Namaqua infused Barley Risotto with Mushrooms

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

3 Tbsp butter divided

1 shallot minced

2 cloves garlic thinly sliced

230g fresh mushrooms about 1 standard tray

1/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves plus more for garnish

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup pearl barley

1/2 cup Namaqua Sauvignon Blanc

4 cups beef broth hot

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated

METHOD

  1. Heat the beef broth in a saucepan, set aside.
  2. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and stir until fragrant. Add the mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring regularly until mushrooms are tender and lightly golden, about 5-6 minutes. Add the barley and the remaining 1 Tbsp butter. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the wine to the skillet and cook until the wine is absorbed, 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add 1 ladle of the hot beef broth and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring once or twice, until nearly all the broth has been absorbed. *You don’t want to boil the mixture too vigorously, but you do want a consistent simmer. Adjust heat to that point. Continue adding ladles of broth one at a time, allowing to cook until the liquid is absorbed before adding another. Cook until all the broth is added. Test the barley. You want it to be al dente. If it is not quite there, add another ladle of hot water and cook a bit longer. When the barley is cooked to your satisfaction, stir in the grated Parmesan cheese until combined.
  4. Season dish with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve with additional grated Parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh sprigs of thyme.