All in One Pot Shoulder of Lamb with Vegetables and Pearl Barley
This is a low effort all in one pot meal which I would like to call a pot roast but, quite honestly, I think there is far too much liquid around for that - which is a very good thing too because the lovely lamb cooking liquor makes the most wonderful soup (or broth); no additions or effort required because it is lovely as it is - although perhaps it wouldn't win a beauty contest.
The lamb itself emerges from its pot moist, tender and juicily falling away from the bone, surrounded by vegetables in a sweet and tasty stock; so much reward for so little effort - and that even includes the washing up.
1 tbsp. oil
1 kg lamb shoulder
2 onions, both cut into 4 wedges
2 large carrots, cut into chunks
2 sticks of celery, cut into chunks
250g new potatoes
2 tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 leek (See Hints)
4 fat cloves of garlic
50g pearl barley
300ml dry vermouth or white wine
300ml chicken stock (or you can use all chicken stock)
2 fresh bay leaves (opt.)
3 large sprigs of rosemary (see Hints)
Salt and poepper
Put the oil into a large casserole or saucepan with a lid and brown the shoulder of lamb on all sides
Add all the vegetables, garlic and pearl barley to the pan, then pour in the vermouth or white wine and chicken stock.
Tuck in the bay leaves and push in the rosemary (see hints)
Clamp on the lid, bring up to simmering, then turn the heat right down and cook very gently on the hob, or alternatively in the oven set at 150c, for two and a half hours or until the lamb is meltingly tender and falling from the bone.
Hints and Tips
Remove one outside layer of the leek, insert the rosemary sprigs inside the tube of leek and tie with string top, middle and bottom so that the rosemary is enclosed inside the leek. This may sound a bit much, but fishing out all the rosemary needles at the end is far more tedious. Leaving the needles in is not an option because whilst they give wonderful flavour, they are unpleasant if they land in your mouth.
Add almost any root vegetables you wish; I put in some jerusalem artichokes which gave a wonderfully earthy taste.
Remove the hairy part of the onions' roots, but try to leave the root itself intact because it will hold the onion wedge together.