Yesterday I saw some good-looking lamb forequarter chops at the butchers and asked for four of them. Shoulder chops? he asked. Forequarter chops, I replied. He beetled his young brows.
Why are forequarter chops called shoulder chops these days? Oh well, I wasn’t going to argue. A chop by any name…..
Cuts of lamb for slow cooking include the forequarter, shanks, neck chops, lamb ribs, and some sausages. These cuts are usually tougher because they have lots of connective tissue and fats, but this makes them perfect for slow and low methods of cooking.
Anyhow, I took the chops home and cooked them up in the Slow Cooker with a few veggies that I had left over, like the lonely looking swede (rutabaga) in my kitchen, so in that went too. That’s the beauty of the slow cooker, throw anything in.
- My son adds garlic to any casserole or stew, or to anything else for that matter. Garlic is always good for extra taste.
- Make your own vegetable stock, or use stock from a packet, cube, sachet, whatever.
- The pearl barley is a tribute to my Mum who used pearl barley in almost everything
Slow Cook Lamb Stew
- 1 kilo stewing lamb
- 200 gram pancetta or smoked streaky bacon in one piece
- 5 medium carrots cut into big chunks
- 3 medium onions thickly sliced
- 6 medium potatoes cut into big chunks
- 85 gram pearl barley
- 700 mill lamb or vegetable stock
- 4 medium bayleaves
- small bunch thyme
- Heat the slow cooker so that it's not cold., Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Sizzle the bacon until crisp, tip into the slow-cooker pot,
- Brown the chunks of lamb in the pan. Don't overload the pan
- Transfer to the slow-cooker pot along with the thyme, onions, carrots, potatoes, stock, bay leaves and enough stock (or water) to cover the lamb. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hrs.
- Stir in the pearl barley, cook on HIGH for 1 hr until the pearl barley is tender
- Season and serve scooped straight from the dish.