got at least 1kg. This way we can make a decent-sized meal.
* You could easily substitute hogget or mutton
* You can make this stew all in one day if you begin step 1 very early in the morning. But that would be contrary to the lazy cook’s approach 😉
A note about fat:
Please don’t assume that we’re against the fat found in meat (saturated fats).
It’s actually quite the reverse – we rarely trim the external fat from our steaks or roasts, and our cooking fat of preference is suet rendered into tallow. We recognise that our bodies need fat for energy and supporting cell growth.
What we don’t enjoy is the excessive fatty feeling left in your mouth after cooking some cuts of meat (particularly neck chops!). That’s why we’ll be using this tip whenever we cook them in future.
Adapted from this recipe by the Lazy Genius.