Farro perlato is like a wheat version of pearl barley, and helps make this broth the epitome of comfort food. We've stripped out the vegetables used to flavour the broth; leave them in for a heartier soup.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 lamb shanks (about 300gm each)
- 1 small celeriac (about 450gm), finely chopped
- 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 500 ml (2 cups) each chicken and veal stock
- 125 gm farro perlato (see note) soaked in cold water for 2 hours
- 1 vine-ripened tomato, scored
- ¼ cup coarsely torn flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
- ¼ garlic clove, finely shaved
- 1Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a casserole over medium-high heat. Season shanks and cook, turning occasionally, until browned (4-6 minutes). Remove from pan and set aside, then add remaining oil, vegetables, garlic and thyme to pan and stir until soft (5-7 minutes). Add stocks, lamb and 750ml water and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and cook until lamb is tender, adding more water if necessary to keep it covered (2 hours). Cool, transfer lamb to a bowl, remove meat from bones (discarding bones) and break into bite-sized pieces. Refrigerate until required.
- 2Strain stock into a clean pan, discarding vegetables. Refrigerate until fat solidifies(3-4 hours), then skim fat from surface. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, add farro perlato and cook until tender (20-30 minutes). Add lamb and cook until warmed through(1-2 minutes).
- 3Meanwhile, blanch tomato until skin splits (20-30 seconds), then refresh. Peel, remove seeds, quarter, and cut each quarter lengthways into 4-5 petals.
- 4For gremolata, combine all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate until required.
- 5Serve broth scattered with gremolata and a few tomato petals.
Note If farro perlato is unavailable, substitute pearl barley.
Drink Suggestion: A southern Italian red, such as a Nero d’Avola from Sicily. Drink suggestion by Max Allen