American Lamb Neck Croquettes
American Lamb Neck Croquettes
American Lamb Neck Croquettes

American Lamb Neck Croquettes


December 13, 2015

This recipe, from Edward Leonard, Vice President/Corporate Chef of Le Cordon Bleu Schools in North America, uses a more unusual lamb cut: the neck. Chef Leonard transforms braised neck meat into flavorful fried croquettes.

  • Prep: 1 hrs
  • Cook: 3 hrs
  • Yields: 8 Servings


5 lbs American Lamb neck

4 tbsp Lamb Spice mix (recipe follows)

3 tbsp dark brown sugar

5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

3 tbsp unsalted butter

24 baby carrots (about half a package)

12 cipollini onions, quartered

1 cup dry wine

3 tbsp tomato paste

3-4 cups lamb stock

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 tbsp finely diced shallots

1 cup braising sauce

dash Salt and pepper, to taste

1 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 cups plain breadcrumbs

8 large eggs


1Preheat the oven to 300°F. Rub the lamb necks with the spice mix and let them sit for 30 minutes.

2In a large, oven-proof skillet, melt the brown sugar on medium-low heat and allow a light caramel to form. Increase the heat to medium-high and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the lamb. Caramelize the lamb in the hot pan until evenly colored. Remove the lamb and set aside.

3Using the same skillet, add the butter, carrots, and onions and sauté on medium heat. Deglaze by adding 1/2 cup wine, scraping the pan well. Mix in the tomato paste and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock and whisk well. Turn off the heat

4Place the lamb back into the pan and transfer the pan to the oven and braise for 2 hours or until tender, basting the necks periodically.

5Remove the necks from the pan and pull off the lamb meat. Strain the sauce twice through a colander and pour it into a saucepan. Reduce the sauce on high heat as needed for consistency.

6In another pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on high and fry the garlic and shallots for 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan by adding remaining ½ cup wine. Add the braising sauce, turn the heat to low, and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the pulled lamb neck meat. Season with salt and pepper as needed and add the parsley.

7Spread the meat in a shallow baking dish to cool. Shape the meat into medium-sized balls and wrap each one in plastic wrap; refrigerate them for 12 hours.

8In a shallow bowl, combine the flour with salt and pepper. Place the breadcrumbs in a separate shallow bowl. In another large, shallow bowl beat the eggs with 2 tablespoons heavy cream and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.

9Dip each meatball first in the flour, then the breadcrumbs, then the egg mixture, and finally, the breadcrumbs one last time. Fry the croquettes in batches in a deep-fat fryer for about 2 minutes until the outside is golden brown. Drain the croquettes on paper towels.

10Serve the croquettes as a side dish to roast lamb or rack of lamb or on their own as a starter with a tomato sauce on the side.


1Mix together equal parts Sichuan pepper, dried tarragon, dried parsley, dried rosemary, dried nora peppers (a Spanish ingredient, available at specialty food stores), dried sumac, turmeric, herbs de Provence, capsicum, dried rosebuds, dried yellow mustard, and dried black mustard.

Let rest overnight

Recipe and image provided by the American Lamb Board