Who asked for ideas for using lamb necks. I’ve been thinking about this one and remembered a recipe I found one or two winters ago. I think it’s originally from Gourmet Traveller. Now that I’ve pulled it out I might just have to make it again soon as I have a couple of days to spare. Including chilling time, this dish takes ages.Worth every second though. I remember the rich Moroccan flavours cut perfectly by lemon quite clearly. It’s really about as scrumptious as lamb necks are going to get.

Lamb Neck, Pine Nut and Silver Beet ‘Snake Pie’

Based on a traditional Moroccan dish
serves 6
1/3 cup oilive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
50g plain flour mixed 2 teaspoon ground chilli
1 kg diced lamb neck
80ml dry white wine
500ml veal stock
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 bunch silver beet leaves, coarsely chopped
80g currants
80g pine nuts
2 tablespoon finely chopped preserved lemon
1/4 cup tahini
12 sheets filo pastry
80g butter, melted
2 tablespoon dukkah
lemon wedges to serve
Heat 1/4 cup oil in a heavy based frying pan, add onion, carrot, celery, garlic and spices and cook over medium high heat for 8 minutes or until soft. Combine flour mixture in a bowl with lamb, season to taste and toss to coat. Dust excess flour from lamb, add to pan and cook over medium high heat for 5 minutes each side or until brown. Add wine and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until meat in tender. Remove lamb from liquid and cool.
Heat remaining olive oil in a frying pan. Add leek and cook over medium high heat for 3 minutes or until soft, then add silver beet and cook for another 5 minutes or until wilted. Season to taste and cool. Transfer to a sieve and using a wooden spoon, press excess moisture from silver beet.
Shred lamb into a bowl, add currants, 60g pine nuts, preserved lemon, tahini , reduced braising liquid and silver beet mixture. Mix, season to taste and refrigerate until cold.
Lay 1 sheet filo on a work surface , brush with butter and repeat until there are 4 layers of filo. Cover with a damp tea towel and repeat with remaining filo and butter.
Spoon 1/3 of the lamb mixture evenly along the long side of the filo, brush exposed filo with butter. Roll firmly to enclose filling and form an even sausage shape and tuck ends under. Coil pastry into a ‘snake’ on a baking paper lined oven tray. Repeat with remaining filo and lamb and attach these 2 pieces to the first coil, forming a larger coil. Brush with butter.
Chop remaining pine nuts, combine with dukkah and scatter mixture over snake. Cook at 170 degrees for 30 – 35 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.