I was delighted to be asked by Simply Beef and Lamb to take part in their #LivePeasant campaign and share a recipe using a cut of beef or lamb suitable for easy one pot slow cooking. One pot stews and casseroles are one of the simplest, most traditional forms of cooking, and also tend to use more affordable cuts of meat.
I decided to share my recipe for a comforting and hearty Lamb and Pearl Barley Stew, perfect for chilly evenings and busy families such as ours. We had some wilted greens and crusty bread with this stew, it needed nothing more as it is very filling indeed. The stew requires minimal preparation and then gently bubbles away on the hob whilst you get on with family life. Come dinner time you've a delicious and filling meal without a lot of effort. Like more casseroles this stew freezes well which is great for stashing leftovers for another time or cook a batch on the weekend then defrost and enjoy when a comforting meal is needed during the week. My youngest daughter was home from school poorly and we had leftovers for lunch, with extra stock added, and it made a delicious soup.
Comforting Lamb and Pearl Barley Stew
2 Tblsp plain flour
1 kg/2.2lb lamb neck fillets, cut into 2.5cm/1 inch slices
2 or 3 Tblsp oil
2 leeks, washed and sliced into 2.5cm/1 inch slices
3 sticks celery sliced into 2.5cm/1 inch slices
4 large carrots halved then cut into 2.5cm/1 inch chunks
1 swede peeled and cut into 2.5cm/1 inch cubes
1.5 litres vegetable stock
150g pearl barley
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Toss the lamb in the flour to lightly coat it. Heat the oil in a large heavy based casserole pot over a moderate heat and brown the lamb in batches then set aside. Add a little more oil if necessary then add the vegetables, cook for a few minutes until they start to soften. Return the browned meat to the pan then add the stock, pearl barley and herbs,
Bring to a gentle simmer then leave to cook for around 2 hours until the lamb is very tender and the pearl barley is cooked. Season to taste and serve with steamed greens and bread rolls.
Simply Beef and Lamb support the support the Red Tractor Mark and the Quality Standard Mark for beef and lamb so we can be confident about the welfare and quality of meat we are purchasing. Do check out their Pinterest, Facebook and You Tube channel for more recipe inspiration, and their website for information about understanding different cuts of meat, advice on cooking and carving and of course even more recipes to enjoy.