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Maggie Beer

Barley Risotto

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180C.

Step 2: Heat half of the butter and a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a large frying pan, add the leeks and cook for a couple of minutes until just tender but not coloured. Add the barley, stir, and when hot deglaze with ¼ cup Verjuice.

Step 3: Heat the porcini and Vegetable Stocks until just boiling, add a cup full of stock at a time to the pan and stir continuously, until all of the stock is absorbed. Continue to add the stock until the barley is still quite nutty (the barley will be a little more forgiving than Arborio rice if you allow it to cook a little longer than necessary).

Step 4: After about 20 minutes to half an hour, whilst the barley is still crunchy, add the rehydrated porcini, and continue to cook for a few minutes.

Step 5: Heat a pan with the remaining butter until nut brown, add the sliced portobello mushrooms and cook until caramelised, deglaze with remaining Verjuice and add to the barley risotto.

Step 6: If using pancetta, place on a baking paper lined tray and then in the oven until crispy – about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on absorbent kitchen paper and set aside until needed.

Step 7: Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary, serve immediately with a tablespoon of fresh curd on top of each serve and some of the pancetta.


  1. 100g pancetta optional
  2. To taste salt flakes
  3. 250ml stock
  4. 750ml 3 cup Vegetable Stock
  5. 250g portobello mushrooms sliced
  6. 20g dried porcini mushroom re-hydrated in 300ml warm water
  7. 90ml ¼ cup + 2 Tbspn Verjuice
  8. 1 cup leek sliced
  9. 1 cup barley
  10. 25ml For frying Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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