Recipe Spotlight: Lamb and Barley Soup & Easter Ham

by Trent Rowe, Food Editor

This month’s Recipe Spotlight is focused on the Easter Holiday. Like I mentioned in the April edition of Central Florida Health News, holidays always have a large buildup, then it’s over in the blink-of-an-eye and all you’re left with is leftovers. These recipes are great ways to keep that Easter feel alive for more than just one day, but rather an entire week.
Lamb is the Easter meat of choice in many homes. Legs get roasted in the oven or on a grill in the yard. Racks of ribs can have the same treatment.
Osso Bucco is braised lamb shanks in a rich, delicious, dark sauce. Excuse me while I wipe my keyboard. A special thin bladed spoon gets the roasted marrow from the bone.
But lamb is expensive, and you don’t want to waste a smidgen. Save the bones to be simmered with onions for a great base for Lamb and Barley Soup.
Put the roasted bones in a pot with water to cover. Add a chopped onion. Cover and simmer for as many hours as you can stand the wonderful smell. A pressure cooker makes quick work of the broth. A slow cooker takes longer but works just as well.
Chill, and then take the solid fat off the broth.
Here’s a slow cooker recipe for Lamb and Barley Soup adapted from Genius Kitchen.
Lamb and Barley Soup
1-pound lamb stew meat, or shank, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large onion, large dice
1 large turnip, in 1/2-inch dice
2 medium carrots, sliced 1/2 ” thick
5 cups broth from lamb bones with beef broth to make up the difference
1 bottle dark beer
2⁄3 cup pearl barley
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
Place the meat, onion, turnips, and carrots in the slow cooker.
Stir in the broth, beer, barley and all seasonings.
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Stir in the parsley before serving.
Serve with hearty bread.
Easter wouldn’t be Easter without ham, and cooked ham from the deli can be the start of a tasty lunch of ham salad before the big one, all crispy and studded with cloves, comes from the oven.
Have the slices cut about as thick as you want the cubes to be. Stack them and dice away.
What you add to the ham is as wide as your pantry and fridge … pickle relish, chopped gherkins, chopped olives, sesame seeds, dried cranberries, pineapple, fresh berries, sunflower seeds, chopped nuts, raisins or currants … you get the idea.
Bind it with your favorite mayo. To reduce calories a bit, mix the mayo with some no-fat Greek yogurt. A little curry powder would be nice in the ham salad, too.
Serve it as sandwich filling; in wraps; atop green salad; on slices of zucchini or cucumber; on crackers or in tacos.

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