A great deal of our barley, of course, finds its way into beer.
But the grain is also sold – most often as pearl barley, which is the refined variety, or as pot barley, which is the whole grain with only the inedible husk removed, and is found in health food shops.
Both these are good additions to stews or soups.
Don't confine this wonderful stew to St Patrick's Day - it's a winner all year round if there's a nip in the air!
You need to be quite hungry for this one because (as its name might imply) it's hefty and substantial.
Whether you're a vegetarian or not, some meals without meat will eventually become a necessity - but that does not mean they can't be just as good, as this proves.
Irish Stew is one of the best casserole dishes in the entire world. If you top it with dumplings, then bake it in the oven so that they turn crusty and crunchy, you will have a heavenly banquet on your plate.