Risotto can be made with pearl barley instead of Arborio rice. The advantages of using barley instead of rice are that it's cheaper and doesn't require so much stirring. The correct texture is slightly chewy. It won't be as creamy as risotto made with rice.
- For 2 large servings
- 1½ cups pearl barley
- about 1.5 liters stock (can be watered down)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- black pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- oyster mushrooms, chopped
- butter or olive oil for frying
- lemon juice
- 1 cup wine
- Heat up the stock and keep it simmering for the duration.
- In a very large pan, fry the onions, garlic, and all the herbs in the olive oil or butter for a few minutes.
- Add the barley and fry for another 30 seconds.
- Pour in 2 cups of the simmering stock.
- Continue to add stock half a cup at a time until it is all absorbed, waiting after each new addition for it to be almost absorbed.
- This step should last 45 minutes.
- During the 45 minutes, add some dashes of lemon juice to taste.
- Add a cup of wine (red, but white would probably work as well).
- You can also add more herbs if needed, and add salt or soy sauce if necessary.
- Now fry the mushrooms in the butter or olive oil and then add them to the barley mixture for a few more minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf before serving.
- If you accidentally added too much lemon juice, balance it out with sugar and more wine.
- Avoid adding extra salt if the stock is not the reduced-salt type.
- Chicken stock is recommended, but vegetable stock works too.