Scotch Broth is a traditional Scottish meal - halfway between a soup and stew. It's a perfect comforting winter warmer. The lamb should be scraggy and fatty (don't be squeamish about fat - it's essential to this dish), and you can use any combination of root vegetables that you like.
Cut the meat into large pieces. If there are bones in it, leave them in for now, they'll add to the flavour. Add the meat to 2 litres of water in a large pan and bring it to the boil. After about 15 minutes, you should see a lot of scum on the surface - skim this off.
Prep the Vegetables
Top, tail, peel and dice the vegetables, reserving a chunk of the green end of the leek to thinly slice and add later. Finely chop the parsley. Add all the vegetables to the meat, along with the pepper and half of the chopped parsley. Add more water if necessary. Bring to the boil, then take it down to a simmer, cover the pan and let it bubble away for an hour.
Finish the Scotch Broth
After an hour, the meat should be quite tender. Remove it from the pan and set aside. Add the barley. If the meat has bones in it, cut them out now. Shred the meat - it shouldn't be cut into chunks, it should be more like pulled pork. Return the shredded meat to the pan, put the lid on and cook for a further 15 minutes. Now taste the broth and add salt if necessary. Add the sliced leek and cook for another 15 minutes.
To Serve the Scotch Broth
Fill a warmed bowl with the broth and sprinkle a generous amount of chopped parsley on top. Serve with a hunk of wholemeal bread.
MEAT • 750 grams lamb or mutton breast • 2 litres water • VEGETABLES • 2 carrots • 1 leek • 1 swede • 1 onion • 1 parsnip • a handful of barley • a handful of fresh parsley • 1 tsp white pepper • a pinch of salt
PLUS You can use any combination of root vegetables that takes your fancy.