Thursday, November 5, 2020

Barley Brolis

 "Admittedly simple but truly satisfying. Brolis, a thick stew-like porridge, was the everyday meal for most folk in the 9th century, thus it can be used for an authentic Medieval feast. Endlessly adaptable to the grains, vegetables and meats at hand, it was filling, easy to make, and nourishing. Whole oats can be used in place of the barley with equal authenticity." 

Note: The barley needs to soak for several hours before you cooit, so keep this in mind.

1 cup pearl barley
3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups mixed vegetables, any combination of root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips, onions,…), diced, or in small slices
4 Tbsp butter
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Optional: eggs and/or dried or fresh herbs. See note below.

Rinse the barley in a fine mesh strainer, and then cover with water and let sit and soak at room temperature for several hours or overnight.
Drain and rinse the barley. In a large heavy-bottomed soup pot melt 1 Tbsp of the butter over low heat, and add the drained and rinsed barley, stirring well so all the pearls are coated with a light coating of butter. Let it sit there over low heat, stirring occasionally, while you address the vegetables, peeling them and dicing or slicing them.
After the barley has been toasting for 5-8 minutes, add the broth to the pot, and turn to the heat to high. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, taking care not to let it overboil and make a mess (you may wish to set the cover a little to one side to prevent this).
In a heavy-bottomed skillet melt the rest of the butter over medium heat, and add the sliced or cubed vegetables. Sauté the vegetables, moving them around frequently with a wooden spoon, until they begin to brown a bit, and grow slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Scrape them and the butter and juices in their pan into the soup pot with the simmering barley, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how chewy you like your browis. Add salt and pepper to taste, and if you’d like the browis to be soupier, add more broth. Makes 4 1½ cup servings.

 A beaten egg can also be added when you add the vegetables, for additional protein and nourishment.
 Dried or fresh herbs such as thyme and sage may be sautéed with the diced vegetables, or fresh parsley chopped up and stirred in just before serving.

Source: The Circle of Ceridwen Cookery Book

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