Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Scotch Broth with Dried Peas & Barley

When I made Scotch Broth a while ago, I realized - for the first time! - that Scotch Broth is sometimes made with dried peas. Barley, of course, is a frequent ingredient, although I didn't add it to my last version as I wanted a soupier soup. This one has both and so is much more substantial (not that the other one was a lightweight).  The other one was more of a soup made from scraps and leftovers; a kind of bonus leftover dish, whereas this one is more intentional.

They taste surprisingly similar - well, not so surprisingly, I guess, given how much the ingredients and seasoning overlap - it's just that this one is more of a ribsticker.

I used an exact pound of stewing lamb which was quite fatty, so I removed a substantial portion of it from the top after the meat was cooked. I thought the results were a bit skimpy on the lamb, so I am calling for more, but a pound will do. Unlike most meats, I don't save the fat from lamb for using in cooking. That stuff is called tallow, and they used to make perfectly functional candles out of it; enough said.

4 to 6 servings
2 days - 1 1/2 hours prep time

Scotch Broth with Dried Peas & Barley

500 to 600 grams (1 pound to 1 1/2 pounds) stewing lamb
4 cups lamb or beef broth, or water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 or 2 bay leaves
1/2 cup pot barley
1/2 cup split yellow peas
3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups peeled, diced rutabaga
1 cup peeled, diced celeriac
1 medium carrot
1 large onion
1 medium leek
2 tablespoons bacon fat or mild vegetable oil
1 teaspoon rubbed savory, thyme, or a combination

Trim the lamb of excess fat, and dice it up into bite-sized pieces. Put it in a large soup pot with the broth, salt, and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 2 or 3 hours very gently. Let cool, and chill overnight. Remove and discard any fat that has hardened on top of the broth.

Rinse and pick over the barley and split peas. Put them in the rice cooker with the water and next round of salt. Cook 'em. Or, I suspect you could throw them in with the lamb and let them cook there. Also add the water or more broth, and the salt! I suggest the rice cooker because I know that they will cook evenly that way.

Peel and dice the rutabaga. Peel and dice the celeriac. Peel and dice the carrot. Peel and chop the onion. Trim, slice in half lengthwise, then slice the other way, the leek.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add all the vegetables except the leek, and cook, stirring frequently, until everything is slightly softened and cooked down, and there is a little browning. If things are browing too quickly, turn down the heat. Add the leeks and cook, with continued frequent stirring, until they too are softened and cooked down, but not browned.

Add the vegetables, the peas and barley (if cooked separately), and the herbs to the pot of meat and broth. Simmer for another hour or so. You can serve it at once, or it keeps and reheats nicely. 

2 comments:

Megan said...

I haven't read your blog for a few months, and just got caught up today. What a joy. Curtido, scotch broth, soufflé, ... I've been making many of the same dishes as you , and it's nice to see your take on them. It's great to see recipes dedicated to seasonal ingredients.

And I thoroughly agree with your thoughts on pricey cauliflower. Even if you don't grow your own, I think life is so much better if your cooking follows the seasons. Then you become much more aware of, and appreciative of each season. The bright tastes of spring, the abundance of summer, and the comforting warmth of winter meals. Each has their place.


Ferdzy said...

Welcome back, Megan; I'm glad to hear from you! Especially since you have such nice and agreeable things to say...!