Saddle of lamb with pearl barley, bacon and laverbread

Tom Kerridge cooks lamb with a barley risotto, flavoured with samphire and laverbread, a Welsh delicacy made from seaweed
Saddle of lamb with pearl barley, bacon and laverbread
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: plus 10 mins resting
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the barley

  • 250 g pearl barley, soaked in cold water for 24 hours
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock
  • 6 sticks celery
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and quartered lengthways
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 whole head garlic, cut in half across the equator
  • 1 bouquet garni, of thyme and rosemary
  • 250 g bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 100 g laverbread

For the lamb

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 g butter
  • 4 cannons of lamb, 170-200g each
  • 1 heads celery, diced
  • 100 g samphire, blanched
  • lamb stock, to serve


1. For the barley: rinse the barley in cold water and put in a pan, cover with water and bring to the boil, then drain.

2. Put the barley back into the pan and cover with chicken stock, celery sticks, carrots, quartered onion, garlic and bouquet garni. Bring to the boil and cook until the barley is soft (about 20 minutes) adding a little extra stock every few minutes as the stock is absorbed. Leave to cool a little, then remove the vegetables, garlic and bouquet garni.

3. In a saucepan, fry the bacon and chopped onion until brown (5-10 minutes) then add the barley with a little chicken stock and butter and stir well until it takes on the consistency of risotto. Stir in the laverbread.

4. For the lamb: in a frying pan, heat the olive oil and half the butter. When the butter is foaming, sear the lamb until cooked medium rare (7-10 minutes each side), then take out and rest for 10 minutes.

5. While the meat is resting, bring the lamb stock to the boil in a small saucepan. Turn down the heat and reduce the stock to the thickness of a sauce.

6. In a frying pan, cook the celery and samphire in butter until soft, then season well.

7. Put the samphire and celery in the centre of warmed plates. Slice the lamb and put on top. Serve with the barley and the lamb stock sauce.

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