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braised lamb necks with cauliflower

(post, Elizabeth Stark)

primary-image, l

Sometimes when you cook, you learn a little bit about yourself. For example, did you know that I don't know how to spell "cauliflower?" I just learned that about myself. I always thought it was spelled "cauliflour." For real. But as I typed this recipe, spell check kept picking it up, so I looked it up and saw that I was totally wrong. It's really weird. I'm usually a good speller. It's not like cauliflower is an unusual ingredient. It's one of my favorite vegetables. I worked in the produce section of a grocery store in college, so I've seen the word plenty of times. I would try and claim it's a British spelling but, for whatever reason, we get a lot of hits from Scotland, so I can't sneak that one by.

Anyhow, lamb neck is a tender, tasty meat. Totally worth it if you can get past the name. Like oxtails, it has a lot of collagen that breaks down as you braise it and leaves you with a really rich sauce, so it's great for stews and braises. On the downside, it has a lot of little bones in it, so watch out for those. I did this one in a dry white wine, because I think that makes it less rich than if you do it in red wine, but that could be all in my head. I think it's for real though.

Braised Lamb Necks with Cauliflower
serves 2

2 lambs' necks
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 head cauliflower, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 tbsp. butter
4-5 sprigs thyme (or rosemary or whatever you like)

-Rub the lambs' necks with salt and pepper.
-In a heavy pot with a lid, brown the necks in oil or butter over high heat.
-Add the garlic, wait one minute, and reduce the heat to medium.
-Add the wine, butter, and thyme, add salt and pepper to taste (you can add more later if you need).
-Cover and reduce heat to low. Braise for at least 2.5 hours, turning the necks every now and then.
- When you are a half an hour from being done, add the cauliflower to the pot.