Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Pearled Barley

by Alison Lyons August 04, 2023 2 min read

Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Pearled Barley

This comforting dish starts with caramelised onion and leek and is followed by tomato, red wine and thyme, all infusing the beautiful lamb shanks, until they’re ‘melt in your mouth’ tender. A recipe that’s sophisticated enough for a dinner party and easy enough for a weeknight winter warmer. Feel free to double the recipe to feed a family of 4.

Serves 2


2 lamb shanks

5 tbsp olive oil

1 leek, washed and sliced

1 large brown onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 carrot, cut into 1cm pieces, then quartered

1 stick celery, finely cut

2 tbsp tomato paste

250ml red wine

500ml chicken stock

6 sprigs of thyme

2 bay leaves

½ C pearl barley

4 kale leaves, roughly chopped


  1. Take lamb shanks out of the fridge to bring them up to room temperature and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 140 degrees celsius.
  3. In a casserole pot with lid, heat 2 tbsp olive oil and once hot, add in the seasoned lamb shanks.
  4. Seal the outside, until nice and golden on both sides. Set aside on a tray.
  5. In the same pan, add the remaining 3 tbsp olive oil and once hot, add in the leek and onion and cook on medium-low for around 20 mins or until they’re nicely cooked through and caramelised.
  6. Add in the garlic, carrots and celery and cook for another 5 mins.
  7. Next, add in the tomato paste and red wine and cook it down for another 5 mins.
  8. Add in the chicken stock, herbs and lamb and bring it to a boil.
  9. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper.
  10. Place lid on top, slightly ajar and place in the preheated oven for 2 hours.
  11. If the lamb is tender, add in the pearled barley and kale, place the lid on and put it back in the oven for another 30 mins. The barley should be cooked but still have some chew to it.
  12. Serve with freshly ground pepper and that’s it!