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Savannah Lamb Neck with Preserved Lemons & Garlic


80ml     Evilo Estate Clare Valley Olive Oil
100ml    Verjuice
500ml    Chicken Stock (best you can get)
2    Savannah Lamb Necks
4     Brown Onions Quartered
6    Bay Leaves (fresh not dried)
7    Cloves Garlic, peeled & crushed
4    Sprigs Fresh Thyme
3    Sprigs Fresh Rosemary (Leaves only)
2    Quarters of Patly Hill Preserved Lemons (peel only)
18    Pitted Patly Hill Clare Valley Kalamata Olives for garnish

Preheat oven to 180oC
Choose a casserole dish with a tight fitting lid that fits the two necks snugly together.  Heat the oil in the casserole dish and add the onions, garlic and herbs.  Brown over high heat for a few minutes stirring constantly.  Take out the mix and sit aside leaving as much oil still in the pan.  
Brown the lamb necks in the same dish until golden and then add the onion mix rolling the necks to seal in the onion aromas.
Add the preserved lemon, verjuice and stock and season with pepper salt.
Set the oven to cook in the over for approx 4 hours. Be sure to check it a couple of times and ensure the lid is back on tightly after rolling the lamb around in the mix. Baste the necks a few times, and roll them over with tongs in the juice.
The lamb is cooked when it falls off the bone.  Put it on a warm plate and set aside with foil to rest.
Skim the fat off the pan juices and reduce this by a third until the sauce is thick but not gluggy.  This takes longer than it seems and you can keep going tasting it every 5 minutes to ensure the sauce isn’t getting too strong.  Season to taste and for extra gloss put in a cube of cold butter.
Add the pitted olives and pull apart the meat off the bone making sure the sinews are left with the bones.  

We usually serve this with apple or pear mash and steamed green beans or mash and a side salad. Something to cut through the rich flavours works brilliantly.  Crusty bread to wipe the plate clean is always a favourite too!

** Although whole necks can be used here, you can also use the rosette chops.  The recipe is enough for 1 neck or 2 and the liquid can be increased if you want to increase the number of necks and you have a big enough dish.  If you have any quinces or pickled quinces you can add these into the recipe in the beginning. The quince gives a beautiful flavour and adds some colour also.  I also put them in at the end to liven up the palate.

***This is an adaption of Maggie Beer’s Lamb Neck recipe.