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    Blue cheese, celeriac and pearl barley ragout

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    Blue cheese, celeriac and pearl barley ragout

    By Simon Rogan

    This hearty ragout is packed full of flavour: a perfect winter dish. The combination of blue cheese, bacon and celeriac is irresistible.

    • Preparation time: 40
    • Total time: 55 minutes 55 minutes

    Serves: 4 - 6

    Ingredients

    100g unsalted butter, softened
    200g blue cheese, at room temperature
    100g ground almonds
    1 lemon, juice
    25g English mustard
    500g pearl barley
    1½ tbsp rapeseed oil
    200g onion, finely chopped
    1 garlic clove, finely chopped
    400g celeriac, cut into
    1cm cubes
    500ml chicken stock
    2 x 77g pack diced pancetta
    ½ x 25g pack flat leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped

    Method

    1. In a large bowl, beat the butter and cheese together with a wooden spoon to form a smooth mixture. Add the almonds, lemon juice and mustard; beat into the mixture then set aside. 

    2. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the pearl barley and simmer for 25 minutes, until soft. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic; sweat over a low-medium heat until soft (about 8 minutes). Add the celeriac and cook gently for 10-15 minutes, until it has softened slightly.

    3. Strain the barley, then add it to the pan with the onions and celeriac. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cheese mixture, one spoonful at a time, until fully incorporated (about 4-5 minutes); season. Meanwhile, heat the remaining ½ tbsp oil in a frying pan. Fry the pancetta over a medium heat until crispy, then drain  on kitchen paper. Scatter the pancetta and parsley over the ragout and serve with the pear, chicory and walnut salad on the side (right).

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    Cook's tip: you can make this dish veggie by omitting the pancetta and using vegetarian cheese and vegetable stock.

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