Gower salt marsh breast of lamb with Pearl barley ‘risotto’

Another terrific Welsh dish I hope will become a classic. Breast of lamb is ridiculously cheap but needs long slow cooking while the ‘risotto’ is actually pearl barley which can be cooked like rice but requires a little longer cooking.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 kg breast of lamb, rolled and tied
  • 1 ltr chicken or vegetable stock
  • 150g pearl barley
  • 125ml red wine
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 4 shallots, diced
  • 2 little gem lettuce, shredded
  • A handful of peas
  • A knob of butter
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Herbs such as thyme and rosemary


  • In a large non-stick frying pan heat a little oil and slowly colour the shallots and garlic. Then add the lamb to the pan to colour all over. Transfer to a small roasting tin or casserole dish. Add the wine to the hot pan and pour this in with the lamb. You can pop in some herbs if you wish. Cover and cook for 3 hours in a moderate to low oven.
  • To make the pearl barley risotto, melt the butter in a large saucepan and sauté the leeks. Add the pearl barley, coat with the leeks and butter and add the stock. Cook with a lid on for about 40 – 50 minutes. For the last few minutes of cooking add the peas and lettuce and stir in.
  • It is important to leave meat to ‘rest’ after it has come out of the oven, so while it does strain and reduce the juices from the pan to pour over your lamb and risotto.

Copyright Danny Rees 2012