Mrs Simkins’ country kitchen
First published back in December 2014. Ramblers’ lamb is a welcoming slow-cooker stew and is ideal to come home to after a long wintry walk.
Ingredients 6-8 servings
800-900g diced stewing lamb
2 tablespoons plain flour seasoned with black & white pepper
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 tablespoons malt vinegar
2 red onions, peeled and sliced
1 level teaspoon Marmite
2 leeks, peeled, cleaned and sliced
1 generous teaspoon black treacle
2 sticks celery, plus green leaves, stems
4 generous tablespoons passata
2 generous tablespoons pearl barley
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 bay leaf sliced, leaves chopped and set aside
You will need a 3.5 litre slow-cooker.
Cook carrots in the measured amount of water until just tender. Set aside, reserving cooking water. Cook onions, leeks and celery gently in 2 tablespoons of oil until softening.
Toss lamb in flour. Brown in a separate pan in remaining oil then remove and keep warm. Deglaze pan with vinegar.
Add reserved carrots and cooking water. Stir in Mar-mite, treacle, celery leaves, passata and barley. Add meat and remaining vegetables. Simmer for 10 minutes or so until beginning to thicken. Transfer to slow-cooker. Tuck in bay leaf.
Cook for approximately 4 hours on medium or 6-8 on low. Serve with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable. A nice glass of red wine wouldn’t go amiss either.
Beef and barley variation:
The barley and seasonings complement diced stewing/braising beef beautifully: you may need an extra tablespoon of oil to brown.
If you aren’t averse to using a microwave, prepare mashed potatoes in advance: reheat for 3-5 minutes on High.
Similarly, a microwave vegetable/rice steamer is ideal for such occasions. Steam fresh broccoli florets, shredded cabbage, spring greens or frozen green beans for 3-4 minutes in the microwave on High.