Sous vide lamb neck with Moroccan spices

  • medium
  • 4
  • 60 minutes

This sous vide lamb neck recipe is cooked in the water bath to help tenderise this tougher cut of meat. Moroccan spices add a beautiful warmth to the meat.

First published in 2015
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The word confit describes a way of cooking meat, fish or vegetables for several hours at a low temperature, encased in fat. You will most likely have heard of duck confit, and will know that once removed from the cooking fat the meat is tender and lean. We use the sous vide cooking method to achieve the same soft, melt in the mouth texture, but with minimal added fat.

Cheaper cuts of meat, such as lamb neck, are richly flavoured. To get the best out of them a low and slow cooking process allows the meat fibres to break down and tenderise. A slow cooker is an economical and easy way to do this. However, we’ve found that sous vide cooking allows precision cooking for even more extended periods, and results in meat that is meltingly soft and full of flavour. You can also get away with using a lot less fat to cook the meat in a sous vide. Using a vacuum seal on the cooking bags results in a cooking environment that concentrates flavour so sous vide cooked food needs less spice and flavouring added to it.

We have used different cuts of lamb, beef and chicken in the sous vide, including lamb shank, Ox cheek and Chicken Breast. Indeed it is the best way to get tender poached chicken for slicing or shredding into salads or grains.

We served this particular recipe for lamb neck fillet confit at one of our supperclub events last year, alongside cumin seeded flatbreads and preserved lemon. You could also pair the lamb confit with couscous, freekeh or potatoes. Another idea is to pull the meat into strands to fill sheets of brik (or filo) pastry to make pastillas – like this recipe.




Sous vide lamb neck confit


In a hot dry frying pan, lightly roast the fennel, coriander and cumin seeds one spice at a time
Grind the spices and combine with the remaining spices, salt and pepper. Transfer to a small bowl. Peel and crush the garlic, add to spice mix then pour in the oil, stir to make a paste
Rub the spices over the lamb neck fillets and place in a covered plastic container. Leave in refrigerator overnight
The next day, fill a sous vide machine with water and heat to 76°C. When the sous vide achieves the correct temperature, vacuum seal the lamb neck fillets into individual sous vide bags
Place the bags in the water bath and cook for 18 hours
If you are planning to serve immediately, take the bags out of the water bath, cut them open and gently take out the cooked lamb. Discard the cooking juices, or you can use them to make a sauce. If you plan to serve the dish later, plunge the sealed sous vide bags into ice cold water
Keep the bags containing lamb chilled in a refrigerator until ready to serve
When ready to serve (if cooking after chilling) warm a pan of water on the stove to a gentle simmer – about 76-80°C if you have a temperature probe. Heat the lamb within the sealed bags for around 20 to 25 minutes to ensure the chilled meat is fully rewarmed all the way through
First published in 2015

Nazima is a freelance food writer.

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