|500g / 1lb 2oz of stewing / braising lamb.|
|1 largish carrot|
|2 sweet peppers (bell pepper)|
|2 sticks of celery|
|2 medium onions|
|2 tablespoons of pearl barley|
|2 cloves of garlic|
|A teaspoon of mixed herbs (thyme, rosemary and sage go well)|
|375ml / two thirds of a pint of very hot lamb or vegetable stock (two stock cubes)|
|Salt and pepper to taste|
Start the cooking process before preparing the ingredients in the sequence
set out below.
Cut the carrot in half and slice (approx 5 to 6mm slices).
Finely chop the celery, onions and garlic.
Remove the stalk from the red peppers, cut in half and remove the pips and pith. Slice and chop into small bits.
Cut the lamb into 2 to 3cm cubes removing any excess fat.
Different shops and supermarkets give the same cut of lamb different names. For this recipe use braising or stewing lamb. Normally braising lamb will be sold as large pieces which can be cut into 2cm cubes whilst stewing lamb is often sold as already cubed.
The vegetables added to the casserole are easily varied. We have chosen sweet peppers, carrot, celery and onions. Other vegetables which go well include peas (defrost in water, drain and then add 15 minutes before the end of cooking), parsnips, turnips, celeriac and other root vegetables. We haven't suggested potatoes because the pearl barley does their job.
We recommend a cooking time of two hours on high followed by 4 to 5 hours on low. If the entire cooking time is on low then we suggest 8 hours is best. This is a one-pot slow cooker recipe which cooks entirely in the slow cooker. You can of course fry off the lamb for a couple of minutes and even fry off the vegetables as well but it adds nothing to the flavour or appearance of the final casserole.
We cooked our lamb and barley casserole in the Sainsbury's 4.5 litre slow cooker which could easily take a scaled up version for six people. A 3 litre slow cooker would also be large enough to cook this casserole. We have tried similar sized recipes many times in the Tesco 3.3 litre slow cooker and they all worked out well. As with all our slow cooker recipes, check out our hints and tips page if you require any further help.
This casserole can also be cooked on the hob in a large pan. Simply cook on a low heat for about 2½ hours until the lamb is tender. The amount of stock should be increased to 500ml / just under 1 pint to allow for evaporation.
Recipe by David Marks.
Finally add the chopped lamb and gently press the ingredients into the stock without stirring. Cook on high for two hours.
The cooked lamb and barley casserole will keep for an hour or so on the "keep warm setting" if required.