For the dumplings


  • STEP 1

    Season the lamb pieces and toss in the flour. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish over a medium-high heat and brown half the lamb pieces, ensuring they’re deeply coloured before turning over to brown on all sides. Remove to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining oil and the rest of the lamb pieces. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan, or the lamb will steam rather than brown.

  • STEP 2

    Fry the bacon in the pan for a few minutes, then tip in the veg and garlic. Cook for 3-4 mins more until the veg has just started to soften, then stir in the browned lamb, the pearl barley, rosemary, tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce, redcurrant jelly and stock. Season well, then tuck the bay leaves into the sauce. Bring to a simmer.

  • STEP 3

    Cut out a circle of baking parchment that’s large enough to cover the stew (this is called a cartouche, and it helps keep the meat submerged in the stew). Put this directly on the surface of the stew, then cover with the lid and turn the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hr 30 mins-2 hrs, or until the meat is tender but not falling apart. Alternatively, transfer to a slow cooker for 6-8 hrs on low. Once cooled, will keep frozen for up to six months.

  • STEP 4

    Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Weigh the flour out into a bowl and add the baking powder and ½ tsp salt. Stir in the rosemary and half the cheddar. Make a well in the centre and tip in the yogurt, then mix to firm but pliable dough, adding a splash of water if it feels too dry. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll into balls. Chill until needed.

  • STEP 5

    Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Remove the stew from the heat, discard the cartouche and arrange the dumplings on top of the stew. Cover with the lid, transfer to the oven and cook for 20 mins. Remove the lid and sprinkle the rest of the cheddar over the dumplings. Cook for 10-15 mins more, uncovered, until the dumplings have browned and puffed up.

Goes well with


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