Irish stew with pearl barley
2 HOURS | SERVES 4-6|EASY
lamb leg chops 4 x 350g each, bone in if possible
carrots 4, peeled and cut into 4cm pieces
celery 2 stalks, trimmed and cut into 4cm pieces
onions 3, peeled and cut into wedges
garlic 8 cloves, peeled and left whole
pearl barley 50g
lamb or chicken stock 600ml
flat-leaf parsley chopped to make 2 tbsp
• Heat the oven to 170C/fan 150C/gas 31/2. Put a casserole or large ovenproof saucepan on a medium-high heat.
• Trim the excess fat from the chops and place the scraps of fat in the pan to render (melt) them. Meanwhile, cut the chops in half lengthways so as not to go through the bone.
• When some fat has melted into the pan, pick out the unrendered bits and discard. Turn the heat up to high and put the chops in the pan. Cook on both sides until brown, season, then transfer them to a plate.
• Add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic to the pan, season with salt and pepper and toss on the heat for a couple of minutes until starting to go slightly golden at the edges.
• Return the meat (and all the juices) to the pan with the barley and stock and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, cover and cook in the oven for 1 hour.
• Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and halve if large. Once the hour is up, take the pan out of the oven and put the potatoes on top. Cover and put back in the oven for 35-45 minutes until cooked. Scatter with parsley and serve from the pan.