The cold weather is coming. And almost nothing tastes more warming than lamb. Except perhaps eating it in this barley stew.
Lamb is not exactly a frugal food. Not even in Australia where it was once a staple. But the good thing is that a little of it goes a long way in this dish, where I stretch it out. It tastes full-bodied, though, and you would not really guess that the dish is so frugal. Well maybe you would if you were dining at my place on a Friday but otherwise you might not realise.
This is a bit of a cross between a stew and a soup. I like it a bit thicker, but add less barley if you would like more of a soupy texture.
2 lamb loin chops
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, peeled and chopped (can substiute one tablespoon or more of tomato paste)
2/3 cup pearl barley
1 large carrot
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 dessertspoon vegemite
2 litres of water
- Cut the fat away from the lamb chops and reserve. Cut the remaining two lamb chops into small pieces. Reserve the bones.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan (e.g. a cast iron one) fry the onion with the lamb fat until the onion is translucent. Remove the fat and discard.
- Add the lamb (including the bones), and fry until it is just cook. Then add the barley, tomato, cumin and coriander, and fry for a further minute or two. It should be very fragrant at this point.
- Pour over the two litres of water, and bring to the boil. Add in the remaining ingredients. Cook for around an hour or until the barley and meat are tender. Serve in bowls with bread and lots of parsley.
Cost (based on ALDI prices)
Pearl barley 30c