Maggie Beer

Barley Risotto

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Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180C.

Step 2: Heat half of the butter and a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a large frying pan, add the leeks and cook for a couple of minutes until just tender but not coloured. Add the barley, stir, and when hot deglaze with ¼ cup Verjuice.

Step 3: Heat the porcini and Vegetable Stocks until just boiling, add a cup full of stock at a time to the pan and stir continuously, until all of the stock is absorbed. Continue to add the stock until the barley is still quite nutty (the barley will be a little more forgiving than Arborio rice if you allow it to cook a little longer than necessary).

Step 4: After about 20 minutes to half an hour, whilst the barley is still crunchy, add the rehydrated porcini, and continue to cook for a few minutes.

Step 5: Heat a pan with the remaining butter until nut brown, add the sliced portobello mushrooms and cook until caramelised, deglaze with remaining Verjuice and add to the barley risotto.

Step 6: If using pancetta, place on a baking paper lined tray and then in the oven until crispy – about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on absorbent kitchen paper and set aside until needed.

Step 7: Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary, serve immediately with a tablespoon of fresh curd on top of each serve and some of the pancetta.

Step 8: Note: A quality stock can enhance the flavour dramatically of your favourite slow cooked dish. Our beautiful gift hampers are full of delicious quality products to share with those you love.


  1. 100g pancetta optional
  2. To taste salt flakes
  3. 250ml stock
  4. 750ml 3 cup Vegetable Stock
  5. 250g portobello mushrooms sliced
  6. 20g dried porcini mushroom re-hydrated in 300ml warm water
  7. 90ml ¼ cup + 2 Tbspn Verjuice
  8. 1 cup leek sliced
  9. 1 cup barley
  10. 25ml For frying Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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