Slow Cooked Lamb Shank & Barley Soup with Gremolata
The temperature really dropped this week and that gets me thinking about food. Strictly speaking I am always thinking about food, but for the purpose of this post, we’ll just say it was due to the drop in the mercury.
The colder months add a whole new dimension to the ‘what is for dinner?’ question. Winter meals have to be warm, comforting, nourishing, please the whole family and given that it can be cold for a few months, it can’t always be a roast dinner (sadly).
My default mid-week dinner throughout winter is soup. I love soup and this recipe is my new favourite. With soup, unlike children, it is quite OK to have a favourite. Be gone French Onion Soup, I have found a new love. As of this week my new soup love is a slow cooked lamb shank and barley soup with gremolata. Sounds fancy (win) and yet is so easy (win win). Had there been any left I would have sent Miss 9 and Mr 7 to school with the soup in their thermos flasks* for lunch as they loved it as well (nearly a win win win).
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 4 small lamb shanks
- 100 g pancetta
- 2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped
- 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1L (4 cups) chicken stock
- 400g passatta
- 70g (1/3 cup) pearl barley, rinsed
- 2 dried bay leaves
- ¼ cup chopped fresh continental parsley
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- Heat half the oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and cook, turning, for 4-5 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate.
- Heat the remaining oil in the pot. Add the pancetta, carrot, celery and onion. Stir for 8 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and rosemary and stir for 1 minute. Add the lamb.
- Add the stock, tomato, barley and bay leaves to the stockpot. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours or until lamb is tender and falls apart when tested. Transfer the lamb to a plate. Discard bones and coarsely shred meat. Skim and discard any excess fat from soup. Add the shredded lamb and season.
- To make the gremolata, combine the parsley, lemon rind and garlic in a small bowl.
- Divide the soup among serving bowls and sprinkle with gremolata.
- TOP TIP: The pearl barley in this soup is a great source of dietry fibre. The low GI content of barley means it releases its carb energy slowly which may leave you feeling fuller for longer.
- *Thermos flasks come in all sizes. Kmart & Plenty sell small ones (10oz) that are perfect for packed lunches. You can reheat most dinner leftovers which is a great alternative to sandwiches on cold days.
- 1. On Sunday make a roast dinner.
- 2. On Monday blitz the leftovers, add stock as necessary and heat.
- 3. The End.