Barley and Beef as a Burger

This is an interesting little recipe from Taste of Home Cooking for Two. This is also recipe number two from the cookbook that features barley. I’m not sure if I like barley. It doesn’t really taste like anything and mine always come out kind of hard. I have a theory that the kind of barley I purchased needs to be cooked differently then what these recipes called for. Maybe I’d like barley if I cooked it right.

As I’ve mentioned before, I am not a culinary expert by any means. This blog and my cooking is my way of branching out, trying new things, and becoming a better cook. What I’ve discovered in my journeys is that it’s best to consult the packaging instructions when dealing with beans, rice, and frozen vegetables even while following a recipe. Otherwise your food item may not cook correctly.

In both recipes the barley is supposed to be tender. Mine, as I mentioned came out a little hard. Maybe this particular barley batch has a cold heart and that is as tender as it is willing to get.

If only barley could talk. It’d probably say, “Don’t eat me!” Barley isn’t the best conversationalist.

So how do you make a barley burger? Well, you’ll need 1/2 cup of water, 1/4 cup of barley, 1/2 of a small onion, 1 tablespoon of barbecue sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons of flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, and 1/2 pound of lean ground beef, and 2 hamburger buns.

The first step is to boil the water in a small saucepan and pour in your barley. This is the moment where you would look at the packaging and maybe add more water and adjust cooking time. The cookbook says to allow the water to simmer after boiling and to cover and cook for 8-10 minutes. Once cooked you will remove from heat and let cool for five minutes.

The next step is to grind the barley and onion in a food processor until the mix is finely chopped. Then mix the sauce, flour, salt, pepper, and barley mix in a bowl.

You are now ready to assemble a burger patty! This process will remind you of being a kid playing with play-doh, only with meat.

Crumble the beef into your mixture and then mix the two together. When it’s sufficiently mixed, form two round patties or be creative and make a new shape if you’d like. Wendy’s and White Castle like squares and sometimes it’s hip to be square.

Find your shape and then grill it over medium heat for 5-6 minutes on each side or until it’s reached your desire of rarity or doneness.

If you do not have a grill like me, you can either just cook it on a pan or broil in your oven. Either method works fine. I pan cooked my patties but I’ve used the broil method as well.

The final result is tasty, but a little odd. The barley added a slightly crunchy texture that I’m sure is actually supposed to be more mooshey. A woman named Rosella in the book says that “Barley adds another dimension to an old-fashioned hamburger.”

I mean, I guess? I didn’t exactly go into space, though. That would have been impressive. What did happen is that my patty fell apart. I suppose that could be a new dimension.