200g smoked streaky bacon, preferably in one piece, skinned and cut into chunks
900g stewing lamb, cut into large chunks
5 medium onions, sliced
5 carrots, sliced into chunks
3 bay leaves
small bunch thyme
100g pearl barley
850ml lamb stock
6 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
small knob of butter
3 spring onions, finely sliced
Middle neck (neck fillets) or
scrag end are both really flavoursome
and perfect for braising.
Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3.
Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole.
Sizzle the bacon for 4 mins until crisp.
Turn up the heat, then cook the lamb for
6 mins until brown. Remove the meats
with a slotted spoon. Add the onions,
carrots and herbs to the pan, then cook
for about 5 mins until softened. Return
the meat to the pan, stir in the pearl
barley, pour over the stock, then bring to
Sit the chunks of potato on top of
the stew, cover, then braise in the
oven, undisturbed, for about 1½ hrs until
the potatoes are soft and the meat is
tender. The stew can now be chilled and
kept in the fridge for 2 days, then
reheated in a low oven or on top of the
stove. Remove from the oven, dot the
potatoes with butter, scatter with the
spring onions and serve scooped straight
from the dish.