Bring chicken stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, and fry for 5 minutes. Add the barley, thyme, bay leaf and 2 cups of the hot stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until most of the stock is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
Pour in remaining stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring and allowing it to be absorbed before adding more. This process takes about 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Fry mushrooms over high heat, cook and stir until softened. Add garlic, and cook for about 3 more minutes. Stir into the barley mixture with parsley. Remove bay leaf, and serve.
I liked the flavour but the second time, I changed a few things. I melted 3tsp of butter and added the barley stirring until it turned a nut brown colour, then added onions and the mushrooms for 5 min and then used beef stock instead. Nice flavour. - 29 Sep 2008
I tried this recipe as I absolutely detest risotto using arborio rice, something about the texture and heaviness about it. So I decided to try it with barley and it was so much better. I used beef stock, and cut out the oil and butter completely and it still worked out. - 31 May 2009
We really liked this. I added a small chilli and some grated ginger to lift the flavour and always use a variety of mushrooms. I also substitute rapeseed oil for the butter and olive oil to keep this even more heart healthy. A family favourite - 09 May 2012