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Risotto: Barley Style

I really like experimenting and trying out new recipes. Last week Melanie suggested that I try a barley risotto and she was kind enough to send along a link to a fantastic recipe from the Food Network.

Bacon Barley Risotto

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Ingredients:

  • 4 or 5 cups of chicken broth
  • 4 slices bacon, thinly chopped
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup barley, pearl or pot
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bunch chives or parsley, chopped

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Directions:

1. In one pot heat the broth to a gentle simmer.
2. In another pot fry the bacon over medium-high heat, until crisp and golden brown.
3. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until soft and golden.
4. Add the barley and stir for a few moments until well coated with bacon fat and heated through.
5. Add 1 cup or so of the hot chicken broth and stir until it is fully absorbed. Continue to add broth, 1 ladle-full at a time, letting it absorb fully before adding the next ladle.
6. Continue simmering until the barley is tender.
7. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in a handful of your favourite herbs.

I made a few small modifications including:

– Pre-cooking/chopping the bacon earlier in the morning. Unintentionally I ended up making the recipe healthier by not including all the bacon fat in the dish and no, it didn’t take away from the wonderful flavour either!

– Using shallots instead of onions. Same difference. :)

Other then the fact that it is a little time consuming to make the risotto (which is the same case even if you’re using arborio rice) this recipe was absolutely mouth-watering!

Served with pork loin & brussel sprouts.

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OMG, I really can’t get enough of roasted brussel sprouts lately! They are soooo good drizzled with a bit of olive oil & a sprinkle of fresh pepper. Mmm mmm!

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You guys have no idea what you’re missing if you haven’t tried roasting these yet!

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Pork loin pan fried in olive oil with fresh rosemary, garlic, mushroom, shallots & pepper.

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