Lamb, oat & vegetable stew



A great source of zinc, lamb makes a deeply nourishing stew for the cooler weather. Lamb neck is a highly under-rated cut as far as I'm concerned, giving you tender meat and a mineral-rich, gelatine broth. It's also a great way to include marrow, which is rich in vitamin A and minerals - especially iron. I prefer to use an older sheep, hogget or mutton, which makes for a more deeply flavoured stew.

You can include all sorts of root vegetables here - celeriac and swede are both excellent. If using turnip, go easy as it can easily overpower.

1 tablespoon oat groats or rolled 1 teaspoon whey or lemon juice 2 teaspoons olive oil 500 gm lamb neck or 4 - 5 neck chops 1 medium leek, greens cut off and kept for stock then sliced and well washed pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 -3 stems fresh thyme 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves 1 bay leaf 1 medium carrot / 150 gm, peeled and cut into thick slices 1 parsnip / 100 gm peeled, and cut into thick slices, any woody core removed 2 stalks celery finely sliced 2 tablespoons white wine 1 tablespoon mirin 1 - 2 teaspoons tamari 2 cups stock - any if fine 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Add grain to a small bowl with the whey, and cover with 1/2(half) cup water. Stir through and leave to sit over night, or 6 hours. This is best done at room temperature. When ready to use, drain and rinse through.


Add the olive oil to a medium size stewpot, I use a 24cm enamel coated, cast iron. Heat the oil and add the neck or chops and brown on either side.

Remove and set aside, and add the leek, pinch salt and pepper, thyme leaves, rosemary, bay leaf, carrot, parsnip and celery and cook over a gentle heat for 5 mins. Add the wine, mirin and tamari, letting it sizzle and reduce. Add the neck or chops, oat groats and stock. Cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours, or until the meat is tender to the fork and falling off the bone. Remove from oven, take off lid and taste. Depending on the lamb and stock, you may need to counterbalance or add sweetness. If it is too sweet, add the remaining teaspoon of tamari, if it is too flat add a touch more mirin.

Remove the meat from the bone, making sure also to remove the marrow. Return both to the stew, reduce over a high heat if it's too thin, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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