1) Preheat oven to 180°C / gas mark 4.
2) On a large plate, season the flour with plenty of salt and pepper then lightly coat the shank pieces. Set a large, heavy-based pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add two glugs of olive oil then carefully add the shanks to the pot and brown all over. Remove the shanks to a plate and set aside.
3) Toss into the pan the garlic, carrots, onion, bay leaf, thyme and cloves. Cook for two to three minutes, browning the vegetables, then add the wine, beef stock and finally barley. Return the shanks to the pan. Cover and roast in the oven for two hours.
While they are cooking, prepare the potato topping and garlic-parsley butter, see below.
4) After the stew has been cooking for two hours, remove from the oven and arrange the potatoes on top to completely cover the stew - you may have to cut some of the potato pieces smaller to fit. Place back in the oven uncovered and bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked, then baste with garlic-parsley butter.
Serve the stew garnished with parsley sprigs.
Chop the garlic, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Press and mash the garlic with the flat blade of your knife to form a paste. Fold in the chopped parsley.
Melt the butter in a small sauce pot and add the garlic-parsley mixture. Cook over low heat for five minutes and set aside. Peel the potatoes and cut in half lengthwise.