1 tbsp. sunflower oil
200 g. smoked streaky veal-bacon, preferably in one piece, skinned and cut into chunks
900 g. stewing lamb, cut into large chunks
5 medium onions, sliced
5 carrots, sliced into chunks
3 bay leaves
small bunch thyme
100 g. pearl barley
850 ml. lamb stock
6 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
small knob of butter
3 spring onions, finely sliced
middle neck (neck fillets)
1. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole. Sizzle the veal-bacon for 4 mins until crisp. Turn up the heat, and then cook the lamb for 6 mins until brown.
2. Remove the meats with a slotted spoon. Add the onions, carrots and herbs to the pan, then cook for about 5 mins until softened. Return the meat to the pan, stir in the pearl barley, pour over the stock, and then bring to a simmer.
3. Sit the chunks of potato on top of the stew, cover, then braise in the oven, undisturbed, for about 1½ hrs until the potatoes are soft and the meat is tender. The stew can now be chilled and kept in the fridge for 2 days, then reheated in a low oven or on top of the stove. Remove from the oven, dot the potatoes with butter, scatter with the spring onions and serve scooped straight from the dish.