Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries is both an entertaining read and a fabulous cookery book. Join me as I journey through the year cooking along with him...
Do buy the book from Amazon or your local book store. It's not just the recipes, its the gentle writing style and the importance of food provenance which strike a chord with me.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Week 1 - Lamb Stew and Orange Cake

This week I'm joining Mr S on p10, when he puts together a lamb stew.

I love a good stew, and think that I've pretty much got the idea - lots of root veg, cheap cut of meat, cook for hours.

But the first ingredient on the list is pot barley, which I rather assumed was the same as pearl barley, but apparently not - pot barley is not milled and polished as much as pearl barley and so is 'nuttier'.  Probably healthier too with all that roughage - however, Sainsbury's could only furnish me with pearl barley, so that's what went in the pot.

The other ingredients were added with no further surprises except one - I'd halved the ingredients so that my stew should be for two, yet as everything was added to my big casserole dish, it was soon apparent that the two people in question would have to have extraordinarily hearty appetites.

It did cook down a little after a few hours in slow oven, but even so.  I strained the gravy off in order to remove the fat, and the next day heated the stew through for a substantial and delicious dinner.  A hit.

Mr S has a cake down on p10 too - an orange sponge cooked in a loaf tin and topped with icing drizzled over the top.

A twist with this cake is the addition of some orange marmalade, which adds a real zing.  I'd make less icing next time, I think - by the time I'd licked the bowl out, and eaten the spare icing that dribbled onto the board, I think I'd had as much icing as the cake had. Moist and tangy, the cake is a hit too.

A very pleasing start to the year!

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