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Flat Rib Broth

This is a great comfort food for the late autumn and winter months. A warming meal in a bowl, cheap to make and feds a crowd. Serve with crusty bread and butter and a smear of English mustard on the rib.


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 4 carrots, 2 finely chopped, 2 diced

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 large stick celery, finely chopped

  • 1kg/2lb 4oz flat rib, or short ribs (including the bone)

  • 125g/4½oz pearl barley

  • 125g/4½oz split peas

  • 2 bay leaves

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 100g/3½oz lentils

  • 1 leek, sliced

  • 1 small turnip, cut into 1cm/½in dice

  • 2 medium potatoes, cut into 1cm/½in dice


  • 1.

    Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the two finely chopped carrots, the onion and celery and cook for five minutes, or until soft. Add the flat ribs and 3 litres/5¼ pints of boiling water to the pan.

  • 2.

    Bring back to the boil and add the pearl barley, split peas and bay leaves. Place a lid on the saucepan and reduce the heat. Simmer with the lid on for 1½ hours.

  • 3.

    Taste and add a good pinch of salt and pepper, to taste. Add the lentils and cook for a further 20 minutes, making sure to replace the lid.

  • 4.

    After 20 minutes, add the leeks, the reserved diced carrot, the turnip and the potatoes and cook for a further 20 minutes, or until tender.

  • 5.

    Adjust the seasoning by adding salt and pepper if required.

  • 6.

    Remove the flat ribs from the pan and set aside on a warm plate.

  • 7.

    Ladle the broth into serving bowls and carve a piece of flat rib from the bone and place on top of the broth.

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