salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, peeled, roughly chopped
3 carrots, peeled, roughly chopped
½ swede or turnip, peeled and cut into small chunks
4 cloves garlic, peeled, roughly chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato purée
250g/9oz pearl barley
1½ litres/3 pints chicken stock
2-3 tbsp mint jelly
3 tbsp roughly chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.
Season the lamb shanks with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large ovenproof casserole until smoking, add the oil and lamb shanks and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown all over.
Remove the lamb from the pan and set aside. Add the onions, carrots, swede and garlic to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until golden-brown.
Add the rosemary, bay leaves, thyme and tomato purée to the pan and cook for a further minute, then stir in the pearl barley. Cover with the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid, then transfer to the oven to cook for at least three hours, or preferably 5-6 hours, until the lamb is very tender. (You may need to add a bit more liquid.)
Remove the pan from the oven and stir in the mint jelly and parsley. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.
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