Homespun Pearl Barley

Food Network Canada
4 servings

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.



Tbsp butter
oz pancetta
small onion chopped
tsp minced garlic
1 ½
cup pearl barley rinsed and drained
cup white wine
cup dry black currants
zest of ½ a lemon
1 ½
cup apple cider
cup chicken broth
Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Tbsp chopped, flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
Tbsp chopped fresh sage


Step 1

Heat the butter in a large pot on medium heat.

Step 2

Add the pancetta and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden.

Step 3

Add the onion and sweat until softened, about 4 minutes.

Step 4

Add the garlic and sweat 1 minute longer.

Step 5

Add the pearl barley and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 2 minutes.

Step 6

Deglaze the pan with the white wine and cook until absorbed, about 30 seconds.

Step 7

Add the currants, lemon zest, apple cider and 2 cups of the chicken broth.

Step 8

Season with salt to taste.

Step 9

Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and cook at a gentle simmer until tender, stirring often, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Step 10

The barley should still have a bite to it.

Step 11

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.

Step 12

Stir in the parsley and sage and check for seasoning.

Step 13

Serve immediately.

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