Barley is a dense and chewy grain, it is both nutritious and satisfying. I love barley and it is my comfort food. This flavorful mixture makes a great weeknight dinner or a terrific dish for a Friday night potluck with friends. Add a tossed salad, crusty country style bread, some robust wine and enjoy.
- 1 lb Italian sausage (mild or 1 lb hot removed from casing)
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 long red chilies or 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning (see Tips, below)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
- 1 cup pearl barley, thoroughly rinsed under cold running water
- 1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes with juice, coarsely chopped (28 oz/796 mL)
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 8 ounces medium shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined
- 1 roasted red pepper, finely chopped (see Tips, below)
- In a nonstick skillet, cook sausage over medium high heat, breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Drain all but 1 tablespoons fat from pan. Reduce heat to medium.
- Add onions to pan and cook, stirring, until softened. Add garlic, chili pepper, Cajun seasoning, oregano, salt and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add barley and stir well. Add tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil.
- Pour mixture over sausage and stir. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours. Add shrimp and roasted pepper. Cover and cook on HIGH for 20 minutes, until shrimp is heated through.
- If you don’t have a fresh chili pepper, stir in hot pepper sauce to taste, after the jambalaya is cooked.
- Cajun seasoning is available in many supermarkets and specialty food store. If you can’t find it, substitute 1 teaspoons EACH dried thyme leaves and paprika to this recipe.
- To roast peppers: Preheat oven to 400°F Place peppers on a baking sheet and roast, turning two or three times, until the skin on all sides is blackened. (This will take about 25 minutes.) Transfer peppers to a heatproof bowl. Cover with a plate and let stand until cool. Remove and, using a sharp knife, lift off skins. Discard skins and slice according to recipe instructions.
- TO MAKE AHEAD: This dish can be partially prepared the night before it is cooked. Complete Steps 1 and 2, chilling the cooked sausage and tomato barley mixtures separately. Refrigerate overnight. The next morning, continue with Step 3.
- Delicious & Dependable Slow Cooker Recipes.
This was the second time I have used barley in anything I have made, and it is really good! I didn't want to dirty any other pans or do any other steps, so I just put everything into the crock pot (I used a 5 qt. one, which worked fine), and stirred it up. I cooked it on low for about 7 hours. I used smoked turkey sausage, and I just cut it and threw it in with everything else! I had pretty large onions, so I only used 1 1/2 onions. I used fire roasted diced tomatoes in the can, and I didn't roast a red pepper, but rather just threw some chopped bell peppers in that I had straight from the freezer. During the last 40 minutes I put uncooked, frozen (medium, tail off, deveined, peeled) shrimp in the crock pot, while I made cornbread, and everything was done all at once! An excellent dinner. Thanks for posting this!
What a great meal this turned out to be! We loved this jambalaya for its intense heat, flavourful veggies, and the sausage and shrimp combo. I added a bag of small scallops just before serving that I'd sauteed briefly in butter and olive oil. I used 2 peppers that I roasted as I thought 1 just wouldn't be enough, and would do that again. And the barley instead of rice, well! It was just a perfect way to use barley. I had it set for 7 hours on low and used about 15 min on high to mix everything through. I've found the jambalaya recipe I've been looking for!!!
I really liked this. I started it at lunch and cooked it on low about 5 hours. I had everything except the roasted red peppers. I only used about 2.5 cups chicken broth and that was plenty of liquid. I used quick cooking barley because that's what I had.