Whether you are buying tinned or dried, please wash them thoroughly before use. If buying dried, firstly, boil a litre and a half of water, add 2 cups of adzuki, bring back to boil for a few mins and then cover, turn off heat and let sit overnight. Or if you are in a hurry, do the above and simply leave in for 1 hour. When time is up for either method, always pour off water down the drain, rinse and start cooking.
To cook, place adzuki beans in the saucepan and cover with a good bit of water, and bring to boil, and then turn down and gently simmer 20-30 mins (they will need longer if you have soaked them for only a short time). Feel free to add any flavours at this stage. Some people add a bouquet garni, some simply add a bay leaf and some people add some Kombu (sea vegetable)
I usually make mine in a big batch and either freeze in portions or keep in fridge for 2-3 days.
- 1 pound of stewing beef
- 1 cup of cooked adzuki beans (see above)
- 1 cup of barley – washed well
- 2 large carrots – diced imto similar sized cubes
- 2 medium onions – finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic – crushes
- 1 lemon
- 5 springs of thyme
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pint of chicken stock
- 6 french beans (optional)
- Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
- Firstly heat a small bit of oil in a large saucepan (about a dessert spoon) and heat.
- Add the stewing beef in batches and seal on all sides till grey.
- Remove beef and add onions with a little water and sweat the onions for about 5-10 mins.
- Add the barley, bay leaf, carrots, garlic, juice of the lemon, thyme and mustard and season with a little salt and pepper. Leave to sweat for a few minutes and add the beef and stock.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 – 11/2 hours, checking every now and then. If you feel the barley is soaking up too much liquid, add a little more stock or boiling water.
- Cook until the beef feels quite tender and then add the cooked adzuki beans and french beans (if you are adding them).
- Stir well and check seasoning – you may want to add a little more salt or pepper at this stage. Cook for another 2 mintues.
- Serve straight from the pot into a large bowl!
- Wheat free, sugar free and dairy free