1 tblsp olive oil
4 lamb shanks (1.5kg)
2 onions, finely chopped
1 small fennel bulb, (350g), trimmed, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tblsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 litres (8 cups) chicken stock
2 cups water
3 stalks celery, cut into 2cm pieces
2 large carrots (400g), peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
½ cup pearl barley
Salt and pepper, to taste
LEMON AND CHIVE DINNER ROLLS
75g butter, chopped, at room temperature
2 tblsps thinly sliced fresh chives
2 tsps lemon juice
6-pack white dinner rolls
Heat oil in a large, flame-proof, casserole dish (24-cup capacity) over a medium to high heat. Add lamb in two batches. Cook, turning occasionally, for about 7 minutes, or until browned all over. Remove from dish.
Add onions, fennel, garlic and rosemary to dish. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft.
Return lamb to dish with stock, water, celery, carrots and barley. Bring to a boil. Cover with a lid. Gently boil, stirring halfway, for about 2 hours, or until lamb is tender enough to fall from the bone with a fork. Remove from heat.
Remove lamb. Cool slightly. Shred meat, discarding bones. Skim excess fat from top of the soup. Return lamb to soup. Season with salt and pepper. Stir over a low heat until hot.
Meanwhile, make rolls. Mix butter with chives and juice in a small bowl. Season. Without separating rolls, cut in half horizontally using a serrated knife. Spread butter mixture over cut-sides, then replace tops. Transfer to a large oven tray.
Cook in a moderate oven (180C) for about 7 minutes, or until crisp. Serve soup with rolls.