Lamb, Plum and Barley Mow Lamb, Plum and Barley Mow

Lamb, Plum and Barley Mow

An aromatic slow-cooked lamb stew flavoured with Marsala wine or Port and with pearl barley, kale, red plums and freshly chopped parsley.

prep time
25 mins

cook time
2 hours 45 minutes

6 people


  • 675g lean boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped or crushed
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 150ml marsala wine or Port
  • 600ml good, hot lamb stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 150g pearl barley
  • 75g roughly chopped kale or Savoy cabbage
  • 2 fresh ripe red plums, stoned and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C, 150°C Fan, Gas Mark 3.
  2. Put the lamb cubes in a large bowl, season and mix with the cinnamon.
  3. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and cook the lamb in batches for 3-4 minutes until brown on all sides. Spoon into a 1.7L ovenproof casserole dish.
  4. In the same frying pan, cook the onion, garlic and carrots for 2-3 minutes. Spoon into the casserole dish with the lamb. Add the wine or Port to the pan, scraping the base of the pan to release any sediment and pour into the casserole dish.
  5. Add the stock and bay leaves to the casserole dish. Bring to the boil, cover and transfer to the oven and continue to cook for a further 2 hours.
  6. Remove from the oven, add the pearl barley and return to the oven for 30 minutes. Add the kale and plums (if used) and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes.
  7. Discard the bay leaves, garnish with the parsley and serve.