Lamb Shanks with Barley

There is a storm blowing outside and this is perfect food for a day like this. Lamb shanks are great value and cooked to falling off the bone with delicious gravy and some root veg are just yummy. My daughter who thinks that all meat is Duck gobbles this up telling me she loves it.

Serves 4 hungry people
4 lamb shanks, trimmed of any excess fat
1 tbsp oil
4 tbsp pearl barley
10fl oz good quality stock
1 sprig of fresh thyme
½ tsp dried thyme
1 sprig fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
150g/6oz carrots, roughly chopped
2 small onions, quartered
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 heaped tbsp flat leaf parsley leaves to finish

Oven at 160C
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the lamb shanks and brown well on all sides.
Transfer the lamb shanks to a large ovenproof casserole or ovenproof pan with a lid, and add the barley, stock,herbs, and some salt and pepper.
Cover tightly with foil and then with the lid, and cook in the oven for 1½ hour. At this time add the veggies and a little more water if needed. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then re-cover the casserole, and return it to the oven for another hour until the lamb is moist and almost falling off the bone.
Transfer the lamb shanks from the cooking pot to a warmed serving platter and cover with kitchen foil while you finish the sauce.
Place the casserole over a medium heat and bring the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently until you have a lovely nice sauce.
Add the chopped flat leaf parsley and do a final seasoning check.
To serve, ladle the sauce and braised vegetables onto warmed plates and place a shank on top of each portion. Serve with your choice of mashed root veg if you are feeding a hungry bunch and enjoy!.

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