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Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese on plate with crispy bacon bits and diced chives on top and spoon with scoop on side of plate. It's creamy, rich, nutty, smokey, hearty, and utterly delicious.

Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere

Creamy, rich, nutty, smokey, hearty, and utterly delicious describes this one here, my friends!  This is my Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese and it is definitely a must-try side dish!  This recipe takes a healthy, let's face it, rather unappealing and chewy grain, and turns it into something so delicious, it's almost naughty.  The garlic, bacon, and gruyere cheese work together to give barley the make-over it deserves! Everything, including boiling the barley, can be prepped ahead, so that right before eating, you just need to spend 15 minutes making the sauce, then mixing it with the barley.

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword barley, grains, healthy sides, side dishes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Dry Barley, pearled or hulled (I used pear)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 slices Bacon
  • 1 teaspoon Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere Cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Milk, 1% (any milk fat content is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1 dash Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 cup Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 1/4 cup Chives, finely diced

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. Dice the bacon. Finely slice the chives.

  2. Boil a large pot of water for the Barley. Once the water is boiling, add a teaspoon of salt. Add the Barley and stir. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer uncovered for 30-40 minutes until it reaches your desired tenderness. Drain off the excess water and then set aside or store in the fridge until ready to make and add to the sauce.

Cooking Steps

  1. Preheat a large frying pan. Add the diced bacon on medium-low heat. Stir so that the bacon doesn't burn. Render the fat and crip the bacon, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon leaving the fat behind and place on a plate lined with paper towel. Set to the side or store in the fridge if doing this in advance.

    Spoon scooping out cooked diced bacon in large frying pan for Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese. It's creamy, rich, nutty, smokey, hearty, and utterly delicious.
  2. Make the cornstarch slurry by whisking in the cornstarch to the milk. set aside.

  3. To the pan with the bacon fat, add the garlic (add the olive oil if more fat is needed). Stir the garlic and cook on low heat for 2 minutes.

    Garlic added to bacon fat in large frying pan for Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese. It's creamy, rich, nutty, smokey, hearty, and utterly delicious.
  4. Whisk in the broth, ground pepper, and milk cornstarch slurry. Continue to whisk as it heats and start to thicken, about 2-3 minutes. Then whisk in the shredded cheese and half of the chives.

    Whisk mixing shredded gruyere cheese into sauce in large frying pan for Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese. It's creamy, rich, nutty, smokey, hearty, and utterly delicious.
  5. Add the barley and the bacon (reserve some for topping) to the sauce, mix together and warm through. Taste for seasoning and add a dash of salt and pepper as needed. Serve and garnish with the remaining bacon and chives. Enjoy!

    Spoon mixing cooked bacon bits into Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese in large pan on stove. It's creamy, rich, nutty, smokey, hearty, and utterly delicious.