Toasted pearl barley & Smoked Haddock….. with a freshly soft poached egg

By Simon  , ,   

March 7, 2014

A great version of risotto using pearl barley rather than short grained rice, giving this dish amazing plump little pearls, creamy with a slight bite as they absorb the rich stock. A truly simple and quick hearty supper served today with flakes of wonderful smoked haddock and topped with a soft poached egg.

  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yields: 4 Generous


2 Smoked haddock fillets

1 Heaped tbsp Red peppercorns

500 ml Milk

350 Grams Pearl barley

50 ml Olive oil

100 Grams Butter

1 Onion

1 1/2 Litre Vegetable stock

Sea salt and freshly milled black pepper

Fresh picked chives

4 Eggs


Pre heat your oven to 180c.  In a large flameproof casserole pan, add the oil and butter and melt gently over a medium heat, add the chopped onions and soften for 5 mins.  Saute the onions for about 5 mins and add the pearl barley and toast in all the onions and oil, coating each grain, for 5 mins. Add 1/3rd of the rich hot stock and gently stir until absorbed.  Repeat this adding a ladle of the hot stock and stirring to absorb over the next 40-50 mins in roughly 5 min intervals.  Meanwhile, place the fish in an oiled oven dish, scatter with peppercorns and cover in milk, bake in the oven for 10-15 mins until fish is soft and cooked.  Once the pearls have absorbed all the stock and are creamy with a slight bite texture, remove the fish from its skin and flake into a bowl, strain the cooking milk through a sieve and add to the pearl barley mix, stirring until absorbed.  In a pan of rapidly boiling water create a vortex of swirling water add the eggs and poached for 2 mins.

Serve the creamy pearls into warmed dishes, a generous handful of the flaked, smokey haddock and top with a soft poached egg,  a scattering of fresh chives and freshly milled black pepper.

Perfect for a simple supper or evening in with your girl, served with a chilled glass of crisp white wine. Enjoy!




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