Pearl barley has a wonderful slightly chewy texture. If you like you can substitute the pancetta with ham hocks. Use the meat from 1 large piece of the smoked ham hock left over from making stock or soup. Yield is 4 servings.
Heat the butter in a large pot on medium heat.
Add the pancetta and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden.
Add the onion and sweat until softened, about 4 minutes.
Add the garlic and sweat 1 minute longer.
Add the pearl barley and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 2 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with the white wine and cook until absorbed, about 30 seconds.
Add the currants, lemon zest, apple cider and 2 cups of the chicken broth.
Season with salt to taste.
Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and cook at a gentle simmer until tender, stirring often, about 25 to 30 minutes.
The barley should still have a bite to it.
If the pot becomes dry within the recommended cooking time, add some or all of the remaining 1 cup chicken broth to moisten the barley mixture.
Stir in the parsley and sage and check for seasoning.