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Lamb Shank, Pearl Barley and Carrot Stew
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Try an old-fashioned stew to satisfy hearty appetites. Cooked this way, the lamb is so tender it falls straight off the bone.
1. Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2. Season the flour, then dust the lamb shanks in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess.
2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Fry the lamb shanks, two at a time, over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown on the outside. Transfer to a large casserole dish.
3. Fry the onion in the same oil over a medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until soft, then add to the casserole. Return the frying pan to the heat and pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, stirring and scraping in brown frying residue.
4. Add the stock to the casserole with half the carrots, the bouquet garni, tomato purée and seasoning. Cover, transfer to the oven and cook for 1 hour.
5 After an hour, drain the pearl barley and stir into the stew with the remaining carrots. Cover and return to the oven for another hour. Stir again, then return to the oven for a final hour, leaving the lid only three-quarters on, so that the steam can escape and the sauce can thicken.
6. Skim off any excess fat, then season to taste. Serve with mashed potatoes and cabbage.
To coat lamb evenly simply place seasoned flour in a plastic bag, add the shanks one at a time and shake, to coat without any excess.
You can find fresh bouquets garni in the fruit and vegetable section. To make your own, tie together 2 large sprigs parsley, 1 large sprig thyme, 1 large sprig rosemary and 1 bay leaf with a piece of kitchen string.
Wash work surfaces, cutting boards, utensils and hands after handling raw meat.
This recipe was first published in January 2002.