Beef Chuck Roast and Barley Risotto with Radish and Swiss Chard

When I picked up my Boschenbox from Boschendal farm last week, I was a little bit stumped: because someone complained about the recipes that usually accompanied the box, these will no longer be supplied, which left me with beef chuck, Swiss chard and radishes that I had no idea what to do with.

To be honest, while I enjoy cooking, I don’t know too much about it. I didn’t even know WHAT beef chuck was, aside from a delicious-looking piece of meat in a net (I could also blame it on the fact that English is my second language, but I don’t know what it is in Afrikaans either!)

So after a bit of research, I found that chuck is cooked in much the same way as the delicious beef shin I made last week. To be fair, when you cook anything in red wine for long enough, it’s bound to be delicious! I stuck with that recipe, popped the beef in the oven, and proceeded to figure out what I can do with radishes and Swiss chard. And THAT, my friends, is the real find of the day!

I know radishes as a raw ingredient in salads that, with the right knife skills, can be fashioned into a tiny, red-rimmed flower – if that’s your kind of thing. I had no idea that you could cook them and how delicious they are!

I also didn’t know that you could use barley to make a risotto. I love rice, and anything to do with rice, but having been on a fairly low-carb diet for more than 3 years now, we don’t eat it much. So this hearty bowl of goodness is a great alternative if you’re watching carbs: white rice has 81g of carbs per 100g, while pearl barley has only 28g. (source) Making this dish is a little bit time-intensive, but it is SO worth it. I am going to experiment with a few more barley risotto options this winter, so watch this space for more!

This recipe is NOT my own, but I made it with a small variation and it is delicious, so I am happy to share it. If you want the original from Sarah Copeland, here is it! I made this as a side dish with the beef, but it makes a delicious vegetarian meal on its own as well.

Barley Risotto with Swiss Chard and Radishes

Ingredients: serves 4 as a side dish or 2 main meals

  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
  • 8 to 10 small radishes
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, stemmed and torn into large pieces
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Couple of sprigs of thyme

Method:

  1. Bring the stock to simmer in a saucepan, and then reduce the heat to keep it warm.
  2. Heat the butter in another saucepan, and add the barley. Stir to coat it in the melted butter, toasting it lightly.
  3. Add 2 cups of stock and bring to boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer until most of the stock has been absorbed. Keep stirring at this point!
  4. Add the radishes and the remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time. Keep stirring until the barley and radishes and tender.
  5. Add the torn Swiss chard and stir until it is wilted.
  6. Add in a teaspoon full of thyme while stirring, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Dish and serve (with a robust red wine, of course!)

Happy Cooking!

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