Lamb Shank and Barley Winter Broth

A Winter Classic

I just love nice warm meals which have been slowly cooked all day, they taste great and really make you feel good after a cold day at work or away from home. Have you got a slow cooker? Best kept secret in winter in your kitchen, and you can get them rather cheaply at those larger electrical retailers. Avoid any cookware with aluminium. One of the nicest meats to cook slowly is lamb, it tastes great when cooked very slowly with vegetables like celery, carrot leek. It is always best to brown the meat first, and I use unsalted butter generously mixed with a little olive oil and plenty of fresh garlic. Cut the vegetables all to the same size, and wash the pearl barley well. Thrown the vegetables in the pot, then the barley and then the meat on top and pour on the water. Cover and cook on low for the whole day on low until you come home after work. About 7 hours is plenty.


  • 3 big lamb shanks
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 3 liters water
  • 80g pearl barley, rinsed
  • 2 carrots, washed, sliced and diced
  • 1 large leek, washed, sliced and diced
  • 1 turnip, washed, sliced and diced
  • 2 sticks celery, washed, sliced and diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • Finely chopped parsley, for serving


  • Brown the lamb shanks in a saucepan in which you have heated a little butter and olive oil.
  • Place the lamb shanks, onion, bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme, barley and vegetables and water in a large slow cooker (crock or hot pot)
  • Leave on low for 7 – 8 hours to slo cook (or if in a hurry, 3 hours on high.
  • Remove lamb shanks from liquid, remove meat from the bone and cut the meat into bite-size pieces. Return meat to the pot with remaining ingredients and leave for 15 minutes on warm.
  • Season to taste with freshly ground pepper and salt flakes and serve with Parmesan cheese and parsley.

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