Serves 4-6 Ingredients: 1/2 cup semi-pearled or pot barley 2 tbsp oil 2lb 2oz lamb chops with bones, such as those from the neck end 2 small parsnips, cubed 1 medium onion, chopped 1 large leek, thickly sliced 9oz carrots, cubed 9oz swede (yellow turnip), cubed 4 small potatoes, quartered 1 bouquet garni, made by tying together a small length of celery, a bay leaf, a few sprigs of thyme and some parsley stalks some water, stock, ale or cider, to cover a handful of chopped parsley salt and pepper Method: Put the barley in a saucepan, cover generously with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes to part-cook it. Meanwhile, in a large flameproof casserole, heat the oil. Working in batches, add the lamb and brown the meat on each side. Remove to a plate and add the parsnips, onion, leek, carrots and swede to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes until they begin to soften. Scoop any excess fat from the pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Drain the barley and add it to the pot with the browned meat, potatoes and bouquet garni. Season with some salt and pepper, then pour in just enough water, stock, ale or cider to come about 1/2in under the top of the ingredients in the pot. Cover and bring to the boil, then transfer the casserole to the oven for 2 hours. About 15 minutes before the end of cooking, stir the chopped parsley into the casserole. Remove the bouquet garni and season to taste before serving.
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