Neck of lamb with lemon and barley

Neck of lamb with lemon and barley

By
From
River Cottage Every Day
Serves
5-6
Photographer
Simon Wheeler

This beautifully simple recipe from my Russian friend, Ivan Samarine, is one I’ve revisited and reworked over the years. This latest incarnation makes an easy one-pot supper of it with the addition of pearl barley or pearled spelt and a few handfuls of shredded greens.

Neck, or scrag end, is one of the cheapest cuts of lamb you can buy. It rewards thrifty, patient cooks for their trouble with loads of flavour and melting tenderness.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1kg scrag end or neck of lamb on the bone, cut into chunks about 2cm thick
4 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
1 1/2 lemons, juiced
4-8 sprigs thyme
water or stock, to cover
120g pearl barley or pearled spelt
200g kale, brussels tops or spring greens, roughly chopped, tough stems removed
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large, heavybased flameproof casserole, add the lamb and allow it to sizzle and spit for a few minutes, turning until it is lightly browned all over. Add the lemon juice, thyme and some salt and pepper, then enough water or stock barely to cover the ingredients.
  2. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover and put in an oven preheated to 140°C. Cook for about 2 hours, then add the pearl barley or spelt and cook for a further 30 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and place on the hob over a medium heat.
  3. Add the greens and simmer for a couple of minutes, until they are just cooked through. Serve with plenty of good white bread to soak up the juices.
Tags:
River Cottage
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
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