A Lamb neck fillet is one of my favourite cuts, with a fantastic flavour and texture that’s great for slow cooking in soups and stews, but equally when flash-fried and treated as a steak.

Here I've cooked quickly in a pan until deeply caramelised but blushing pink within. It's served with a delicious Middle Eastern-inspired salad of moghrabieh (giant couscous), roasted carrots and spices. Finished with a drizzle of tahini sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1
    Lamb neck fillet
  • 300g
    Carrots
  • 100g
    Mograbieh (giant couscous)
  • 50g
    Sultanas
  • 40g
    Pine nuts
  • 1
    Lemon
  • 1.1/2 teaspoons
    Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon
    Cinnamon
  • A small bunch
    Mint and coriander, finely chopped
  • A few knobs
    Butter
  • For the tahini sauce

  • 60g
    Tahini, use a quality one, it makes a big difference
  • 1
    Garlic clove
  • 4 tablespoons
    Cold water

Method

  • Preheat oven to 200C

    To start, toast the cumin briefly in a pan then pour it into a pestle and mortar with a generous pinch of salt and grind it to a coarse powder. Next, cut the carrots into jaunty chunks, place them in a roasting tray, and add a few dots of butter and a drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle over half of the cumin salt, toss together and roast in a hot oven at 200C for 30 minutes.

    In the meantime, rub the neck fillet with olive oil and season both sides generously with salt. 

    To make the tahini sauce. Grate the clove of garlic into a bowl and squeeze in 1/3rd of a lemon's worth of juice. Leave this to sit for 5 minutes and the acidity of the lemon will relax the rawness of the garlic. Next, add the tahini, and whisk together, it will form quite a claggy paste, use the water to relax this down as you whisk together and form a loose sauce. Add a generous pinch of the cumin salt and a glug of olive oil, whisk again, have a taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

    Bring a pan of water to a boil, season well and chuck in the mograbieh. Cook for 8-10 minutes until tender but still with a gentle bite.

    After 30 minutes, the carrots should be tender, pour in the sultanas and pine nuts and place back in the oven for 3 minutes just for the flavours to come together. 

    Strain off the Mograbieh, shake out the water and pour into a mixing bowl. Then add the tray of 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 meat, it couldn’t be simpler. Get a heavy frying pan hot and place it in the neck fillet. Let it sizzle and cook on each side until caramelised all over. You’re looking for medium rare and blushing pink within. Prod with your finger and look for a firm texture with a gentle give. 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. Plate up some of the mograbieh and carrot, top with the neck fillet, squeeze over a dash of lemon and finish with a generous drizzle of the tahini sauce. I love a final flurry of Aleppo chilli and some of the chopped herbs too. Enjoy!


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