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Perfect match: slow-roasted lamb neck and shiraz

Australian Gourmet Traveller wine match recipe for slow-roasted lamb neck and shiraz.

By Alice Storey
  • Serves 6
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 3 hrs cooking plus resting
Slow-roasted lamb neck and shiraz
Slow-roasted lamb neck and shiraz

Was there ever a dish better matched with the earthy generosity of a good shiraz? The dense sweetness of slow-cooked lamb - especially a collagen-rich cut such as neck - mirrors the grape's purple and black fruit flavours; the rosemary and mustard echo the spicy notes of shiraz; and the earthy potatoes and stuffing give the wine's savoury tannins something to soak into on the tongue. Look beyond the familiar styles, regions and names, because shiraz is going through a quiet revolution. New techniques are being used in many wineries, from co-fermentation with white grapes such as viognier to whole-bunch fermentation, more commonly associated with pinot noir. As well as planting the grape in cooler spots, some winemakers are also shining the spotlight on regions such as the Grampians that might not have the media profile of, say, the Barossa or Heathcote, but might - arguably - produce better shiraz than either.

Lamb loves shiraz, especially the new wines being made in exciting new shiraz-growing regions, writes Max Allen.

Ingredients

  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, coarsely chopped
  • 70 gm Dijon mustard (¼ cup)
  • 120 gm coarse sourdough breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 70 gm parmesan, finely grated
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 2 lamb necks (about 500gm each), butterflied (see note)
  • 60 ml olive oil (¼ cup)
  • 400 ml chicken stock
  • 300 ml white wine
Rosemary salt-roasted potatoes
  • 6 eggwhites
  • 500 gm rock salt
  • 1.2 kg baby potatoes such as Otway reds or chats
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 tbsp rosemary

Method

Main
  • 1
    Heat half the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until tender (6-8 minutes). Add anchovies and rosemary and stir occasionally until anchovy dissolves (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat, stir in mustard and set aside to cool. Add breadcrumbs, parsley, parmesan and lemon rind and season to taste.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 180C. Place lamb on a work surface, place half the stuffing along a long edge, season to taste, roll to form a long cylinder, then secure at intervals with kitchen string. Repeat with remaining lamb and filling.
  • 3
    Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add lamb and cook, turning occasionally, until golden (2-3 minutes each side). Transfer to a casserole and repeat with remaining lamb. Add stock and wine, cover with lid, bring to the simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and cook, basting occasionally, until lamb is tender and cooked through (2-2¼ hours). Remove string, set aside to rest (15 minutes) and thickly slice before serving.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, for rosemary salt-roasted potatoes, lightly whisk eggwhite until frothy, then stir in salt. Spread potatoes in a baking tray, drizzle with oil, scatter with garlic and rosemary, then spoon over salt mixture and roast until potatoes are tender (50 minutes-1 hour). Crack salt crust, remove potatoes and serve hot with sliced lamb neck and pan juices.

Notes

Note Butterflied lamb neck may need to be ordered from your butcher. Drink suggestion by Max Allen