1 red onion
4 cloves garlic
some olive oil
200g pearl barley
1L chicken stock
2 fillets smoked haddock
1 bay leaf
1 heaped teaspoon garam masala
250g frozen peas
250g frozen sliced green beans
salt and possibly pepper to taste
Chop the onion and garlic as finely as you can be bothered. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and garlic and gently fry until the onion begins to soften. Add the pearl barley and continue to fry until the onion turns translucent or you become bored.
Add the stock and bring to the boil, then add the bay leaf and haddock – the fillets should sit in the stock but do not need to be completely submerged in it. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, then lift out the haddock and set aside. Get your sous-chef to flake the haddock.
Continue simmering the barley and stock, covered, on a low heat for about 40 minutes. By then, the barley should have absorbed most but not all of the liquid, and the mixture in the pot should have a thick soupy consistency. Add the garam masala, stir through, and continue to simmer, covered, on a low heat.
Put the eggs in a small pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then get your sous-chef to cool, peel, and chop the eggs into smallish chunks.
Meanwhile, add the frozen vegetables to the barley, stir, and leave until the vegetables have heated through. Return the flaked haddock to the pan and stir gently until it has also heated through. Season to taste, then add the chopped eggs.
This is essentially an orzotto with kedgeree ingredients, hence the (terrible) name. >.>
Barley is quite a forgiving grain, and unlike a risotto, an orzotto doesn't need much monitoring or stirring until very close to the end when it's absorbed almost all the liquid and starts to develop a potentially unhealthy fondness for the bottom of the pan. In total, it takes about an hour to cook.
I use frozen vegetables because they're easy, and am utterly unapologetic about this. ^_^
I tried smoked mackerel but found it far too strong for this dish. Other smoked fish may also work, but I find smoked haddock about right.
Spicing has been the most difficult thing for me to get right. I started off trying literally everything in the kitchen cupboard, then after weeks of iterations finally concluded that less is better. When seasoning at the end, I don't even add pepper anymore.