The ‘secondo’ (main dish) for my lamb extravaganza was this: neck of lamb sous-vide, rack of lamb, parsley root puree and roasted chervil root, served with a lamb jus. The recipes for the parsley root and chervil root will follow in my next post, this post will deal with the neck of lamb. The neck is one of the tastiest cuts of lamb, but also one of the toughest because the neck musles are used a lot. It is ideally suited for cooking sous-vide, which will make it melt-in-your-mouth tender while keeping it succulent. For a good crispy crust I both pre- and post-seared it in clarified butter. This dish worked best out of the three with the 1998 red Sancerre.
Make sure to get neck of lamb from a female animal, as males have a strong unpleasant scent that is accentuated by the low and slow cooking. The cooking time of 24 hours is suitable for an actual lamb. If your lamb is a bit older (i.e. really a sheep), you might need more time to get it tender.
1 neck of lamb (about 1 kilogram or 2 lbs)
fresh thyme and rosemary
salt and freshly ground black pepper
clarified butter (or a mixture of butter and olive oil)
To finish the dish
1 rack of lamb (with 8 ribs)
1 glass (100 ml) red wine
concentrated home-made lamb stock
parsley root puree
roasted chervil root
Cook sous-vide for 24 hours at 57C/135F.
If you like you can use the juices from the sous-vide pouch to add to the sauce as well, just make sure to use my trick to remove the scum that will form.
Let the pieces of lamb cool for 10 minutes or so to prevent overcooking them in the final sear.
For the lamb jus, I added concentrated lamb stock to the pan that I had deglazed with red wine, I tasted to adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and finally I mounted the jus by beating in small pieces of cold butter off the heat.
I paired this dish with a 1998 Henri Bourgeois red Sancerre “La Bourgeoise”, a pinot noir from old vines made with 1/3 new barriques from a special flint terroir (silex). I included the other bottles that we had the same night (with a group of 8) in the photo to show you the size of the double magnum. The pairing was very good, although the 1996 Corton-Vergennes Grand Cru (a red burgundy) we had when the Sancerre ran out wasn’t bad either 😉