Braised lamb neck and barley broth

Warm up with this homestyle barley broth with a lemony twist.
Warm up with this homestyle barley broth with a lemony twist. Photo: Bonnie Savage

Lamb broth is a staple in cooler weather. This version adds some spice and a good squeeze of lemon at the end, an approach that really sharpens the flavours.


1.5 litres chicken stock

1 x 1kg lamb neck, split in half lengthways

60g pearl barley

60g black barley

olive oil

2 brown onions, finely diced

6 garlic cloves, finely sliced

3 carrots, diced

1 leek, sliced in half moons

4 celery sticks, finely diced

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp coriander seeds

1⁄2 bunch silverbeet, shredded

salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

lemon, to serve


1. Add the stock, 2.5 litres of water and the lamb neck to a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Skim any impurities as they rise to the surface, and cook until the meat is tender, about two and a half hours, topping up with a little water as necessary.

2. Strain the stock and chill. Remove the fat as it forms on top of the cooling liquid. Cool the neck before picking and shredding the meat.

3. Add the barley to a small saucepan and cover well with cold water. Bring to the boil and drain immediately.

4. Add a good splash of oil to a large saucepan and sweat the onion and garlic for two minutes. Add the carrot, leek, celery and spices and cook for five minutes, stirring frequently. Add the barley and lamb stock (you should have about three litres) and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until the barley is tender.

5. Add the silverbeet and shredded meat, season and cook for 10 minutes.

6. Once the silverbeet is tender, adjust the seasoning and serve with a good squeeze of lemon.

* You could use farro instead of barley in the broth. Lamb shanks work well instead of neck.