2 middle necks of lamb, filleted, boned and bones reserved
450g (1/2lb) floury potatoes, such as King Edward, peeled
450g (1/2lb) waxy potatoes, such as Pentland Javelin or Maris Piper,
700g (1 1/2lbs) carrots, peeled
1 onion, peeled and thickly sliced
good pinch of fresh thyme leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh chives and parsley to garnish
When the butcher bones the lamb for you, have him give you the bones too. Make a well-flavoured stock using the bones and the trimmings from the carrots and onion, plus other vegetables and herbs you like. You need about 900 ml (30.5 fluid ounces) of lamb stock.
Cut the lamb into large chunks and put in a heavy-based saucepan. Pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, skimming off all the impurities from the surface. Remove the pieces of lamb with a draining spoon and reserve. Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a clean pan. Add the pieces of lamb and bring back to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the carrots into pieces a little smaller than the pieces of lamb, and the potatoes into pieces the same size as the lamb. Add the carrots, onion and floury potatoes to the pan and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add the waxy potatoes and the thyme, and simmer for a further 15-20 minutes or until the lamb is very tender. The floury potatoes will have broken down to thicken the sauce, while the waxy potatoes will keep their shape.
Remove from the heat, cover and leave, without stirring, for 15 minutes.
Check the seasoning, then serve, sprinkled generously with chopped chives and parsley.