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Old 09-18-2016, 09:31 AM   #1
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Barley, a thread about

So I thought I might post a thread about my favorite ingredient. Barley.

You might be familiar with pearl barley, or ready-to-cook barley (that is probably if you are in Britain), They all suck. Seriously, suck.

Why is this? Well barley is a complicated beast, it really doesn't very much like being cooked. The starch in it, comes packaged in layers of inedible cellulose.

Strip the hulls off and you get hulled barley. That is my go-to on the barley spectrum. It takes a while to cook, think 45 minutes to get soft, So stews and soups, and casseroles oh my!

pearl or instant barley is barley that has been abused rather horribly. Most of it's flavory goodness has been stripped off to make it a convenient starch. Yes it is quicker to cook.

Hulled barley is my go-to grain. It is somewhat a difficult thing to get consistent. I don't have any connection at all with these folks, other than being a customer, but I like them:

Welcome to The Bread Beckers - Woodstock GA Natural Foods Cookbooks Georgia Nutritional Education

They took over a grains company I used to use, and when they did, results in an amusing story about barley. I thought I was buying a gallon pail, It turned out I was buying a ten gallon pail. (they were going out of business so their prices were reduced) So I have a ton of both barley, and Oat Groats, hanging out in my basement.

Drawback? Hulled barley takes a while to cook, 45 minutes to an hour, But it is great for soups, stews and casseroles. I substitute it for rice often, much more nutrition. It is also starchy as all heck, good thing is it soaks up flavors, and you can easy make a risotto out of it. If you are gonna use hulled barley in a recipe, increase the fluids, it soaks them up.

A barley beef stew is probably one of my best recipes. When I have time to make my own stock, and I give it a bottle of red wine, it is a thing to behold.

I'd be interested to know if anyone else uses my favorite ingredient.

Best,

TBS

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Old 09-18-2016, 09:35 AM   #2
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I precook barley to al dente, then add it to soup to finish. This way, my broth isn't as starchy.
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocklobster View Post
I precook barley to al dente, then add it to soup to finish. This way, my broth isn't as starchy.

Excellent technique. Barley is starchy as all heck.
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erehweslefox View Post
Excellent technique. Barley is starchy as all heck.
At the deli, it sits in a cauldron all day so this also helps prevent it from absorbing too much broth and becoming stew by mid afternoon...
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Old 09-18-2016, 02:07 PM   #5
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I like it best in a beef stew just as you do. I like the starchiness. I bought the ready to cook barley once by mistake. I made my stew with it and it sucked so bad I threw the barley in the trash and treated the dogs to stew.
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Old 09-18-2016, 02:17 PM   #6
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Love barley in beef barley soup. Once I mistakenly overdid it on the barley, and ended up with a big pot of glop. Despite my frugality, it was unsalvageable, so I pitched it.
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Old 09-18-2016, 02:25 PM   #7
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Another vote for vegetable, beef, barley soup. Sometimes added to chicken soup.
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Old 09-18-2016, 02:55 PM   #8
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I too like beef barley soup/ stew. I've only used pearled barley. I will have to look in the bulk food section or co-op for hulled barley. Thanks for the tips.
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Old 09-18-2016, 04:01 PM   #9
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Oh I thought you meant barley as the grain, like flour.

I bake with barely a lot, makes bread more golden. I do barley porridge from time to time, it really lovely.

Barley cookies/ biscuits is something I used to have as child.
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Old 09-18-2016, 05:41 PM   #10
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I'm curious about your barley biscuits. Would you share your recipe?
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