recipe - The perfect lamb stew - The Guardian

The perfect lamb stew

Serves 4

The stock (makes about 1 litre)

1kg lamb bones and trimmings
2 medium carrots, washed and trimmed
2 sticks celery
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
a sprig each of rosemary and thyme

The stew

a dab of olive oil
400g diced lamb
a large pat of butter
2 sticks of celery, roughly sliced
1 medium leek, roughly sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly sliced
400ml lamb stock
fresh rosemary and a bay leaf
100g dry weight pearl barley, cooked according to packet

To make the stock, preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6 and bake all the ingredients apart from the herbs, for one hour. After roasting, transfer the ingredients to a pan with the herbs. Add enough water to just cover the contents, and simmer for at least two hours (preferably four). Strain off the stock and discard the solids. If you make this stock in advance, store it in the fridge and peel off the solid fat before use. You can freeze any excess. If you are using it immediately, skim off the fat.

To make the stew, splash a little oil into a large saucepan and fry the lamb over moderate to fierce heat for a few minutes until brown. Turn the heat down to moderate and add the butter. Add the celery, leek and carrots and fry for 10-15 mins, stirring occasionally. Add the stock plus the rosemary and bay leaf. Simmer for 11/2 hours, topping up with stock (or water) if necessary. Add the cooked barley and season. Serve with slices of crusty bread and buttered Savoy cabbage.

from http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2006/oct/22/foodanddrink.features3

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