Slow Cooker Lamb, Carrot and Pearl Barley Casserole


Slow Cooker Lamb, Carrot and Pearl Barley Casserole with Dumplings

Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Slow Cooking
Author: Mediocre Mum
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-3
I don’t normally cook many casseroles and stews but this is the perfect meal for the current dropping temperatures. It’s hard to describe the smell, but I came home to a lovely ‘sweet’ smell coming from the kitchen. The Pearl Barley gives it a thick creamy texture.
  • 1 TBSP of Oil
  • 300g of lamb (as you are slow cooking you could use mutton)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3-4 medium carrots, sliced diagonally
  • 2 celery stick, chopped
  • 45g of Pearl Barley
  • 450 ml of Lamb Stock
  • 2 pinches of dried parsley
  • Dumplings – I use Aunt Bessie’s finest frozen
  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the lamb, season with salt and pepper and brown for approximately 5 minutes.
  2. Add the onion, carrots and celery and fry for a further 3-5 minutes.
  3. Transfer to the slow cooker. Sprinkle the barley over the lamb and vegetables, add the stock, stir and sprinkle the parsley on top.
  4. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.
  5. And 90 minutes before serving, place the frozen dumplings on top. After 45 minutes turn them.
  6. Ladle into large bowls and enjoy!


If you do try any of my recipes do pop back and let me know what you think.  For more Slow Cooker inspiration, click on the tab at the top.




Slow Cooker Sunday: ORANGE & LEMON-BRAISED LAMB SHANKS (Guest Post)

This week I have a special treat for you, someone who can really cook.  It’s none other than Keith, from Reluctant Housedad famous for his Thrice-Cooked Chips.  I only cook mine once and they come out of a bag.   I had to rein him in a bit as he has a penchant for things that takes days to cook (e.g Heston’s three-day ultimate bolognese).  I’m all up for slow cooking but really not that organised. :-)



As we all know, lamb goes great with strong flavours such as Garlic, Rosemary and Anchovies, but I like to add a little zing to this delicious comfort food dish. The long, slow cooking in the orange and lemon stock permeates the meat, making it aromatic, fresh and light. Don’t cook it for too long: you’re after a firm texture for the meat, which you can break part into its individual muscle lobes once it has cooled, ready for finishing, bathed in its own gravy.

Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks

Serves 2

For the lamb

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 lamb shanks
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 300ml white wine
  • 500ml chicken stock (from a good quality cube is fine)
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon

To finish:

  • 1 tsp cornflour dissolved in a little water
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 lemon

 For the butternut squash

  • 1 butternut squash, seeds removed, skin on, chopped into chunks
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  •  3-4 small dried chillies
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes or rock salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the cavalo nero

  • 8 big leaves, stalks trimmed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Knob of butter
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Add the sunflower oil to a large frying pan and brown the lamb shanks all over, approx. 6-8 mins.

2. Add the browned lamb and the rest of the ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours until the lamb meat is very tender and almost, but not quite, falling off the bone.

3. Remove the lamb from the stock and transfer to a plate. Leave to cool.

4. Drain the stock into a pan through a sieve. Put the pan on the hob on a high heat and reduce by half. Leave to cool, then transfer to a jar and put in the fridge. This will allow the excess fat to rise to the top and solidify, which you can then remove. Once the fat has been removed, transfer the stock to a saucepan.

5. Using your hands, break the lamb meat away from the bone, along the lines of the meat’s natural lobes. Trim of any fat and sinew, then add the lamb meat to the saucepan of citrus stock.

6. Meanwhile, in a coffee grinder or pestle and mortar, grind the cinnamon, chillies and salt. Toss the butternut squash chunks with this spice mixture and the oilive oil. Cook in the oven preheated to 180C/Gas 4 for 35-40 mins, until the squash is tender.

7. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and butter and add the cavalo nero. Cook for 5-7 mins, stirring, until the cabbage turns slightly crisp.

8. Meanwhile, bring the pan of lamb and citrus stock to the boil and add the dissolved cornflour to thicken the sauce.

9. Serve the lamb and its gravy at the centre of the plate, surrounded by the squash and cavalo nero. Garnish with finely chopped orange and lemon zest.


A huge THANK YOU to Keith, it looks amazing.

Contribute to Slow Cooker Sunday

Now it’s your turn to join in by either adding a link below or by leaving your recipe in the comments section.  Don’t worry it doesn’t have to be as fancy as Keith’s.

Don’t forget #scsunday is also on Instagram and we now have a dedicated board on Pinterest with all the featured recipes.

Slow Cooker Sunday – Authentic Lamb Curry (20 May 2012)

If you fancy joining into Slow Cooker Sunday, where we share our favourite recipes but don’t have a blog you can always email it to me, like Indie (@leightonsopt) did, or you can leave your recipe in the comment section.  I can’t wait to try this one, especially the Cumin Infused Rice with Peas.  Thanks for sharing it with us.

New slow cooker purchased! Here is my contribution to #scsunday. I made this last night and let it cook overnight. The smell in the house was amazing, although my wife felt we had just woken in a curry house!!’


  • 600g Diced lamb
  • 2tsp oil and a little butter
  • 2 medium onions
  • 5 cloves Garlic chopped
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 inch grated ginger
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 5 tsp garam masala
  • 1 handful coriander chopped
  • 2 handfuls of yellow lentils
  • 3 cups of boiled water
  • Juice of ½ lime


  1. Firstly fry the lamb gently on a medium heat until it is browned. Place in a colander to remove excess fat.
  2. Fry onions, salt and garlic in the oil & butter until really well browned.
  3. Add ginger, chillies, turmeric & garam masala and fry for a couple of minutes – add water if the mixture begins to dry.
  4. Add the tomatoes and coriander and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. In the slow cooker add the lentils, meat and then the curry mixture.
  6. Add the boiled water
  7. Cook on low for 8 hours
  8. Add lime juice ½ hour before the end of cooking.

This can be served with plain basmati rice, naan or…….

Cumin infused rice with peas

  1. Using a teaspoon of oil & a knob of butter fry 1 tsp of cumin seeds, when they are sizzling add a sliced onion & 1 tsp salt. Fry gently until the onions are softened and translucent.
  2. Add 2 handfuls of frozen peas and 2 cups of washed basmati rice, turn up the heat and stir-fry for 3-4 mins.
  3. Add 3 cups of cold water and bring to the boil, the stir well.
  4. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 15-20 mins or until the water has evaporated.
  5. Loosen with a fork and transfer to a serving dish.

For more of our favourite slow cooker recipes click here.


Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Lamb Casserole with Dumplings

We’ve just rediscovered that we really like sweet potatoes and I’m not sure why I haven’t used them more.  Part way through cooking, when I lifted the lid, the smell beckoned for dumplings!

Serves 4

Setting: Low

Cooking time: 6-8 hours


1 TBSP of oil

450g of diced lamb

Salt and pepper

2 onions, chopped

1 tsp of lazy garlic

1 tsp of dried coriander

8 cardamom pods, crushed.  I used my spice grinder; you may want to remove husks

2-3 medium sized sweet potatoes but into bite sized pieces

425 ml of lamb stock

Aunt Bessie’s Frozen Dumplings



Preheat slow cooker on low

  1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the lamb, season with a bit of salt and pepper and brown on all sides.  Transfer to the slow cooker.
  2. Sauté the onion and garlic for about 3 minutes until soft and add to the slow cooker.
  3. Put the remaining ingredients, except the dumplings into the slow cooker and mix well.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. 90 minutes before it finishes, place the dumplings on top.  Turning once 45 minutes later.

For more slow cooker inspiration click here.





Slow Cooked Abruzzi Lamb

This one of our most favourite slow cooker recipes of all time.  I can’t emphasize enough how gorgeous it is.  It does serve 3-4 but we ate it all between the two of us.

Slow Cooked Abruzzi Lamb

Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Mediocre Mum
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3-4
  • 1 TBSP of olive oil
  • 500-750 g of lamb or mutton cubed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100g pancetta
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tsp of lazy garlic or 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 TBSP of plain flour
  • 300 ml of lamb stock
  • I TBSP tomato purée
  • 2 tsp of light muscovado sugar
  • 2-3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 300g cherry tomatoes
  • Tagliatelle
  • Salad
  1. Preheat slow cooker
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan; season the lamb with a bit of salt and pepper and then brown (5-7 min), transfer to slow cooker.
  3. Saute the onions with the pancetta for 3-5 minutes until the onion is soft, add the garlic and cook for two minutes, sprinkle with flour, stir and cook for another a minute.
  4. Add the stock gradually stirring continuously until it thickens. Add the tomato purée, sugar, rosemary and bring to a boil.
  5. Pour over lamb in slow cooker and top with cherry tomatoes. Replace the lid and cook for at least 8 hours.
  6. Serve over a bed of tagliatelle with a side green salad.

This Post Links to Hun…What’s for dinner?