Cerni Kuba — Barley and Mushroom Casserole
Cerni Kuba (Czech) is a great dish for entertaining, e.g. a buffet during the holidays. It can be kept warm awhile in a lower-temp. oven, e.g. 275° F.
- ½ cup imported dried mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
- 1 cup water
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black
- ½ cup pearl barley
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon marjoram
- ½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons melted lard or butter
Soak the dried mushrooms in the water for about 30 minutes, or until they are soft. Drain them in a fine sieve set over a measuring cup. Re-move them from the sieve, chop fine, and set aside. Add enough cold water to the mushroom liquid to make 3 cups, and combine the liquid, chopped mushrooms and barley in a 1 ½ – to 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with the salt and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the barley is tender and almost all of the water has been absorbed.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Stir the garlic, onion, pepper, marjoram and melted lard or butter into the casserole, cover tightly and bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes. If the kuba becomes too dry while baking, add up to ½ cup more water.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
This recipe has been tested on diners up and down the East Coast; really holds its own in a crowd.
Family favorite, adapted in the late sixties from American Cooking: The Melting Pot.
To compare to a similar recipe made with fresh mushrooms, double click here on Barley Casserole with Fresh Mushrooms.
If trying this whets your taste for barley, or if you already appreciate it’s flavor and utility as a side dish, double click here for our most recent barley discovery, a Barley-Wild Rice Risotto. (another fairly simple concoction, great for entertaining.)