On a cold winter’s day the smell of a casserole or stew slowly cooking makes your house feel warm, inviting and really smell like a home. Our version of Irish stew is tantalising and tasty and very simple to make. The wonderful aromas will make your tummy grumble while you are waiting until dinner is served.
- 8 small lamb chump chops or lamb leg steaks
- 1kg waxy potatoes (eg, Dutch Cream, Nicola or Desiree), scrubbed and sliced
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 1 litre reduced salt chicken stock
- ¾ cup pearl barley
- 50g butter
- freshly ground black pepper
- spray olive oil
Preheat oven to 180°C. Spray a large, heavy-based pan with olive oil, then brown the lamb over a medium heat, remove lamb and set aside. Fry onions in the same pan until soft and starting to lightly brown. Line the bottom of a large oven proof dish with about half the sliced potatoes. Next, arrange the lamb in a layer over the potatoes and scatter the onions and barley over the lamb.
Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Top the lamb and onion mix with the rest of the potatoes arranged in a slightly overlapping pattern. Pour in enough stock to come just below the top layer of potatoes (top up with a little water if you need to). Finish the dish with a few knobs of butter over the top of the potatoes (for the waist-line conscious use a little olive oil spray instead) and cover with foil. Bake in the oven for about 1.5 hours and then remove the foil and cook for about ½ half longer or until the potatoes are golden brown and the lamb is tender and falling apart. Serve steaming hot on a cold day with a dark stout or a good shiraz and a fresh salad or your favourite steamed greens. Serves 4-6.