So Farro So Good: ‘Like hope in a bowl’

Five-Spice Glazed Carrots

BY DEBBIE MATTHEWS, The Curious Cook
Posted 4/10/20

In Japan, food texture is very important. Often foods will be eaten because even though they has little taste, they’re valued because of their interesting texture.

The rest of us value texture …

The News + Record is worth reading!

We’re all about Chatham County, and we welcome you to our site. You can view up to 3 stories each month, then registration is required.

Please sign in below if you have an account. If not, please register here to get an account and an additional 7 stories each month. It’s easy and takes just a minute.

Our staff works hard to bring good journalism, writing and story-telling to Chatham County. HELP US! You can get the News + Record mailed to you weekly by subscribing here.

Please log in to continue

Log in

So Farro So Good: ‘Like hope in a bowl’

Five-Spice Glazed Carrots

Thanks for reading Chatham County’s leading news source! Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing to the News + Record – you can do so by clicking here.

Posted

In Japan, food texture is very important. Often foods will be eaten because even though they has little taste, they’re valued because of their interesting texture.

The rest of us value texture too. Who doesn’t love the snap of biting through a sausage or a fresh, pillowy biscuit, or chocolate melting on your tongue? Then some textures just make us sad, like cold fries, overcooked chicken and undercooked rice.

My mom is a big fan of both cream of wheat and cream of farina. And while I love hot cereal, the Dickensian orphanage gruel-like mouth feel of those particular hot cereals make them a hard no for me.

Farro is a type of wheat mainly grown in the mountains of Tuscany. It resembles barley and is delicious by itself or in recipes with other things. It’s chewy and nutty, and although a member of the same family as cream of wheat and farina, it in no way resembles that off-putting pablum consistency.

It’s also very nutritious, with protein, fiber, and nutrients like magnesium, zinc and B vitamins. But it’s a straight-up comfort food. While you’re eating this pilaf it can just about make you feel that everything’s going to be ok.

It’s like hope in a bowl.

Thanks for your time.

Contact debbie at dm@bullcity.mom.

Beefy Farro Pilaf

• 12-16 ounces of inexpensive steak, like blade or eye of round, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

• 1 tablespoon corn starch

• 2 tablespoons butter

• 1 yellow onion chopped

• 12 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

• 1 teaspoon dry thyme

• 1 tablespoon tomato paste

• 1 1/2 cups farro (not quick-cooking)

• 2/3 cups sherry or brandy

• 4 1/2 cups beef stock

• 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce

• 2 teaspoons horseradish

• 1/8 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

• Salt & pepper

After cutting beef into cubes, toss in cornstarch.

In a large, heavy pot with a lid, melt butter on medium (6-ish). Put about half of the meat into the pot. Season. When the first side gets browned and crusty, flip and let the other side brown. Remove and cook the rest. Remove and set aside.

Place mushrooms and onions into pot. Add thyme and season. Cover and cook for about 7 minutes to get the veg to release all their liquid. Remove cover and cook until all the liquid has cooked out and the mushrooms and onions have lightly browned.

Add the beef back in and stir in tomato paste and farro. When the paste has begun to darken, pour in sherry. Cook until almost all of the liquid has cooked off.

Pour in beef stock and add Worcestershire, horseradish, and five-spice. When it comes to a boil, cover and turn to medium-low. Cook for 35-40 minutes or until farro is cooked through, but still chewy.

Remove cover, turn up to medium and let cook until most of the stock has cooked out, but it’s still moist and almost creamy (5-10 minutes). Remove from heat, cover and let sit, undisturbed for 10-15 minutes.

Serve in shallow bowls with carrots on top. Serves 6 and leftovers microwave well.

• 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into slices with similar surface area

• 1/4 cup water

• 3 tablespoons butter

• 3 tablespoons sweet, such as honey, maple syrup, jam, or jelly (the last batch I made I used peach passionfruit preserves)

• 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

• Salt & pepper

Stir everything into a skillet. Cover and cook on medium until carrots are tender but not mushy, adding more water if needed (10-12 minutes).

Remove cover, stir, and cook until the water has cooked off and the carrots are coated in the glaze. Check for seasoning and re-season if needed.

Serves six.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment