Barley risotto with red wine and mushrooms recipe

Barley risotto with red wine and mushrooms recipe

This flavoursome risotto dish is packed with mushrooms and cooked with red wine. It uses barley instead of rice, so you can make this in advance and reheat it – unlike rice, barley doesn’t go soggy with keeping.

Prep time: 10 minutes plus 15 minutes resting time | Cooking time: 50 minutes 




  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 175g pearl barley, washed and drained
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 500ml hot chicken or vegetable stock, or water
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 150ml red wine
  • 300g fresh chanterelles (or other wild and cultivated mushrooms, such as porcini or portobellos)
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp parsley, freshly chopped
  • 1 tbsp tarragon, freshly chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then add the barley and stir until it starts to turn golden (not brown) – this will take about five minutes. Add the onion and garlic and continue frying for 5-10 minutes, until the barley starts to brown. Don’t let it burn, but you want a good, toasted flavour.
  2.  Add the stock, soy sauce, red wine, and some salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat, part-cover with a lid, then simmer gently until nearly all the liquid has been absorbed – this should take at least 30 minutes. The beauty of this one is that you don’t need to stir it constantly.
  3.  Meanwhile, brush or scrape the mushrooms clean (slicing any bigger ones to size) and heat a frying pan until hot. Add two thirds of the butter and all the mushrooms. Stir-fry over medium heat for four to five minutes, until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Add the stir-fried mushrooms to the barley and mix gently.
  4.  Remove from the heat and cover with kitchen foil with a few holes pierced in it to let the barley swell and absorb all the liquid. Leave it in a warm place for 15 minutes. (At this stage, you could let it cool, reheating it for serving up to 24 hours later.)
  5. To serve, put the barley risotto pan back on the heat and beat in the parsley, tarragon and the remaining butter. Stir well until hot, add salt and pepper to taste and pile on to heated plates. Serve immediately.

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