Freekeh with lamb and rhubarb
30g salted butter
240g pearl onions or small shallots, peeled
900g lamb shank(s)
1⁄2tsp ground allspice
2 tsp Aleppo pepper flakes or crushed chilli flakes
5cm piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf
1⁄4 tsp coriander seeds
2 1/2 litres vegetable stock
400g wholegrain freekeh or farro, rinsed
250g rhubarb, cut into 2.5cm lengths
2 tbsp pine nuts
30g blanched almonds
2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander, to sprinkle
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Greek yogurt, to serve
Melt 20g butter in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium–low heat. Saute onions for 3–4 mins until golden. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside.
Rub the lamb shank(s) all over with allspice and Aleppo pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the saucepan.
Return the onions to the pan and sear the onions and lamb until browned all over. Remove the shank and set aside on a plate.
Add half the remaining butter to the pan, along with the ginger, garlic, bay leaf and coriander seeds, and cook for a minute or until aromatic. Return the lamb shank and pour over one litre of the stock, then cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour 45 mins, turning the shank around a couple of times during the cooking time.
Meanwhile, put the freekeh in a saucepan
and pour over the remaining stock, then cover the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and leave to simmer for about 45 mins or until the stock has been absorbed and the grains are cooked through but still have a slight bite to them. If the grains have not cooked through in this time, but the stock has been absorbed, add a little water as needed. Once cooked, set aside, covered, until ready to serve.
Just before the lamb stew finishes cooking, melt the remaining butter in a pan over a medium heat, add the rhubarb and toss to combine, then cook for 4 mins until just beginning to soften.
Spoon the rhubarb into the lamb stew and toss well, then remove the stew from the heat and leave it to sit, covered, for 5 mins.
Toast pine nuts and almonds in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat for 1–2 mins until golden and fragrant, shaking the pan often.
Transfer the freekeh to a serving plate and top with the lamb stew and rhubarb.
Sprinkle with the nuts and coriander and serve with yogurt.