Image courtesy of whole-grain-facts.com
This rich and hearty stew makes for perfect winter eating. You can use any meat really, although pork rabbit, chicken (thigh), lamb and turkey leg meat are best in supposition. The presence of fennel and pearl barley gives excellent medium for digestion and winter flavour, whilst having the aniseed edge to denote a clean aromatic flavour to accent the game flavours. The aniseed element also goes very well with pork.
Ingredients (serves 2, so adjust accordingly)
300g pork meat (shoudler, leg or belly), or turkey leg meat, or chicken thigh, or wild rabbit, cut into serving pieces.
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 small fennel bulb, sliced into 5mm/¼in thick slices
600ml/1 pint white wine, or sweet cider or even mead.
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 sprig rosemary
2 tbsp pearl barley
The doing bit.
Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the meat and fry for 3-4 minutes on both sides, or until golden-brown all over. Remove and set aside.
Add the pancetta to the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes, then add the onion, garlic and the sliced fennel. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and the fennel is softened. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Return the meat to the pan together with the wine, tomato purée and the rosemary. If the meat is not completely covered with the liquid, top up with water. Bring to the boil, then stir in the pearl barley, cover and simmer for one hour and 15 minutes, or until the pearl barley is tender. General rule - the longer the better.