Spelt with kale, pulled beef and pomegranate seeds

Uncomplicated, full of flavour and downright cosy to eat. The sprinkling of pomegranate seeds makes the dish particularly easy on the eye.

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Don't you just love those dishes that you can scoop into a warm bowl, and eat - ssht don't tell anyone - just with a spoon - while you warm yourself on the bowl…

This is one of those dishes that is a winner in summer and in winter, a dish you can make especially or from leftovers. Uncomplicated, full of flavour and downright cosy to eat.

The sprinkling of pomegranate seeds makes it festive and easy on the eye, but also gives it a nice fresh touch. Pomegranate seeds work so perfectly in savoury dishes.

I like to use spelt, it is such a nice change from potatoes, chips or pasta and so very wholesome. Spelt is a kind of wheat that was very important in ancient and medieval times and has many health benefits. The gluten in spelt is soluble which means it can be used by some people with wheat intolerance. It is believed that spelt came to Britain from the Middle East around 7000 years ago and it was quite common in the middle ages. It disappeared almost entirely after the industrial revolution making way for it's brother the modern wheat. Spelt growing continued on a small scale and especially in Italy where it remained an important staple in the kitchen.

Today we see a big increase in spelt growing and I can see why, it is delicious and versatile with its natural nutty flavour. I myself have a mild intolerance for wheat and spelt brings me the wholesome grain dishes I so love to eat. Leftover spelt with a poached egg and some cheese is one of my all time favourite lunches, so when you cook this dish, cook a little too much spelt and have it for lunch, it is a delight.




For the pulled beef

For the spelt


Heat your oven to 160°C
In a cast iron pan with lid, fry the onion and the garlic in a little oil and after a minute or so add the herbs and chilli.
Dust your meat with flour, open your tins of tomato and tomato puree so you have them at arms reach ready
When your onion and garlic are fried fruity, add the meat to the pot and immediately add the tomato puree, the tin of peeled tomatoes and a tin of water
Bring to the boil and turn the heat down to a small flame, after 5 min put on the lid and transfer the beef to the oven for 2 hours, or slightly longer depending on the quality and cut of the beef
In any case, check on the beef after 2 hours and take it out of the oven. Use two forks to pull the beef into strings and leave to stand until you need it
You can prepare the meat in advance and keep in the fridge for evening supper or the day after, like with all stews, the flavour only gets better
When you are ready to prepare the meal, cook the spelt according to your package instructions. Blanch the kale in boiling water after you've turned down the heat to a gentle bubble
Meanwhile remove the pomegranate seeds from the fruit and keep in a bowl covered in cling film until you need it
Drain your kale when it is cooked to your taste, I like it with a bite to it, and cover until needed
Warm your stew towards the end of the cooking time of the spelt. When the spelt is ready, drain and transfer to a bowl, add the kale leaves, and drizzle over some olive oil or rapeseed oil and a pinch of salt and pepper
Serve the spelt with the beef, sprinkle over the gorgeous pomegranate seeds and serve with sour cream or yoghurt. You can also have some salad and bread as a side
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Food photographer, graphic designer and author of Pride and Pudding (Murdoch 2016).

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