Gill Meller's 'Mutton with barley and samphire'

Samphire is a delicate coastal plant with a mild flavour. It has a slight salinity and a lovely texture and works so well with mutton and lamb.

I’ve used pearl barley in this stew, another great partner to mutton and one of my favourite grains.

This is one for cooking gently over a low heat.

  • Prepare: 10 Minutes
  • Cook: 2 Hours 30 Minutes
  • Serves 4
Ingredients & instructions

500g of cubed mutton shoulder

1 large or 2 smaller onions sliced

4 cloves of garlic peeled and thinly sliced

50g of pearled barley rinsed

1 ltr of stock

2 sprigs of rosemary

A good handful of Samphire

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place a large casserole dish on a high heat. Add a dash of Olive oil followed by the cubed mutton. Season the meat with salt and pepper and fry on all sides until it’s beginning to colour, about 4 – 5 minutes. Add the sliced onions, the garlic and the rosemary and continue to cook, stirring as you do, for  8 - 10 minutes. Pour over the stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook the mutton, with a lid set just ajar, at a very low, tremulous simmer about 1 ½ hours. Now add the rinsed barley and continue to simmer for a further 40 minutes. If the stew looks a little dry then add a dash of water. When the meat is lovely and tender add the samphire, bring the stew back to a simmer and cook for 5 – 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.