Hands up who wants a recipe for a dinner that is fast, wholesome and cheap. Me me me! And luckily here is just that. It takes no more than about 45 minutes and feeds four greedy-guts. I love it.
*A knob of Butter *1 tbsp olive oil *250g good quality bacon *2 leeks, thickly sliced *100g chestnut mushrooms (although I’m sure any will do…) *2-3 garlic cloves, finely sliced *300g pearl barley *350g butternut squash, cut into big chunks *2 tbsp thyme *salt and pepper *1 litre chicken stock. (This meal also tastes amazing with home made dumplings or served with bread and butter).
1. Heat a large, deep pan over a medium heat and add the oil and butter. Fry the chopped bacon for about 5 minutes until it looks juicy and sizzling.
2. Add the garlic and the chopped and cleaned leeks. Fry for a few minutes.
3. Add the chopped mushrooms, the pearl barley, butternut squash and thyme and then the chicken stock. Season well and simmer for about 40 minutes (adding more water if you need to) before chucking on a plate and scoffing with a grin.
I like to have a big chunk of cheddar grated on top of my stew, but then I am a little lardy!