This rib-sticking dish uses braising cuts as its base. It is traditionally made with sheep meat but you can use beef; shoulder and stewing chops are good. I went a bit mad with swedes and turnips, carrots and parsnips for the root vegetables and at the end added peas and fresh mint (which is not traditional).
Serves 8, with leftovers
Cut 6 lamb stewing chops and, using a solid pot, quickly toss in a bit of hot oil to seal.
2 Add a finely sliced leek, a diced stick of celery and 2 medium onions diced. Cook these a bit with the meat.
3 Add about 2 cups of mixed diced root vegetables - carrots, parsnips, swedes, turnips, even kumara or pumpkin would work. Toss these and add a cup of barley. Cover with 6 cups of cold water and allow to simmer. The barley will absorb a lot of liquid so you may have to add more. This is a soup but it can be served quite thick.
4 When the contents are tender, season well. You will be astounded as to how much salt and pepper it will take to get a good flavour. Once happy with the seasoning, add a cup of frozen peas and simmer until they are cooked.
5 Before serving add half a cup of chopped fresh mint.