(Scottish lamb, barley and root vegetable stew)
A good, long soak is important for the barley and split peas and ensures that they cook thoroughly. The peas in particular break down and thicken the stew.
4 to 6 servings
- Pearl barley -- 1/2 cup
- Green or yellow split peas -- 1/2 cup
- Oil -- 2 or 3 tablespoons
- Onions, chopped -- 2
- Celery, chopped -- 2 stalks
- Lamb or beef stewing meat, cubed -- 2 pounds
- Stock or water -- 2 quarts
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- Turnips or rutabagas (swedes), peeled and chopped -- 2 or 3
- Carrots, peeled and chopped -- 3
- Cabbage or kale, shredded (optional) -- about 2 cups
- Parsley, chopped -- 2 tablespoons
- Put the barley and split peas in a bowl or saucepan and add water to cover by at least 2 inches. Set aside to soak overnight, or for at least 4 hours. For a quicker alternative, you can bring it all to a boil on the stove, remove from heat, cover and let set for about 1 hour. Either way, once your soaking is done, drain your barley and peas and proceed with the recipe.
- Heat the oil over medium-high flame in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the onions and celery and saute until the onions are cooked through and translucent, 4 or 5 minutes.
- Stir in the lamb, stock or water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low, cover loosely and simmer for about 2 hours, or until the lamb is tender.
- Add the turnips or rutabagas and carrots and simmer for anouther 45 minutes.
- Finally, stir in the kale or cabbage if using, along with the parsley, and simmer for another 15 minutes or so.
- Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve with dinner rolls or oatcakes.
Scotch Broth Variations
- Meat: Try using lamb or beef shanks instead of stew meat for an especially rich stew.
- Scotch broth mix: Scots will often use a prepackaged mix of beans and whole grains called Scotch broth mix. It typically contains both yellow and green split peas, as well as blue peas and lentils.
- Scotch broth is ideal for simmering in a slow cooker. Or use a pressure cooker to speed up the process considerably.