Flavorful yet Delicate, Onion Braised Beef Neck Recipe from Whole Beast Butchery by Ryan Farr

In Whole Beast Butchery (Chronicle Books, Fall 2011), Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats in San Francisco spares no details and lives up to his by-line describing book as 'the complete visual guide to beef, lamb and pork'.

Nothing goes to waste as recipe below proves.

Onion Braised Beef Neck

Serves 8

The neck is one of my favorite cuts from any animal. It’s very flavorful yet still delicate, so you have to be careful not to over braise it. Adding white wine to this dish really takes it over the top, showcasing the flavor o the meat and at the same time cutting through the richness of the beef and cheese. I enjoy this braise over egg noodles; it’s an especially tasty version of Beef Stroganoff. You can substitute any of the braising cuts, such as short ribs.

Beef neck (see page 38),
Beef Neck about 2¼ in/5.5 cm thick 1 2.6 lb 1,189 g 21.4%
Fine sea salt (for initial seasoning) 1½ tsp 0.4 oz 10 g 0.2%
Coarsely ground pepper as needed
Grapeseed oil as needed
Yellow onion, cut lengthwise into 8 pieces 1 large 28.6 oz 810 g 14.5%
Carrots, peeled and cut into thick rounds 2 large 9.2 oz 260 g 4.6%
Fresh thyme sprigs, tied together 1 large bunch 1.6 oz 45 g 0.8%
Garlic, loose papery skin pulled off 1 whole head 1.6 oz 45 g 0.8%
and top one-third trimmed off
Fine sea salt (for cooking) 1½ tsp 0.4 oz 10 g 0.2%
Dry white wine 1½ cups 12.7 oz 360 g 6.5%
Scallions, white and green parts, 2 bunches 2.3 oz 65 g 1.2%
sliced and reserved separately
Unsalted chicken or vegetable stock 2½ qt 84.7 oz 2.4 g 43%
(water works, too)
Whole black peppercorns 1 tsp 0.2 oz 7 g 0.1%
Dry egg noodles, cooked ½ lb 8 oz 226 g 4%
Cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces ½ cup 4 oz 112 g 2%
Freshly grated Parmesan 6 tbsp 1.4 oz 40 g 0.7%


· Preheat the oven to 325°F/165°C/gas 3. Butterfly the neck to form a rectangle. Season all over with the salt and lightly with pepper. Roll into a cylinder and make the first tie in the center. Continue,
alternating ties above and below to form a firm cylinder about 4 inches/10 centimeters in diameter.
Cut between the ties into approximately 31/2-inch-/9-centimeter-thick medallions.
· In a large ovenproof braising pot of Dutch oven, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil (depending
on the size of the pot) over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the medallions and
sear until nicely colored on all sides.

· Scatter the onion, carrots, and thyme over the meat. Halve the head of garlic lengthwise and place the
halves, cut-side down, directly on the hot surface of the pot. Cook for 5 minutes and then season with
· Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the whites from scallions, the stock, and the peppercorns, and
bring to a simmer. Cover the pot with a large sheet of parchment paper, pressing it down so that it
touches the surface of the liquid and extends up the sides and over the rim of the pot. Place the lid
over the parchment and transfer the pot to the oven. Braise for about 2 ½ hours, until the meet is very
tender. (check every 30 to 45 minutes and lower the heat by a few degrees if the liquid is simmering
briskly—it should barely quiver.)

· Remove the pot from the oven. Lift off the parchment and discard it. remove all the meat and garlic,
setting them aside in a bowl. Strain the braising juices into a large saucepan and discard the remaining
solids. Squeeze the softened garlic cloves into the braising juices and simmer actively over mediumhigh
heat, until reduced by about half.

· Meanwhile, pull apart the meat into bite-size chunks and add them to the pan with the reduced juices.
Simmer for 5 minutes, until warm.

· Add the noodles, scallion greens, butter, and half of the Parmesan to the pan; stir gently. Remove the
pan from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

· Ladle the mixture into bowls, distributing all the tasty morsels equally. Sprinkle with the remaining

(* Recipe from Whole Beast Butchery by Ryan Farr with Brigit Binns-Published by Chronicle Books- Fall 2011- Photographs by Ed Anderson. All rights reserved...Illustration is Forequarter, Neck, Step 7...A cross section of the chuck)

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