hearty lamb barley stew

Lamb Barley Stew


  • 2lbs local stewing lamb, cut in bite sized pieces
  • 3tbsp flour (I used besan)
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 1/2tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6c chicken broth
  • 1c dry white wine
  • 1c barley
  • Salt & pepper


Season the lamb with pepper and coat with flour.  Heat oil in large soup pot and brown lamb on all sides.  Remove lamb and set aside.

set to simmer

Add vegetables and thyme to pot with a pinch of salt.  Cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Return cooked lamb to pot.  Add stock and wine.  Bring to boil, reduce to simmer for 20 minutes.

Add barley.  Cover and simmer 40 minutes, until barley is el dente.

My father made a spectacularly savoury and delicious lamb barley stew.  Like all good home cooks, his recipe was not written down and varied slightly with each making.  My oldest daughter, when she was young, was always treated to a meal of her specifically-requested favourite lamb barley stew whenever we visited my parents’ place.

My mom and I still talk about that stew with fondness – lamb is her favourite meat and she can salivate at the thought of it.

What was special about that stew is now just a rich memory to be shared fondly when we partake in a stew slightly less spectacular.