1 tbsp sunflower oil
200 g smoked bacon (preferably in one piece), skinned and cut into chunks
900 g stewing lamb like middle neck or scrag (ask at your butcher counter), cut into large chunks
1 small bunch thyme
3 onions, thickly sliced
5 carrots, cut into big chunks
6 medium potatoes, cut into big chunks
700 ml lamb stock or beef stock
3 bay leaves
85 g pearl barley
1 large leek, washed and cut into chunks
small knob of butter
- Heat the slow cooker if necessary, then heat the oil in a frying pan. Sizzle the bacon until crisp, tip into the slow-cooker pot, then brown the chunks of lamb in the pan. Transfer to the slow-cooker pot along with the thyme, onions, carrots, potatoes, stock, bay leaves and just enough water to cover the lamb (if required). Cover and cook on Low for 7 hrs.
- Stir in the pearl barley and leek, and cook on High for 1 hr more until the pearl barley is tender.
- Stir in the butter, season and serve scooped straight from the dish.