28 March 2011

St. George risotto

The horrors of terrinegate scarred me deeply. Not since I used up the last of 2009's annual leave to stay at home and cook Mark Hix's horrid rabbit terrine have I been so bitterly disappointed by a pig's trotter. The meat from the recent terrine was put in the freezer (alas, the shame was not so easily hid) for a later point when I, at last recovered, could take it from its chilly home and erase the ignominy of that best forgotten day. That time is now.

It's time, in fact, for a St George risotto. I just made up the name up to refer to do a risotto but with, err, English ingredients. I'd never done it before but it seemed like a good idea. The ingredients didn't really present any problems - plenty of leeks to start, barley has to do instead of rice, cheddar for parmesan and finished with the crisp meat. And how about a bit of mustard to flavour it all? Pork-Leek-mustard-cheddar. Nothing if not classic combos.

  • bacon or gammon or sausages
  • barley
  • cheddar cheese
  • lots of leeks (more than you think) and maybe a little spring-onion
  • peas
  • English mustard and a pinch of stock

Fry the leeks in butter. I wanted them to feature quite prominently so used more than might be expected. I've got mad love for the leek. Add the barley (as if doing normal risotto). Add stock gradually. Don't worry about stirring too slavishly: the barley seemed perfectly comfortable with me nipping off every so often and leaving it alone. Brown the pork in a pan - you are going to need something with a bit of fat. When the barley is cooked but still toothsome stir in the cheese and English mustard (be neither timid nor extravagant), thrown in a handful of frozen peas and finish with the meat.

looks the part, eh?

It's great! The starch of the barley works perfectly and combines with the leeks, gluey when broken down, to produce a pleasingly sticky consistency. The barley has a nice springy texture that is lacking in rice.

PS Mince and Skirlie did a St. Andrew's version - check it out! Great idea.


  1. This looks great. Well done for the successful rescue mission!

    I love the idea of using barley instead of rice. Might try a St Andrews risotto sometime.

  2. Do it! That sounds like could be very nice..

  3. Ok, I made a St Andrews barley risotto. It didn't quite go to plan...