Stone-ground bread and hard Suffolk cheese was once the daily diet of the field and farm workers. However, at the weekend, there was always a hearty country spread. This rustic stew is the sort of food to have on a cold February day, when the harsh winter winds drive across the open fenlands and marshes.
50 Gram Brown lentils (2 oz) 25 Gram Haricot beans (1 oz) 2 Large Potatoes, peeling & roughly chopped 1 Large Turnip, peeled & roughly chopped 4 Carrots, chopped 2 Onions, chopped 900 Gram Best end of neck or breast of lamb (2 lb) 2 Bay leaves 1 Sprig Fresh parsley 1 Sprig Fresh thyme Salt & freshly ground black pepper 25 Gram Pearl barley (1 oz) 1.8 Litres Water (3 pints)
Soak the lentils and beans in cold water overnight.
The next day, put all the prepared vegetables in a large saucepan.
Trim the excess fat from the lamb and cut into pieces (either chops or ribs).
Add the lamb and herbs to the pot and season well.
Drain the lentils and beans and add together with the pearl barley.
Pour on the water, gently bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 3 hours.