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Lamb Neck with Black-Eyed Pea Ragout and Chow Chow Recipe

Served with a mint-mirliton chow chow and bacon-y black eyed peas, this delicious Southern lamb dish gets its tenderness and flavor from being slow-braised for hours.
Lamb Neck with Black-Eyed Pea Ragout and Chow Chow Recipe


for the lamb neck:

2 lamb necks (you can also substitute osso buco or pork shank)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
canola oil
1 white onion, small-diced
1 celery stalk, small-diced
1 carrot, peeled and small-diced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine
1 tablespoon each fresh rosemary, thyme, and oregano

for the black-eyed pea ragout:

5 slices good quality bacon, cut in small pieces
1 medium white onion, small-diced
1 pound black-eyed peas
chicken stock (enough to cover twice the volume of the peas)
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
kosher salt, to taste


For the mint chow chow:

1 cup granulated sugar
1 handful mint leaves, torn
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 mirliton (also known as a chayote or vegetable pear), roughly chopped
1 medium white or yellow onion, small-diced


1. For the lamb neck, season lamb neck generously with salt and black pepper. In a Dutch oven, sear over medium heat with a little bit of canola oil until completely browned. Remove from pan and add vegetables. Sauté until onions are translucent. Add tomato paste and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add red wine, water to cover, and herbs. While stirring, make sure to scrape bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to get the fond "crispy bits". Cook for 4-5 hours until tender. Remove meat from liquid, skim fat from liquid and discard. Reduce remaining braise by half.

2. For the ragout, in a medium to large saucepan over medium heat, sauté bacon and onions. Add beans, chicken stock, bay leaves, a large pinch of salt, and cayenne. Bring beans to boil, then lower and allow to simmer. Cook for three to four hours or until done. Add additional salt to taste.

3. For the chow chow, bring sugar, 1 cup water, mint and vinegar to a boil and simmer for ten minutes. Pour hot liquid over Mirliton and onion. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

4. To serve, place a generous portion of black eye peas on a plate and top with a lamb neck. Pour reduced braising liquid over the meat, then add a tablespoon of the chow chow.