To Illustrate: to clarify, explain or describe, through the use of pictures, diagrams or words, a concept or problem.

The concept is food: an amateur's illustration.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Spiced Lamb and Pearl Barley


2tbsp sunflower or olive oil
80 grams of butter
2 onions
1 kg neck of lamb or mutton
2 bay leaves
150 grams pearl barely
1 tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper


Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and 40 grams of butter in a large saucepan, on a medium-low heat. Half and finely slice the onions.

Add the onions to the butter and oil and season with salt and pepper. Sautte for 15-20 minutes until they are soft and golden. Then place in a bowl and set to the side.

Season the lamb.

In the previous pan, brown the the meat using the left over oil. Pour 1.5 litres of water and add 2 bay leaves. Bring it to the boil and let it simmer for about 1-1 1/2 hours until the lamb is tender. You may have to add more water, so that the lamb is almost covered entirely by stock.

Once the lamb is cooked, strain the cooking liquid into a clean pan, and bring to the boil. Add the pearl barley and simmer for 15 minutes.

Whilst this is cooking, tear the meat off the lamb bones using a fork.

Add the meat to the pearl barely. Keep stirring until the stock is fully absorbed and evaporated. Add half the fried onions, season and stir.

Warm half the remaining butter and re-fry the rest of the onions until they are a deep, golden brown.

Tip the pearl barley and lamb onto a warmed plate and scatter the remaining browned onions onto the lamb.Warm the rest of the butter in a pan, add the cinnamon and fry gently. Trickle over the dish.

Recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall form The Guardian Weekend Supplement - 06.11.10.

I made this for my sister who lives in Brixton. We got the meat from the market - which has an amazing variety of produce: loads of spices, vegetables and meats. Both of us had never eaten lamb neck before,  and although it took quite a long time it was a perfect dish for a Sunday evening.


  1. That must have been really yummy,!!
    Mummy xxx

  2. Looks a perfect dish for an Autumn Sunday evening. Great photos too - love the vintage feel! x