This easy lamb casserole with turnips, pearl barley and a garlic bread crust simmers for an hour – while you grab a quick snooze.
- 1tbspolive oil
- 500g (1lb 2oz) diced boneless lamb shoulder
- 2tbsp plain flour
- 1 knob of unsalted butter
- 3 celery sticks, chopped into large chunks
- 1 leek, trimmed and chopped into thick rounds
- 300g (10oz) small turnips, quartered
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 100g (3½ oz) pearl barley
- 500ml (18fl oz) hot chicken or lamb stock
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the crust
- 1 medium French baguette
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 25g (1oz) soft unsalted butter
Heat the olive oil in a casserole. Dust the chunks of lamb with the flour, dust off any excess flour and then brown the lamb in the casserole on all sides. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and leave to rest on a plate.
Melt the butter in the same pan. Sauté the celery, leek and turnips for 10-15 mins until they have caught some colour and caramelised slightly.
Return the sealed lamb to the pan, add the chilli flakes, bay leaves and rosemary and fry again for 1 min. Pour in the pearl barley and hot stock and season well. Cover and leave to simmer on a low heat for 1 hr, topping it up with water if needed.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). Cut the French baguette into slices on the diagonal. Make the garlic butter by pounding together the garlic, salt and parsley, then stir in the softened butter. Butter one side of each slice.
Take the casserole off the heat and arrange the sliced bread over the surface. Bake it in the oven for 20 mins or until the bread is golden and crisp. Serve piping hot.
This dish is packed with pearl barley, which is rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals and barely contains a trace of fat.