Braised lamb neck with cherries

  • Starter
  • challenging
  • 4
  • 2 hours 30 minutes, plus 2–3 weeks pickling time for the cherries, 48 hours brining time and a few hours braising time



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Braised lamb neck

Pickled cherries

Cherry ketchup

  • 250g of cherries
  • 5g of agar agar
  • 120g of rice wine vinegar
  • 60g of caster sugar

Charcoal oil

  • 2 pieces of natural lumpwood charcoal
  • 200g of sunflower oil

Roasted lamb dressing

To make the pickled cherries, place the rice wine vinegar in a sterilised jar and add the cherries. Leave to pickle for a few weeks
To brine the lamb neck, combine the water, salt and sugar and stir until dissolved. Place in a large container, add the lamb neck and place in the fridge for 48 hours
Once brined, dry the lamb well. Add a dash of oil to a hot pan, add the neck and colour all over. Remove the lamb from the pan, add the carrots, onions, garlic and leek and sauté for a minute or so before adding the chicken stock. Return the lamb to the pan, cover with a cartouche and leave to braise on a low heat until the lamb becomes extremely soft and can be easily pulled apart. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the liquid. Once cool, place the lamb in the fridge and leave to chill and set
  • 1 dash of oil, neutral-flavoured
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 garlic bulb, finely sliced
  • 2l chicken stock
To make the cherry ketchup, destone the cherries, juice the flesh in a juicer then pass the liquid through muslin. Add the cherry juice to a pan and bring to the boil. Add the agar agar, allow to cook for a minute or so then pour the mixture onto a heatproof tray. Allow to set in the fridge
For the charcoal oil, heat the coals until white hot on a barbecue. Pour the oil into a pan and take it outside to the barbecue – do not attempt this process inside as you will be dealing with extremely hot oil which may catch alight! Equipped with sturdy gloves and heatproof tongs, carefully place the coals in the oil – this is the most dangerous stage, so take care. Place the pan over an ice bath until everything is cooled, then transfer the mixture to a high-powered blender. Blitz to break up the charcoal then pass the mixture through a sieve lined with muslin. Store the coal oil in the fridge – take care when handling it as it will stain anything it touches
  • 2 pieces of natural lumpwood charcoal
  • 200g of sunflower oil
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
For the lamb dressing, place the diced lamb in a roasting tray with a dash of oil and roast in the oven until dark golden brown. Remove from the oven, pour in the soy while still hot and allow to infuse for a couple of hours
Remove the set cherry juice from the fridge and cut into cubes. Add the cubes to a blender with the vinegar and sugar and blitz to a smooth purée. Pass through a sieve, transfer to a squeezy bottle and store in the fridge until ready to serve
  • 60g of caster sugar
  • 120g of rice wine vinegar
Pass the lamb and soy mixture through muslin cloth and warm through in a small saucepan. Taste and add enough mirin to balance the flavours and seasoning
  • mirin, to taste
When ready to serve, drain some pickled cherries and carefully cut into thin slices. Remove the lamb neck from the fridge and cut into four even portions. Colour the portions well on a hot barbecue until heated through and golden on the outside
Place the lamb in the centre of each plate and cover with pickled cherry slices. Pipe over the cherry ketchup, add a few drops of charcoal oil and finish with the lamb soy dressing. Serve immediately
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