Barley and Mushroom Casserole

Cooked in this way, barley makes a delicious alternative to potatoes. It may be served with lamb, beef or poultry. Chopped fresh parsley or thyme may be added. For the best results, use fine or medium-sized pearl barley.

2 oz. butter

2 medium-sized onions, chopped

10 oz. mushrooms, wiped and sliced

7 oz. pearl barley

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

10 fl. oz. chicken stock

Preheat the oven to warm 325°F (Gas Mark 3, 170°C).

Melt the butter in a frying-pan over low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until they are golden. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes.

Transfer the onions and mushrooms to an ovenproof casserole. Add the barley, salt, pepper. Pour in the stock and stir to mix the ingredients.

Cover the casserole and place in the oven. Cook for 40 minutes or until the barley is tender and all the liquid is absorbed.

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