Beans are a great source of protein for all the family. Bean and sausage casseroles are common in family cook books and often loved by little ones. For a change, why not try cooking beans with lamb and barley?
Pearl barley is full of fibre and a cheap and easy way to bulk up a casserole or stew. It works really well with lamb. This recipe is a favourite in our house. We like to pop it in the oven to cook while we head out for a walk on a crisp and chilly Sunday afternoon. It warms us right up when we get in!
For 4 large portions you will need:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 500 g lamb neck fillet cut into 3 cm cubes
- 3 onions cut into large chunks
- 3 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 100 g pearl barley rinsed in cold water and drained
- 750 ml chicken or lamb stock
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 3 tins of beans drained of their liquid (a mixture of cannelini, borlotti and chickpeas works well)
- salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 150 C. Use a large casserole that can be transferred from the hob to the oven (we use a Le Creuset pot). Brown the lamb in the olive oil on a high heat for 3-4 minutes. Lower the heat, add the onions and cook for a further 4-5 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for a minute.
Stir in the tinned tomatoes, the pearl barley, 500 ml of stock and the rosemary. Heat, stirring the mixture until it starts to bubble. Put the lid on the casserole and pop it in the oven for at least 1 hour (or longer if you can – the longer it’s cooked the better). The meat should be tender at this point.
Add the beans and the rest of the stock and put the casserole back in the oven for 20 minutes . Season with salt and pepper. Serve with crusty bread.
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