- Heat the rapeseed oil in a pan, add the onions, then cook gently for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add the minced beef and stir for 5 minutes until starting to brown, breaking up any clumps with a wooden spoon.
- Add the garlic, carrots, swede, leek and celery and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Sprinkle the flour over the mince and vegetables, mixing well. Stir in the beef stock.
- Mix again, add the pearl barley, thyme and pepper, bring to the boil, turn down the heat, cover, then simmer gently for 30 minutes. Serve with a sprinkle of chives.
- You can make this with minced lamb, or use minced turkey for a lower-fat dish.
- For a vegan version, replace the beef with a can of green lentils and a low-salt vegetable stock cube.
- To concentrate the flavours further, you can cook without a lid to reduce the amount of liquid.
- Freezing instructions: Suitable for freezing once cooked. Can be frozen in small pots for individual portions. Defrost in a microwave or on the hob, over a very low heat until piping hot.