Recipe: Slow-cooked spring lamb neck, farro, wild olives and salsa verde

Recipe: Slow-cooked spring lamb neck, farro, wild olives and salsa verde

1h prep | 2.5 cook

Last updated

This recipe by Timothy Montgomery, formerly of Bacchus restaurant, is a wonderful celebration of lamb and grains. Perfect for any time of year.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 300g whole grain farro
  • 4 lamb neck fillets
  • 1 brown onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 40ml vegetable oil
  • 100ml medium dry sherry
  • 2L beef stock
  • 200g mixed olives
  • 8 anchovy fillets
  • 2 pickled walnuts, sliced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 60g rocket
  • 1/2 bunch fresh dill
  • 1/2 bunch fresh coriander
  • 30g cornichons
  • 3 anchovy fillets
  • 20g capers
  • 20g pickled cocktail onions
  • 200ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 30ml Pedro Ximenez or plain sherry vinegar

Season the lamb generously with salt and pepper. Using a large heavy-based pan, sear the lamb on all sides over a medium heat in the vegetable oil until well coloured. Remove from the pan and add onion, garlic, carrot and celery, sautéing until lightly coloured.

Deglaze the pan with the sherry, turn up the heat and reduce liquid by half. Add the beef stock, thyme and rosemary, return the lamb to the pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover the pan and place in the oven. Cook for 1.5-2 hours. Lamb should be tender but not breaking down.

Remove the lamb from the braising liquid, strain liquid into a saucepan, bring to a simmer and reduce until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Whisk in the butter, remove from the heat and reserve until needed.

For the salsa verde, process all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Adjust with extra olive oil or vinegar to taste.

Drain farro and cook in unsalted boiling water for roughly 30 mins, or until grains swell and become tender. Strain from liquid and dress with a small amount of salsa verde, lamb braising sauce, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

To serve, warm the sauce over a moderate heat in a pan and add the anchovy fillets, olives, pickled walnut slices and chopped parsley. Bring to a near simmer. Meanwhile, brown the lamb portions in a separate pan and then add to the sauce, allowing it to gently heat through.

Spoon farro onto individual serving plates, top with a piece of lamb and the arrange the warm olives, anchovies and walnuts. Dress with remaining sauce and salsa verde. Decorate with wild rocket leaves, nasturtiums, chickweed or any suitable fresh leaves.


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