A great Aussie classic that’s so substantial it can easily be served as dinner on a chilly winter’s night.
Featured as part of our Cooks and their Books series, this recipe comes courtesy of Allan Campion and Michele Curtis: chefs, parents and award-winning authors.

More recipes by Campion and Curtis

Average: 3.3 (8 votes)


2 lamb shanks
200 g (1 cup) pearl barley
2 onions, diced
1 leek, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced into 1 cm chunks
1 swede, diced into 1 cm chunks
2 small turnips, diced into 1 cm chunks
¼ green or savoy cabbage, sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
chopped parsley to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place the lamb shanks in a large saucepan. Cover with 2–3 litres water and bring to the boil. Remove any scum that comes to the surface and discard. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour, or until lamb is tender. Remove shanks and strain the broth. If you refrigerate the broth when it has cooled, the fat will rise to the top and set, allowing it to be easily removed.

Place the barley in a small saucepan. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20–30 minutes, or until the barley is tender. Drain and set aside.

Pour the broth into a clean saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the onions, leek, celery, carrots, swede and turnips, and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add cabbage, check seasoning and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Cut the meat off the lamb shank bones, discarding any skin, sinew and the bones. Add to the broth along with the pearl barley. Cook for a further 10 minutes, check seasoning again and serve with a generous handful of chopped parsley.

Recipe from Everyday Cooking by Allan Campion and Michele Curtis with photographs by Greg Elms. Published by Hardie Grant Books.