Lamb and barley hot pot

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
over 2 hours

Serves 6

From The Hairy Bikers' Food Tour of Britain


  • 6 lamb shanks
  • 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


  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.

  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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.)

  6. 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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