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I varied the method by saute-ing the the barley along with the onions and some garlic and spices, then added boiling stock. I then turned down the heat to absolute minimum, put on a lid and cooked for about 45 minutes. This gave a pleasant chewy texture and makes a welcome change from rice or potato.
There was not enough liquid in this recipe to fully cook the barley. Also the cooking time was to long and the temperature to high for the amount of liquid. The barley had formed a thick, crust on the bottom of the pot.