Turkish Lamb with Roast Onions & Spiced Barley

Cooking time
Serves2 people
Turkish Lamb with Roast Onions & Spiced Barley

A Turkish-inspired feast of tender lamb neck fillets, pan fried till golden brown and served on an aromatic bed of rich, tomatoey spiced pearl barley with a salad of sumach and lemon red onion petals on the side.


  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 150g pearl barley
  • 400g tin of cherry tomatoes
  • 3 red onions
  • 300g lamb neck fillet
  • 1 tbsp sumach
  • 1 lemon
  • A handful of parsley
  • 50g baby leaf spinach
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 200ml cold water
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 40 mins

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1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 7. Peel and finely chop the garlic clove.
2. Bring a large pan to a medium heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Slide in the garlic and sprinkle in 1 tsp mixed spice. Fry for 2 mins, then stir in the pearl barley. Pour in the cherry tomatoes and half-fill the tin with cold water (approx 200ml) and stir in. Bring to the boil, then cover the pan and reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook for 25 mins
3. Peel the onions and cut into wedges. Scatter them into a large roasting tin and toss with 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Slide into the oven and reduce the temperature to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Roast for 20 mins, turning the wedges halfway through.
4. Set a heavy frying pan on a high heat. Pat the lamb neck dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper and rub with 1 tbsp olive oil. Carefully add to the hot pan and cook for 2-3 mins on all sides. Transfer to a small roasting dish and slide into the oven for 10-12 mins. Once cooked, set the lamb aside to rest while you finish the dish.
5. When the onions have cooked, add the wedges to a bowl. Sprinkle over 1 tbsp sumach, grate in the lemon zest and squeeze in the juice. Roughly chop the parsley and stir in, along with 1 tbsp olive oil and a little salt and pepper.
6. Stir the spinach into the barley till wilted. Taste and add salt and pepper if you think it needs it.
7. Pile the barley onto a couple of warm plates and top with slices of tender lamb. Serve with the Turkish onions on the side.
8. Tip: If the lamb is too rare for your liking when sliced, just pop the slices back into the roasting dish and slide back into the oven for another 3-4 mins, or till cooked through.
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