Creamy barley with bacon and dried mushrooms
Porridge has been part of our diet for thousands of years. It was easy to prepare by the fireplace and could be for instance barley cooked in water. Vegetables, herbs, fish or meat was typically added.
Butter and cheese adds a lovely creamyness to this dish. You can use whatever vegetables you prefer or have at hand, and if you leave out the bacon (and use a cheese suitable to vegetarians), you are left with an excellent vegetarian dish.
Creamy barley with bacon and dried mushrooms (4 people)
1 handful dried mushrooms
125 g bacon, diced
1 large or 2 small onions, chopped
4-6 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp mustard seeds
300 g barley - we use pearl barley
2 parsnips, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 litre water (or stock)
100 g hard cheese
ca. 50 g butter
Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to rest for about 30 minutes to soften the mushrooms.
Cook the bacon in a pan, then add onion, thyme and mustard seeds. Stir and cook until the onion is soft. Add the barley and cook for about 2 minutes allowing the barley to absorb the bacon fat. Add the soft mushrooms to the pan along with the diced parsnips and carrots. Give it a good stir before you add most of the water (or stock) to cover the barley. Bring it to the boil. Stir occasionally and make sure it doesn't boil dry and burn. Add more water if needed.
Once the barley is tender and the water/stock has been absorbed, stir in the butter and cheese and let it melt. Season to taste and serve right away with a sprinkle of extra cheese.