Slow Roasted Ethiopian Berbere Lamb Neck[addthis tool="addthis_inline_share_toolbox_cv7f"]
Cooking a whole neck can look intimidating. This Ethiopian berbere lamb recipe, cooked easily in a crock pot during the day, will show you how easy it can be. There’s nothing like coming home to the smell of spices simmering away and the leftovers are even better the next day. The Tavia East African spice blend is available here, but pre-made berbere spice also works good.
Neck is basically designed by nature for slow cooking, think of it as a bunch of tender meat, surrounded and insulated by bone and all sorts of good stuff that keeps it moist while it cooks. Braised collard greens, lentils, and injera are a great compliment to this. This is easy, you only need to know two words: low and slow. As long as you have a crock pot, or a dutch oven, or something nice and roomy to cook the neck in, you’re golden. And remember neck is just a muscle group though much more tender than most others.
Here’s a tutorial on how to cook them. These directions work well with either lamb or goat neck.
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More Lamb Neck and Stew Recipes
Lamb or Goat Neck with East African Berbere Spices
- Braising dish or small soup pot large enough to fit the neck
- Lamb or Goat Neck
- 2 large sweet bell peppers not green as they're bitter
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic sliced thinly
- 1 ½ tablespoons Tavia East African Spice blend or substitute 1 tablespoon premade berbere
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
- 1 14 oz can unseasoned whole peeled tomatoes, tomato sauce or puree
- 2 cups meat stock or water
- 1/4 cup cooking oil or lard
- Blacked the peppers over a flame on a gas stove or a grill or broil in the oven until charred all over, then transfer to a plastic bag and cool. Slice the onion into ¼ inch julienne, slice the garlic thinly, then reserve both separately. When the peppers are cool, peel and remove the seeds, then slice into ¼ inch strips.
- Puree the whole tomatoes in a blender or mash them coarsely and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 325 ℉.
- Heat the oil in a large pan with the garlic, roughly a 3 qt capacity. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring often, until the garlic is deeply browned and fragrant, watching closely so it doesn’t burn. When the garlic is deeply brown but not burnt, add the onions and berbere spice mix, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes more to halt the cooking of the garlic.
- Add the lamb roasted peppers. Add the tomato and stock until the liquid comes up about 2/3 of the lamb.
- Place a piece of parchment over the top of the meat to prevent drying. Close the pan with the lid, place in the oven and cook for 1 ½ -2 hours, or until the lamb is very tender. Make sure to stir occasionally. You can also cook the lamb in a crock pot from this point.
- Remove the pot from the oven and allow the neck to cool until it can be handled. Pick the meat and shred coarsely, then return to the pot and reduce the liquid on medium heat until the mixture is thickened, about 15 minutes.
- Season the lamb-pepper mixture with salt to taste, tear some of the fresh mint over the top, then serve.