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A good vegan dish to add to a festive meal. Great with red cabbage, broccoli and roasted root vegetables. And meat eaters like it too! This is a pretty versatile dish, read forgiving...if I don't have barley to hand rice works. Sometimes I have added in odds and sods of leftover veg like red peppers/courgettes/pumpkin and then used fewer (and/or just plain button)mushrooms. I have also zinged it up with smoked paprika and tabasco. As I said it goes well in a mixed holiday meal but sometime I just serve this with steamed savoy cabbage or kale and mashed potatoes.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 -12 ounces shallots or 8 -12 ounces pickling onions, peeled
- 1 1⁄2 lbs mixed mushrooms, in thick slices (I use half mixture of wild or exotic ones like oyster, shittake, enoki and half chestnut mushrooms f)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 ounces pearl barley
- 4 ounces red lentils
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons dry sherry
- 3⁄4-1 pint vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme and parsley) or 2 tablespoons dried herbs, equivalent
- 1 bay leaf
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Gently cook the shallots in the oil until softened and browned.
- Add the mushroooms and minced garlic and cook on high heat until the mushrooms start to release their juices.
- Stir in lentils, barley, soy sauce, sherry, herbs and 3/4 pint stock.
- Bring to a boil and then either transfer to a covered casserole dish and bake at 180C for 45 mins or leave in the sauce pan and simmer on top of the cooker for 25-30 mins - til the barley and lentils are cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed.
- You may need to top up the stock if it gets really dry so stir from time to time even if cooking in the oven, keep an eye on it.
- Check for seasoning (can't ever remember it needing salt - between the soy and stock it is okay ) retrieve the bay leaf and finish with a grind of black pepper.