Try our lamb neck, preserved lemon, white beans and harissa recipe, then check out our lamb kleftiko, leg of lamb with pomegranate and balsamic onions and read our helpful guide about what to do with preserved lemons.

Nathalie Moukarzel says: "My father was from Lebanon, my mother South Africa, and so we always had a lot of strong and beautiful flavours and dishes at home. This is an extremely comforting yet fresh recipe, perfect for colder months. The dish is built for sharing – spooning it out onto your guests’ plates is the quintessential act of caring at a celebratory time with loved ones. At Fat Macy’s we produce our own tomato harissa. It’s certainly fun to make at home but for the amount needed for this recipe I would recommend you purchase one of the delicious options available in shops."

Sohaila is a restaurant and natural wine bar created by social enterprise Fat Macy’s (which supports people in temporary accommodation via culinary training), serving modern Middle Eastern food. It’s named after founder Nathalie Moukarzel’s grandmother and a lot of the recipes are inspired by her. Dishes use local and sustainable ingredients, and the menu changes often to minimise food waste. Plates often include labneh and chilli butter, deep-fried mussels, and halloumi and figs.

Lamb neck, preserved lemon, white beans and harissa recipe



  • 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1kg whole lamb neck fillets (about 3 large)
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 4 tbsp rapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 2 large red onions, sliced
  • 12 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp runny honey
  • 150ml pomegranate molasses
  • 500ml lamb or chicken stock


  • 3 x 400g tins of white beans, drained but not rinsed
  • 1 lemon, zested, one half juiced
  • good glug of olive oil
  • 2 small preserved lemons, pithed and thinly sliced
  • large handful of mint, roughly chopped
  • large handful of coriander, chopped
  • harissa and pomegranate seeds, to serve


  • STEP 1

    To braise the lamb, heat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Toast the cumin seeds in a frying pan over a medium heat until fragrant, and allow to cool, then crush lightly with a pestle and mortar. Stir them through the smoked paprika.

  • STEP 2

    Season the lamb generously all over with salt, and dust with flour. Heat the oil in a large casserole and brown the lamb in batches, if needed, on all sides. Lift onto a plate, then cook the onions, garlic and the crushed spice mixture for 5 mins or so in the pan, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened. Pour in the lemon juice and 50ml of warm water, then stir in the honey and molasses, followed by the stock, and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and put the lamb and its resting juices back into the pan. Season and return to a simmer, then put the lid on the casserole and cook in the oven for 2 hrs 30 mins or until the lamb is very tender.

  • STEP 3

    Meanwhile, tip the beans into a pan and warm through. Take off the heat and lightly smash in the lemon juice, zest, olive oil, most of the preserved lemons and herbs, and set aside.

  • STEP 4

    When the lamb is cooked, spoon the beans onto a large platter or share between six plates, then lift the lamb out of its cooking juices and shred into large chunks on top of the beans. Scatter with the rest of the herbs, preserved lemon and pomegranate seeds, drizzle with olive oil, dot all over with harissa so it melts and serve with the braising juices on the side, if you like.

Spice up your meals with more harrisa recipes.

Harissa meatballs


Alternative ways with lamb neck


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