Thursday, 6 September 2012

Barley Risotto

NAME: _Barley "Risotto"

1 cup dry pearl barley
water to boil barley

1 cup beef stock
200g bacon
200g mushrooms (see notes [1])
2 tbsp olive/grapeseed oil

Boil the barley in plenty of water until soft but not mushy. It will get a touch more cooking in the next step so err slightly on the firm side if you must. When cooked, drain and set aside to dry off a bit.

Cut bacon crosswise into matchsticks and place in pan with the mixed oil, fry at medium heat until just starting to crisp. Remove bacon from pan leaving oil and fat in pan. Cut mushrooms into slices (or if using shinoki, cut from base and separate into individual mushrooms) and dry between teatowels then add to pan. Fry over medium heat.until mushrooms are showing slight browning, [2] then add the bacon back in, fry for a few minutes more, add the precooked barley and toss to mix.

Increase heat and drizzle in the beef stock while tossing, (as for risotto,) waiting for stock to evaporate each time before adding more. Remove from heat and toss one more time.

Serve straight away.

[1] Mushrooms: I've used sliced swiss browns, shinoki mushrooms, and sliced oyster mushrooms at various times, they all taste great in this recipe.
[2] Frying mushrooms: DRY. They have to be dry. And if necessary, do them in batches so there's no crowding in the pan.

This is a robust meal, you can add fried onion and garlic to the basic recipe, or fine shredded fried cabbage, these each complement the flavours.

ENJOY! (for sister Liz %)

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