Barley Pilaf with Pearl Onions
This nutty pilaf is a variation on a recipe from columnist Susan Spungen's grandmother Essie, and is perfect for soaking up the rich juices from Juki's Short Ribs. You can substitute frozen pearl onions for fresh, if you like, and skip step one.
- 10 ounces white pearl onions (about 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon chicken fat, margarine, or unsalted butter
- 2 cups pearl barley
- 1 quart homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock, plus more if needed
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add onions, and blanch until skins loosen, about one minute. Drain onions in a colander, and rinse with cold water. Peel onions, and set aside.
Heat the fat in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until hot but not smoking. Add barley; cook, stirring frequently, until the barley is browned and fragrant, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Add stock and reserved onions. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, and cook barley until tender but chewy and all liquid has been absorbed, about 40 minutes; if all the liquid is absorbed and the barley is still not done, add a few tablespoons stock or water, and continue cooking. Serve hot.