Mushroom Barley Risotto

11 Jul

On the Fourth of July, we attended a lamb roast/pot luck at the dock slip of a family friend.  While the lamb was absolutely killer and a very special treat because it’s not something I get to eat very often, one of my favorite bites of the day was a mushroom and barley dish.  I didn’t find the awesome cook who whipped it up to ask for the recipe, but both Zak and I thought it had some risotto-like characteristics, so I decided to make a knock off the very next day (yes, it really was that damn good).

While this version wasn’t really a replica of what we had previously eaten, it was delicious in its own right.  This could also very easily be made vegetarian by using a darker vegetable stock, but I love the unctuousness of a true meat-based bone broth.  The mushroom flavor permeated the barley in a really special way due to cooking it risotto-style, and the mushrooms added a hearty meatiness that made this dish filling enough to act as a main course.  Zak commented that the flavors here would also make a great soup, which was totally true – next time, I plan to add a few cups of stock to the recipe and then simply serve it without reducing the last batch added to make for a hearty mushroom and barley soup.

Mushroom Barley Risotto

Adapted from Epicurious

4 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock

1 cup pearl barley

1 1/2 tbs. butter, divided

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1 bay leaf

1 tbs. olive oil

1 lb. mushrooms, sliced (portobello and crimini)

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup red wine, such as pinot noir

Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to medium, cover, and maintain a simmer.

Melt 1 tbs. butter in a large sauté pan.  Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5-6 minutes.  Add barley, thyme, bay leaf and 2 cups stock; bring mixture to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until most of stock is absorbed, stirring frequently, about 6-8.  Add remaining stock 1/2 cup at a time, allowing stock to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until barley is tender, about 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in another large nonstick skillet over high heat.  Add mushrooms and garlic and sauté until beginning to brown, about 3-5 minutes.  Raise heat to medium high and deglaze the pan with red wine.  Add 1/2 tbs. butter and stir to combine.  Let wine reduce by 2/3.  Transfer to barley mixture directly after adding last half cup of stock.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spoon risotto into bowls and serve immediately.

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One Response to “Mushroom Barley Risotto”

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  1. Kelseyincleveland’s Second Blog-o-versary « Kelseyincleveland's Blog - July 15, 2012

    […] Mushroom and Barley Risotto […]

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