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Savannah Lamb Neck with Quinces


1 tblsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ knob ginger (2cm) peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
8 small onions roughly chopped
1 or 2 lamb necks whole
1 large fresh quince – peeled and cored and cut into quarters or eights.
1/2tbsp Sherry
1/2tbsp vinegar (less if you have raspberry vinegar which is divine)
1tsp whole coriander seeds crushed in a motar and pestle
1tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
2 cups of chicken stock
1 tbsp quince syrup (preferably pickling liquid but quince glaze or jelly is ok too)
1/3 cup of washed whole coriander leaves (garnish)

Preheat the oven to 120oC.
You will need a le crueset or large heavy based casserole with a tightly fitting lid.
Sweat the ginger, onion and garlic until soft and golden over medium heat with olive oil. Remove the onion mix, add a little more of the oil and brown the two necks one at a time over medium –high heat. Add the fresh quince pieces.

Deglaze the pan with a mix of the vinegar and sherry and quickly add a little of the stock if you don’t have enough liquid and the pan is too hot.
Put in the necks, onion mix on top and cover with the rest of the stock.  Add the spices and transfer to the oven to cook for 3.5 hours.  Check at 3 hours and make sure all is covered still and that the meat is under the onion and stock mix.  If the meat isn’t falling off the bone by 3.5 hours, put it in for an extra 30 mins.

To remove the fat, you can leave in the fridge over night and then peel it off the next day.

Put the casserole dish onto low heat and heat through. (please don’t use a microwave!!)
Remove the lamb and the quince pieces if they haven’t disintergrated and put aside.

Strain the juices into a fry pan and reduce the liquid or thicken using cornflour. Check for flavour and seasoning and include the quince jelly here.  Ensure you taste, as you may need something a little more tart like verjuice or pickled quinces.

Meanwhile, remove the meat from the neck, include into the sauce/glaze pan and toss through the sauce and serve on warm plates on a bed of cous cous, mash or polenta.

Garnish with coriander.

Serve with a pinot or a balanced cabernet.  This is a warming Moroccan style dish that is quite a bit different to what you expect. Its really important to get rid of as much fat as you can between taking it out of the oven, and creating the reduction.

This recipe has been adapted from Maggie Beer’s Lamb Neck with Quinces recipe.