The neck is probably the most underutilized part of the animal and consequently most of it is sold to the donner kebab industry. Interestingly, our lamb supplier tells us that we are the only restaurant on their books that takes the neck fillet. Again, it is incredibly cheap and packed with flavour – and not as scary to use as it sounds. It is best marinated and then grilled or sautéed.
The day before, make the marinade by first combining all the dry ingredients to a paste using a pestle and mortar, then add the wet ingredients and mix well. Rub the lamb neck fillets in this and allow to marinate overnight in the fridge.
Next day, lift the lamb out of the marinade and set aside; reserve the marinade. Heat a splash of olive oil in a frying pan and colour the lamb briskly on a high heat until golden all over. Lower the heat, add a spoonful of the marinade to the pan and continue to cook for about 5 minutes more on each side.
Take the lamb out of the pan, season with salt and allow to rest in a warm to place.
To prepare the garnish, pop the cut artichokes in the pan and lightly colour. Add the tomatoes and blister the skins over high heat. Now add the juices from the rested lamb, one more spoonful of the marinade and cook on a low heat for 2 minutes.
Slice the lamb, pop it back in the pan and coat with all the juices to serve. If you have celery leaves, dot them around.
© 2008 Anthony Demetre. All rights reserved.