Roasted & Braised Lamb Neck Lemonato

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IMG_5144Growing up Greek means you eat lamb often – lamb chops, lamb in the oven, whole spit-roasted lamb, lamb stews, lamb in clay pots, lamb with pasta, lamb in phyllo and braised lamb dishes. All these ways of eating lamb and I’ve never intentionally had lamb neck,

The neck of the lamb may be eaten when we spit-roast a whole lamb for Easter – its part of the lamb meat that gets cut-up and served family style. I’ve recently noticed this part of the animal is delicious, tender and delicious. An underappreciated cut.IMG_5015

Depending on the size (an age) of the lamb, the neck may be anywhere from 6-10 inches so the number of portions you will get will vary. I sourced my lamb necks from Mr. Greek Meats for last Monday’s Greek Supper Club. The lamb from Mr. Greek is from Ontario and having used their lamb twice – I concur with my guests…this lamb (Ontario) is delicious!2014-05-25 09.25.52

Why choose lamb neck? Well, it’s delicious and great for roasting and braising – much like  lamb shank. Lamb neck has the bone in the middle and a good amount of meat surrounding it. I also like that everyone at your dinner table gets a uniform portion.

Preparing lamb is easy – season well with salt and pepper, garlic powder, sweet paprika and roast in your high heat oven until browned on both sides. Then lower the heat in your oven, add hot stock, white wine, lemon juice and your herbs of choice. I live lemon verbena and dried Greek oregano.

This is the type of dish that’s ideal for  Sunday dinner with roasted potatoes or a garlic mashed potato and for some added decadence…shave some truffles into the mash or drizzle some truffle oil. Place the roasted and braised lamb neck on top, spoon over some sauce from the pan and garnish with Greek oregano.IMG_5143

Roasted & Braised Lamb Neck Lemonato

(serves 6)

6 lamb necks, cut about 1 1/2 inch thick

sea salt and ground pepper

garlic powder

sweet paprika

16 cloves of garlic, smashed

1 1/2 cups of dry white wine

juice of  of 1/2 lemon

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon verbena (2 tsp. dried) or mint or rosemary

2 Tbsp. fresh thyme (2 tsp. dried)

enough hot chicken stock to just cover the meat

1 heaping tsp. of dried Greek oregano

sea salt and ground pepper to taste

more lemon juice to taste

 Pre-heated 550F oven

  1. Pat-dry your lamb necks and season with salt and pepper, garlic powder, paprika and place in a roasting pan (just big enough to fit the meat tightly) and in your pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes or until browned (you may have to flip your meat).
  2. Take out of the oven and reduce your heat to 350F. To the pan add your garlic, wine, lemon juice, herbs, enough hot stock to almost cover the meat. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place back in the oven for 90-120 minutes or until the meat is fork tender.
  3. Remove from the oven and add the lemon juice and the dried Greek oregano. Gently shake the pan to amalgamate all the flavours. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve with roast potatoes or roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Pair with a Hinterland Lacus Charmat.



© 2014,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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3 Comments for “Roasted & Braised Lamb Neck Lemonato”


I’m a big fan of lamb shanks and since you liken the neck to it, I know I’d like this dish — besides it just looks delicious! Although I’ve never seen that cut in these parts.



This is a delicious and easy meal! I’ve made it a few times now, and am making it again for dinner tonight. I serve it with rice. My family goes crazy for it!

I’m Greek-American, and ate a lot of lamb growing up, but somehow, lamb neck was always overlooked. I made and ate it for the first time after I was given the fantastic cookbook, “Tastes from Home: Mediterranean cooking in Alaska.” In the cookbook, there is a delicious Greek recipe for lamb stew with onions and lemons, and another tasty recipe for a Moroccan lamb stew. Both call for neck or chops, but I mostly use neck.

My favorite thing about lamb neck is how cheap it is. I have five children, and I can feed them lamb neck a lot more often than a leg of lamb!