Day 339: Vegetable & Barley Hotpot 

Whilst I’m trying really hard not to repeat dishes, there are some meals that have been so successful that I’m taking elements from a few favourites over the past year and combining them to create a whole new dish in the hope that Mathilde won’t notice. The root vegetable stew we had near the beginning of the year was such a hit that it needs reincarnating; this time with pearl barley in place of lentils and disguised as a hotpot, with sliced potatoes on top instead of incorporated into the dish.

I can’t ignore seasonal root veg at this time of year as it’s perfectly warming for the weather and also readily available and cheap. An absolute winner all round (I hope!)


  • 100g pearl barley
  • 1 x onion, finely chopped 
  • 4 x carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 x small parsnips, peeled and diced
  • Half a swede, peeled and diced
  • 1 x tbsp plain flour
  • 1 x tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 750ml veg stock
  • 4 x good sized potatoes, peeled and finely sliced

Fry the onion in olive oil and begin to add the veg. Cover and cook over a low to medium heat for approx 10 minutes until they begin to soften.

Stir through a tbsp of flour to absorb any liquid. Add the pearl parley and pour in the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Cover with sliced potato (if in a suitable casserole dish that can go in the oven, or if not, transfer to an ovenproof dish). Brush the potato with olive oil and bake at 200C for 45-50 minutes, until the potatoes are crispy and golden.

Serve with green veg. 

If only it was that easy… Tonight was a complete battle of wills but in the end Mathilde ate everything except the swede and kale.

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