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Lamb and barley stew.

Lamb & Barley Broth
This is the inspiration for this recipe:

My sister loves recipes, food, taste and sometimes she reads a recipe and thinks "Hey! Frillypants could do this one!!" Sister made it for my Failsafer when she went for a sleepover. I tend to stick to the recipe, with the necessary FS amendments (eg spring onions for onions; Canola oil) but last night I 'beefed' it up a little with some potato. It became a little Irish Stew-ish I suppose. I'm thinking that Failsafe eating is easier in Winter with the nourishing one-pot stews and so on.


  • 750g - 1 kilo diced lamb
  • 100g pearl barley (or buckwheat for gluten-free)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 litres cold water (2.5 if you want it more brothy) (or homemade vege stock)
  • 2 leeks, finely quartered and sliced
  • 2-3 Spring onions
  • 2 carrots finely diced
  • 1 swede, finely diced
  • 200g savoy cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 tab parsley leaves, finely chopped

  • In a large, heavy pot, combine lamb, barley, salt and water
  • Slowly bring to the boil, skimming of the froth as it accumulates on top
  • Cover and gently simmer for 1 hour
  • Clean up kitchen and then chop vegies (this is more a note for myself)
  • Add the vegies and simmer for another hour
  • Add parsley in last minutes, stir through.
  • Serve on a bed of rice or with steamed veg.

    Verdict: 'Nom nom nom nom' is all I heard at the dinner table. Then I heard 'Is there more?'
    I feel so extraordinarily relieved when this is how it goes. Incredible how much my personal happiness relies on dinner going well.

    Tweaks: This was originally a soup, albeit a very substantial soup. It has swede and cabbage in it which would go beautifully in this stew. Unfortunately I didn't have swede and I ran out of room in the pot anyway. The leftovers have gone into the freezer and will feed the whole family again if I add rice and veg. Hmmm, maybe even pasta??  

    Tweeks:  25/02/11  Today I am sick with a cold *pouts* and my FACE is killing me.  I don't normally get colds.  I am known in these parts as "Last Man Standing".  So,  having defrosted some diced lamb I had to cook it and I was after something nourishing and comforting.  But when I looked in the pantry,,  NO BARLEY.  Not even soup mix.  So...  I washed some green and red lentils and chucked them in.  

    Essentially, I am saying that this recipe is sooooo easy to change around.  I chucked it all in the cast-iron pot at about 10am, no pre-cooking;  just threw it in,  covered it with ample water and put it in the oven at approx 160degC until we came home from the last Milo Cricket session for Ms C&D at about 6:30pm.  (They got certificates and medals!  They were thrilled!!!  The cricket assoc sure knows the way to a kid's heart... medals!  Maybe I should start awarding them.  On the other hand....  maybe not.)


    1. OK gonna give this a go. Should I wait for the vege glue details or will it be ok without?

    2. Hee hee. It can survive without the vege-glue, maybe put in the swede and cabbage instead? Or not!

      As I was disorganised, we had the leftovers tonight, instead of later in the fortnight. The vege-glue might have to go. Hmmmm. Made it so gluggy!

    3. Hi Frillypants. Just wondering if the 2 hour cook time on this would be ok for failsafe elimination diet, or do I need to face my fears and actually use the pressure cooker dh bought me?!
      Also, I'd imagine it'd be ok to substitute failsafe home made chicken stock? I made some last week and it's in the freezer dying for a cause worthy to defrost it :)

    4. Hi Rachael, on Elimination diet, I would minimise the time of cooking as much as possible. I've wondered about Pressure Cookers. Do they do the maximum cooking with the least amine production? Or do they just create amines faster??? The jury is still out on that one.

      Perhaps leave this recipe until you've finished the Elim Diet phase and you're more aware of where the intolerances lie so it doesn't cloud any results.

      As for the stock, certainly this dish is worthy of your precious stock.

    5. Ps I also feel that my happiness is related how well my evening meal goes down!

    6. Im still in the strict elimination phase. Thinking I pop all the ingredients in the slow cooker and yhrn just add the lamb once I get home so it cooks for 1 hour? Would this work?

      1. Hi anon, as I've said to the previous commenter, this might not be the best recipe for strict elimination phase, however, anything that minimises the meat's cooking time is going to be better for reducing possible amines.
        Part of what makes this recipe so relish is the slow-cook of the lamb. SO it might just be best to wait until you've got a better idea of your amine limits. Thanks so much for your message, frillypants x


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