I love pressure-cooking grains. Many of them, especially barley, don’t need to be soaked. That, combined with the short cooking time of a pressure cooker, means its a big time saver. The barley in this recipe takes only 20 minutes to cook. It works perfectly and has a wonderful texture.
On the stove top, the water will evaporate as you cook the grains, so you must continually add water, which can result in grains that are really mushy. In a pressure cooker, however, you use only a small amount of waterjust enough water to cook withand none of it escapes, so the grains dont lump up too much. Its so easy!
This is a great recipe, but my favorite use of pressure-cooked barley is in our Barley with Wild Mushrooms and Red Wine recipe from Modernist Cuisine at Home, which is a variation found in the Risotto and Paella chapter.
Anjana Shanker, Development Chef