Barley was the first domesticated grain in the near east. It was used to make beer and that beer was used as currency! Fact.
Don’t discount barley because of a confusing Sting song. Its good and good for you.
Ingredients – yields about 10 half-cup portions
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
4 fl oz water, hot
1 fl oz oil
4 oz onions, small dice
4 oz celery, small dice
10 oz barley
2 1/4 cups beef stock (or chicken stock, or veggie stock if that’s your thing)
4 oz cooked ham, small dice
- Soak mushrooms in hot water until rehydrated and soft. Drain mushrooms and squeeze moisture out, but reserve the soaking liquid (strain if grainy or chunky). Finely chop mushrooms.
- Heat oil in a medium to large saucepan. Saute onion and celery until soft.
- Add barley and saute (as if you were pearling rice for pilaf or risotto)
- Add the stock and the mushroom liquid. Bring to a boil and stir in the chopped mushrooms and ham.
- Salt to taste.
- Cover tightly and either cook on top of the stove over low heat or in the oven at 325 degrees until barley is tender and liquid has been absorbed. About 35 minutes.
- Fluff before service. Salt if necessary.
**transferred over from my old blog; a recipe dating 7/22/11