I love this mushroom risotto served with a lovely glass of chablis, perfect for a cosy night in this winter.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 sprigs sage, finely chopped
300g barley, rinsed
75ml white wine
1 litre stock, veg or chicken
300g mixed mushrooms, torn into chunks
60g English pecorino, grated
60g White Nancy goats cheese, crumbled
Start by gently frying the onion and celery with 20g butter and the olive oil in a medium pot. Take your time, this part is important. The onion and celery shouldn’t colour but should be nice and soft, it can take up to 20 minutes.
Turn up the heat and add the garlic and herbs for a minute. Stir through the barley, making sure to coat it with the lovely olive oil and butter mix. Pour in the white wine and simmer until absorbed.
Add 750ml of the stock and the pecorino rind. Leave to simmer for up to 40 minutes, stirring regularly. Add more stock if it needs, 100ml at a time.
When the risotto is nearly done, get the mushrooms ready. In two or three batches, fry the mushrooms in a large frying pan on a high heat with a bit of butter and a squeeze of lemon. Make sure not to crowd the pan! Once golden and soft, set aside until the risotto is done.
When the risotto is done, the pearl barley should still have a bite but not have a floury texture, stir through the remaining butter and the pecorino.
Serve your risotto in a nice big bowl with the mushrooms scattered over and the goat’s cheese crumbled on top.