1 tbs sunflower oil
900g neck of lamb (any hard fat removed then diced into large chunks)
200g smoked streaky bacon (rind removed and cut into large pieces)
5 medium onions (sliced)
5 carrots (peeled and cut into rustic wedges)
850ml lamb stock
8 medium sized potatoes (peeled and cut into large pieces)
3 spring onions (finely sliced)
100g pearl barley
Fresh thyme (bunch, roughly chopped)
3 Bay leaves
Slightly salted butter (1 tablespoon)
Finely ground sea salt and black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 160º C (140º C fan oven)
Heat the oil in a flame-proof casserole and cook the bacon for about 4 minutes or until crisp.
Turn up the heat and cook the lamb for about 6 minutes until brown.
Transfer the lamb and bacon to a plate then put the carrots, onions and herbs in the casserole.
Cook for about 5 minutes until soft then return the lamb and bacon to the pan and stir in the pearl barley.
Season generously with the salt and pepper.
Pour over the stock, carefully arrange the potatoes on top and bring to the boil.
Cover with the lid and cook in the oven for about 90 minutes.
After about an hour, dot the butter on top of the potato topping and return to the oven.
Dish this straight up from the casserole and serve with buttered mashed swede, steamed spinach and butter beans.