Wednesday, March 25, 2009


1¼ cups pearl barley
1½ cups brown ale
1¼ cups chicken stock or water
½lb chestnuts (directions follow)
1/3 lb smoked bacon, ¼ inch pieces
1 small onion, diced
2 cups brussel sprouts, outside leaves trimmed away and quartered
salt and pepper

In a medium size pot cover barley with 1¼ cups of beer (reserve ¼ cup) and water and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook on low until all liquid has been absorbed, approximately 15 minutes.

In a frying pan, cook bacon on medium heat until fat has rendered and bacon is crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a plate covered with paper towel and remove all but 1 tsp of bacon fat from the pan. Add onions and sauté on medium heat until slightly brown. Add brussel sprouts, season with salt and pepper and roast in the pan on medium low heat until sprouts are tender and slightly caramelized, approximately ten minutes. Add remaining beer and cook for three minutes then add bacon and chestnuts and toss until thoroughly mixed.

To serve, spoon barley into a serving dish and top with brussel sprout mixture.

Chestnut directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place one cookie tray inside. Using a sharp knife, score an "X" in the round end of the chestnut, making sure to go through both the shell and husk. Place chestnuts in boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove from water and immediately place on hot tray that is in the oven. Roast chestnuts for four minutes. Remove chestnuts from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Peel chestnuts and discard shell and husk. Serve with pearl barley and brussel sprout dish.

courtesy of: Ontario Craft Brewers, 1-75 Horner Avenue, Toronto Ontario M8Z 4X5, 416-494-2766 | Chef Ezra Title, Chez Vous Dining

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