Lamb Neck Recipe with a Fresh Fennel Salad

Lamb neck and fennel salad

  • serves 4
  • Easy

This succulent lamb recipe with a vibrant and crunchy fennel salad comes from East London restaurant, Sapling. Chef Jon Beeharry finishes this dish with wild garlic buds and flowers. If they’re in season and you can get some, do so – they add a super-garlicky edge to the dish


*This recipe is gluten-free according to industry standards



  • sea salt 25g
  • juniper berries ½ tsp
  • black peppercorns ½ tsp
  • caraway seeds ½ tsp
  • mint 50g, leaves picked
  • thyme 4 sprigs
  • wild garlic 50g (optional)
  • olive oil 100ml, plus 1 tbsp for frying
  • lamb neck fillets 2 (around 600g), trimmed


  • white wine vinegar 100ml
  • caster sugar 35g
  • fine sea salt 1 tsp
  • star anise 2
  • coriander seeds 1 tsp
  • fennel 1 bulb (about 400g), very thinly sliced
  • wild garlic 50g, (or rocket 50g plus garlic ½ a clove, crushed)
  • mint 50g, leaves picked
  • flat-leaf parsley 50g, leaves picked
  • extra-virgin olive oil 100ml


  • Step 1

    Crush the sea salt, juniper berries, peppercorns and caraway seeds with a pestle and mortar, then tip into a food processor with the mint, thyme, wild garlic (if using) and olive oil, and whizz until smooth.

  • Step 2

    Put the lamb necks into a container, pour over the marinade and mix until fully covered. Chill for 6 hours or preferably overnight.

  • Step 3

    To make the fennel salad, combine the white wine vinegar, caster sugar, fine sea salt, star anise and coriander seeds with 100ml of water in a small pan and bring to the boil. Put the fennel into a bowl, pour over the hot pickling liquid and leave for 1 hour. Put the wild garlic (or rocket and garlic), mint, parsley and extra-virgin olive oil into a food processor, whizz until smooth and chill.

  • Step 4

    Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Rinse the lamb neck under cold running water and pat really dry. Heat a frying pan over a high heat, add the 1 tbsp oil and  sear the fillets for 2 minutes on each side. Put onto a baking tray and roast for 5-10 minutes, depending on the thickness. Rest on a plate, covered loosely with foil, for 5 minutes, then thickly slice.

  • Step 5

    Drain the fennel, then toss it with the herby dressing. Pile onto a plate and serve alongside the lamb.

Discover more of our best lamb recipes here...

Lamb Shawarma Recipe with Broad Beans

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 625
  • Fat 51.4g
  • Saturates 13.9g
  • Carbs 6.7g
  • Sugars 1.6g
  • Fibre 4.3g
  • Protein 31.8g
  • Salt 1.9g