Irish Stew

It’s Sunday and it’s cold and wet so we’re hiding out at home keeping warm. That means we want a winter supper which will be warm, hearty and satisfying – and since we’re at home, it can be something that cooks slowly in the oven. We’ve gone back to How To Eat for this one; it’s full of recipes like this which take a bit longer to prepare and cook, but typically produce a great result.

This was a great opportunity to try out our new wide and shallow casserole dish. Whilst the pearl barley cooks in water, brown the lamb in the dish and then set aside. Next cook the carrot, onion and parsnip in the dish before putting the lamb back in with it and the pearly barley plus chopped herbs. Pour the stock over and top with sliced potatoes, pop a lid on and cook in the oven for 90 minutes. We popped it under the grill for the last 10 minutes to make sure the potatoes turned crispy on top.

Nigella uses a mix of veal and chicken stock, but we just used chicken. The end result was great – very tasty, a smooth and creamy liquor and exactly the sort of homely meal we were craving. The one downside was the bones from the lamb which we had to fish out whilst eating, but it was a small price to pay for such a delicious meal.