Easy Pearl Barley Risotto with Mushroom and Shallots
March - April 2020 a time where we have all experienced the challenge to buy, rice, pasta, flour and sugar. The good old pearl barley is easily found and makes delicious meals such as yes risotto but add it to soups to complete that bowl wholesome and nourishing meal or use cooked pearl barley for patties .
The cornerstone of cooking is using quality ingredients and base, this includes stock. Please don't skimp on this for whatever reason you may need chicken stock for. It's merely a few ingredients, minimum of an hour on the stove that will cost you less than $6.00. I've even shared how to below.
To make Chicken Stock
To make stock the most simple and economical way possible is to purchase a kilo of chicken necks. It's full of flavour. Wash and cover chicken necks in water and bring it to the boil ( lid off ). Once you see frothy sediments rise to the top ( scum ) take off the heat, strain into colander. Wash pot and refill with fresh cold water, add strained chicken necks, bring to boil again then turn down to simmer for a minimum of one hour, lid just off pot. You can add chopped carrots, onions and celery, fry them first to release flavour before adding chicken necks then topping with water. For me just the addition of parsley will still give me flavour. It's better than store bought liquid stock and packed with flavour!
Time: about 45 mins. Make a beverage and put on music. Ask age appropriate child to come and help, they can stir or even slice the mushrooms.
1x medium onion diced
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
500gms button mushrooms ( sliced and leave small ones whole )
enoki mushrooms ( optional )
3-4 stalks shallots chopped
1 cup pearl barley
2-3 L chicken or vegetable stock ( keep warm )
Good quality parmesan cheese
1. Place oil and butter into large frying pan and allow to warm on low heat.
2. Cook onions in oil/butter mixture slowly to release flavour and become translucent. Low heat.
3. Add washed pearl barley and crushed garlic. Stir through onion mixture to coat.
4. You can turn the heat up slightly. Use a ladle and add one scoop of chicken stock to the pan with ingredients and stir until evaporated. Continue to add a ladle at a time, allow to evaporate until pearl barley has expanded and not so raw.
5. Add some of the sliced mushrooms, stir through and add stock.
6. When the pearl barley doesn't have a hard bite to it, add whole mushrooms, season with a little salt and pepper then add all of the sliced mushrooms. If your choosing to use Enoki mushrooms add them just before serving to keep its shape.
7. Sprinkle chopped shallots and grated parmesan cheese, stir though. Check seasoning.
8. Serve into bowls and garnish with a few more enoki mushrooms and shallots.
Enjoy with crispy leafy salad.