Pearl barley is something I always have in the cupboard but rarely use. It'll be making regular appearances from now on because I loved the taste and texture in this salad.
The recipe is based on one in the Moro cookbook but as I live so far from the shops I had to improvise based on what I had to hand. The original is made with sirloin steak and grapes. I used venison fillet and citrus fruit. My thanks to Sam and Sam Clark for the inspiration and my apologies for any mangling of their recipe.
The quantity of pearl barley is quite small. As a main course it's enough for two people but you may wish to add an extra salad.
Seared Steak with Pearl Barley and Citrus (serves 2 as a main or 4 as a starter)
About 200g venison fillet or sirloin steak (double the quantity if you're serving 4)
Olive oil, salt and black pepper
50g (dried weight) pearl barley
A generous bunch of parsley, leaves picked from the stems
3-4 mandarin oranges, segmented and all white pith removed or 2 oranges, peeled and segmented without membrane
For the marinade:
1/2 small onion, grated
1 tbsp lime juice and a squeeze of lemon juice
1 tspn sumac
1 tspn coriander seeds, freshly ground
Pinch of allspice
Pinch of ground black pepper
For the dressing:
1 small garlic clove, crushed to a paste with a pinch of salt
1 tbsp lime or lemon juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tspn sumac
Pinch of allspice
Pinch of ground coriander
Simmer the pearl barley in a litre of water for 45 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
Mix the marinade ingredients together and rub all over the steaks. Leave to marinate for 2-4 hours.
Blend the dressing ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.
Heat a griddle pan until it's smoking, rub the steaks with a little oil and sear the steaks for a minute or so each side, seasoning with salt as you turn them. Remove from the heat and rest the meat while you put the salad together.
Put the barley in a bowl, add the whole parsley leaves and orange segments and pour over the dressing, mixing well.
Cut the steak across the grain into slices about 1cm thick. Mix some of the strips into the salad and lay the rest on top. Serve immediately.