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One-Man Hantam Karoo Lamb’s Neck

TGIFOOD

A WINTER COOK

One-Man Hantam Karoo Lamb’s Neck

One-Man Hantam Karoo Lamb's Neck, from foodSTUFF by Tony Jackman (Human & Rousseau). Photo by Myburgh du Plessis, styled by Sarah Dahl

Light some candles, stoke the fire in the old range to fend off the night chill, put on some Johnny Clegg or some lekker David Kramer blik, and tuck into a taste of the Hantam Karoo.

1 whole lamb’s neck per serving

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 Tbs peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger,

3–4 sprigs rosemary

salt and ground black pepper to taste

1 x 750-ml bottle Tassies

2 large glugs Travino Matador wooded red muscadel (or similar such as a red jerepigo)

chicken stock (optional)

3 Tbs tomato konfyt

Place the whole necks in a pot large enough to hold them side by side. (If you’re serving more than two people, it would seem sensible to multiply the recipe accordingly.) If you like, you can brown them first to develop some of the meaty flavours.

Scatter the crushed garlic and chopped ginger over the necks. Toss in some sprigs of rosemary, and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. I’d be generous with the pepper to balance the sweetness of the muscadel that you’re about to add to the pot. The herbiness of the rosemary will also offset the sweetness, as will the garlic, while the fresh ginger will add a tart zing.

Pour in a whole bottle of Tassies which, if you’re visiting our shores, is a beloved local red plonk that has been the cause of many a student hangover over many decades, and has cemented itself into local lore. Finally, add two good glugs of red muscadel or jerepigo. How big is a ‘glug’? That depends entirely on you. For me, I added about 100 ml.

Bring to a boil on the stove top and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Leave, covered, to simmer for several hours. Check up on it now and then to ensure that the liquid doesn’t entirely evaporate. You can always add a splash of chicken stock and a little more wine and muscadel if it reduces too much.

When the necks are supremely tender (but not entirely disintegrating), remove them to a container to keep warm in a warmer drawer. Rapidly boil the remaining cooking stock down to a reasonably thick sauce, adding the tomato konfyt and a little more muscadel if you like. I garnished them with a spray of pink peppercorns from a pepper tree across the road from our temporary base in Calvinia.

It was on its way by 1 pm so that would mean a good 6 hours of cooking.

Salt and black pepper were the only other seasonings. DM

Tony Jackman’s book, foodSTUFF (Human & Rousseau), a cookbook-cum-memoir with essays about life, the Karoo, food, living, family and even grieving and illustrated by 60 recipes, was nominated for the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards (2018) in the category for best food writing. Book enquiries: [email protected]

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