Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Healthy comfort food

As the nights draw in, we’ve been feeling the urge to cook some of our favourite slow-cook recipes. The anticipation created by the aromas wafting from the kitchen as the flavours of your hearty dinner intensify is one of life’s great pleasures.

If you’re in the mood for something warming, try this recipe for lamb, plum and barley mow from the team at EBLEX, the organisation for the English beef and sheep industry.
‘You can get the best out of this delicious recipe by using the best quality ingredients,’ says Denise Spencer-Walker, food advisor for EBLEX. ‘Looking out for a quality indicator on meat, such as the Quality Standard Mark (QSM), in independent butchers and select supermarkets will ensure your beef or lamb has been responsibly produced by people dedicated to great food.’

The EBLEX QSM scheme for beef and lamb ensures red meat is produced by independently audited farmers who work to strict guidelines, guaranteeing food safety, animal welfare, care for the environment and eating quality. To find your nearest QSM butcher, visit

Lamb, Plum and Barley Mow

Serves 6
Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 2 hr 45 min

675g lean boneless lamb leg, cut into 2.5cm cubes
1tbsp ground cinnamon
2tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
4 carrots, roughly chopped
150ml marsala wine or port
600ml hot reduced-salt lamb stock
2 bay leaves
150g pearl barley
75g kale or savoy cabbage, roughly chopped
2 ripe red plums, stoned and roughly chopped
2tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

1 Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas 31/2. Put the lamb in a large bowl, season with ground black pepper and mix with the cinnamon. 
2  Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Working in batches, cook the lamb over a medium-high heat, turning, for 3–4 min until browned all over. Transfer to a 1.7litre flameproof casserole dish. 
3  In the same frying pan, cook the onion, garlic and carrots for 2–3 min. Add to the casserole dish with the lamb. Add the marsala wine or port to the pan, scraping the base of the pan to release any sticky bits, then pour it into the casserole dish.
4 Add the stock and bay leaves to the casserole dish and bring to the boil over a high heat. Cover, then transfer to the oven and continue to cook for a further 2 hr. 
5 Remove the dish from the oven and add the pearl barley, then return to the oven for 30 min. Add the kale or cabbage and plums, then return to the oven for a further 10 min. Discard the bay leaves, then serve garnished with parsley.

Per serving: 375kcal, 26.6g protein, 13.9g fat, 4.4g saturates, 33.8g carbs, 10.7g sugar, 7.3g fibre, 0.9g salt, 88mg calcium, 3.8mg iron


For more slow-cooked recipes pick up a copy of our winter issue, out on Tuesday 19 November.

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