Saffron Barley

This is a British inspired version of Milanese Risotto, but instead of being made with rice it’s made with barley – orzo being the Italian for barley! It’s also a lot easier to cook than risotto, as it doesn’t need constant stirring.

Ingredients

25g      Butter

2 tbs     Olive oil

250g    Pearl barley

1          Small onion or shallots, finely chopped

1          Garlic clove, crushed

1 lt.      Chicken stock

100ml  White wine

50g      Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

2 tbs     Double cream or mascarpone cheese.

Large pinch of saffron, approx. ¼ tsp

Salt and black pepper

Preparation and cooking

Start by melting the butter with the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and fry for a further 1-minute.

Add the barley to the pan and coat all of the grains in the onion and oil, and fry gently for 2 minutes, stirring all the time. Now add the white wine to the pan, and let the wine bubble and get absorbed into the barley. Add the chicken stock in one go and saffron strands to the pan and stir everything together. The difference with barley is that you don’t need constant stirring as you would need to make a risotto. Cover the pan, and simmer over a very gentle heat for 25-30 minutes.

The barley should have absorbed all of the liquid, if not, remove the lid and continue cooking a littler longer. Grate into the pan the parmesan cheese, season will salt and black pepper, and stir in the double cream or mascarpone cheese.

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