So not a lot of blog posting recently , truth I have mostly been eating Jacket Potatoes bland boring stodge but what my body has been craving and I am a big believer in listening to my body.
However after a weekend of good eating at my mums, I thought I better get back into cooking and using up random ingredients from the cupboard before we move. Next on the shelf a bag of pearl barley is one of those old grains that fell out of fashion when we all starting eating quinoa , bulgar wheat or newly re-discovered aztec supergrain . But super cheap pearl barley really comes into it’s own in winter bulking out sow cook stews and soups.
Using Italian farro risottos as an inspiration, in this dish the barley is not just an afterthought or bulking ingredient but the star in a savory vegetable porridge. I used chicken thighs but chunks of shoulder of lamb or beef work well.
Pearl Barley Vegetable Risotto
2 carrots finely chopped
2 leeks finely chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped
200g of pearl barley
400g of tinned plum tomatoes
100ml of red or white wine to taste
2 tbsp of fresh Parsley
2 pints of vegetable/chicken stock
- Turn the oven to 180degC.
- In a large lidded casserole dish ,fry the meat to brown,
- Remove the meat from the pan
- Fry the carrots , leeks and garlic in a little oil til softened
- Add the tomatoes , barley ,wine & vegetable stock and bring to a simmer
- Return the meat to the pan, cover and place in the oven for a 45 minutes.
- Season with salt , fresh parsley and pepper