Friday, October 11, 2013

Slow Cooked Lamb with Vegetables and Pearl Barley

Slow Cooked Lamb with Vegetables and Pearl Barley

I had to giggle when Jamie Oliver's latest cooking program came to Australia.  That guy sure knows an opportunity when he sees one. With the UK groaning under the strain of austerity measures, Jamie is here to help and good for him and the inspiration he has certainly garnered from the generations of men and women before him.

Like Jamie, my grandmother made an art of making affordable meals from scratch, or using up left overs up in a delicious way to avoid waste and save money, as I am sure her grandmothers did before her.  Granny just did it trying to survive the Great Depression, but Jamie was able to turn the concept into coin.  All power to him, but it is clear evidence of a funny thing Seana from Sydney Kids, Food and Travel said to me recently,  "Very few new things have been discovered since the 1500's.", which is another reason I laugh when bloggers get their knickers in a knot over having an idea "copied".

Anyway, recently I found myself with some serious leftovers in the form of a shoulder of roast lamb. But what to do with them?  Actually, this dish kind of became the perfect storm.  Lately, I find myself attempting to incorporate more complex grains into our weekly diet.  I have recently discovered pearl barley and have grown rather partial to it's texture and ability to absorb flavour.

The health benefits of pearl barely are well documented.  It's absorption of cholesterol and the speed with which it travels through the digestive system, thus reducing the risk of cancer, are but two benefits in a long list and I am sure you get the picture.

So a combo of slow cooked lamb, pearl barley and vegetables in a tomato broth seemed perfect for a hearty and cost effective way to feed the family.  It was completely delicious and putting this blog post together has reminded me to try it again as it was so damn good and easy to put together.

Slow Cooked Lamb with Vegetables and Pearl Barley
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Left over lamb roast shoulder or about 400-500 g lamb diced into 2cm cubes
175g/6oz pack of short cuts bacon diced
2 carrots peeled and diced
Actually you can add any of the firmer style vegies you like here
1 large brown onion diced
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
4 cups or 1 litre of chicken stock
400g/14oz tin diced tomatoes
1/3 cup of pearl barely briefly rinsed in water
2 bay leaves 
Salt and pepper to taste.
Parsley to serve

If using fresh lamb, heat a dutch oven style pot with a lid to a medium heat.
Cook lamb in batches in 1 tablespoon of oil  and set aside on a plate after browning.

If using left over lamb reserve it til later, 

Heat oil in the Dutch oven pot, add bacon, carrots and onion and cook until softened, for about 10 minutes.
Add garlic and rosemary and cook for one minute.
Return lamb to pot and add stock, tomatoes, pearl barely and bay leaves. 
Season with salt and pepper.

Bring to the boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low.  Cook covered for 2 hours or until meat falls apart with a light touch from a fork.

To serve dice fresh parsley and sprinkle over the top of the lamb.  Serve with crusty bread if you are not carb conscious like me.

Have a great weekend Beach Dwellers.  Next up yet another gorgeous home for you.  I love Spring as some beautiful houses hit the market and we are so spoilt for choice at this time of year.  

If you need some more tasty and easy  family recipes for your meal plan go here.

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Today I am linked up here
Sunday Showcase
Metamorphosis Monday
Chef in Training


  1. That looks absolutely delicious and so nourishing too. I've never had barley in soup before but I can imagine it will be very tasty.

  2. Looks delicious Carolyn. Pearly barley is fast becoming a favourite of mine too. I know what you mean about people like Jamie Oliver. I haven't see much of his new program but I assume that what he's 'selling' is what I've know all my life and my Mum's and my Nanna's and all those before them. I guess there are quite a few people in the world who don't know this stuff like us but we don't have that same 'pull' as Jamie does.

    Anne xx

    1. And there is the matter of him being a highly inventive and fabulous cook.

  3. Beautifully photographed and it looks so healthy. I will have to try this. I that you added barley.

  4. Look yum. I do love pearl barley, love the texture. Why don't I use it more often?? Your lamb shanks slow cooker meal has become a staple and this could easily too. Great, simple and healthy grub.

  5. Carl has cholesterol issues so I should cook with more barley! I think barley and lamb shoulder work together brilliantly. I love Jamie as well and admire him not only for his talent but for his ability to see financial opportunities and not run, but sprint with them xx


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